Smoke Signals' 'Thomas' encourages future physicians

By Krista Allen
Western Agency Bureau

FLAGSTAFF, Dec. 5, 2013

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(Times photos – Krista Allen)

TOP: Evan Tlesla II Adams, Coast Salish, from Sliammon First Nation in British Columbia on Nov. 21 made a guest appearance at Northern Arizona University’s Prochnow Auditorium where he lectured the youth.

MIDDLE: Before heading home to Canada, Evan Tlesla II Adams, who portrays Thomas Builds-the-Fire in Smoke Signals, signed autographs for his lively, young fans on Nov. 21 at Northern Arizona University’s Prochnow Auditorium.

BOTTOM:Native students from across the region on Nov. 21 got a glimpse of Evan Tlesla II Adams at Northern Arizona University’s Prochnow Auditorium where he gave a 45-minute lecture to the youth.

Evan Tlesla II Adams is indeed both very witty and very skillful.

To promote and attract more students to the health professions program, NAU invited Evan Adams, an actor and physician, to Lumberjack Country, where he is best known as Thomas Builds-the-Fire from the 1998 film "Smoke Signals."
"I know him as Thomas," said Miss Indian NAU Jewel Honga, Diné-Hualapai, who took the distinguished title on Nov. 14. "When you see Smoke Signals, you only see him as Thomas. You don't know his profession as Dr. Evan Adams."

"For him to come and visit the students and to hear what he does (as) the second-highest (physician) in Canada" was quite a treat, continued Honga, who wore her jeweled crown to Adams' lecture Nov. 21 at Prochnow Auditorium on north campus.

Before Adams' lecture started, Honga offered a prayer in Hualapai. Afterwards, she asked the audience, "Can I get a 'Hey, Victor!'?" 

The multitude chuckled and shouted, "Hey, Victor!" as Adams walked onto the stage that was trimmed with a chair overlain with a fancy throw.

It was truly a special day to celebrate Native American Heritage Month.

"I'm hoping today that I'll encourage you towards your futures and that you'll actually look forward to it because it's pretty cool," said Adams as he spoke directly to the younger individuals who occupied the theatre.

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