SAY Magazine has received support from numerous individuals who believe in the mission statement: HOPE
Some of these individuals are featured under the SPOTLIGHT section of our Website.
Some individuals who are featured in the centrefold of any issue will be included under the SPOTLIGHT section.
If there is someone you think should be included, send their contact information and the reason(s) that you feel they should be 'Under the Spotlight' - to firstname.lastname@example.org
- 2012 Miss Manito Ahbee - Laryn Oakes
Actor and activist Chaske Spencer was born of the Lakota Sioux tribe, and raised on Indian Reservations in Montana and Idaho. When he was young, he dreamt of becoming a photographer, and before long, he also found himself in front of the camera.
Chaske moved to New York City and in between bar tending and waiting tables, he was cast in his first off-Broadway play, DRACULA, playing the title role. From there he performed at THE PUBLIC THEATRE in NYC and THE ROUNDABOUT and was fortunate enough to be discovered by television/film casting director Rene Haynes.
Rene cast him in his first feature film SKINS, the lead in DREAMKEEPER, and Steven Spielberg’s INTO THE WEST. Over the past few years, he has been keeping busy playing “Sam Uley” the alpha male leader of the werewolves, in the popular TWILIGHT SAGA film series NEW MOON, ECLIPSE, and BREAKING DAWN parts 1 and 2.
Partnered with his manager Josselyne Herman and veteran producer Ted Kurdyla, Chaske’s production company Urban Dream is in development on a featurelength documentary about indigenous water rights, as well as a feature film called THE BLOCK. Additionally, Spencer expects to soon be starring in ALL MY RELATIONS, a role created specifically for him. The film is a contemporary Native American project that has been developed for television by producers Rene Haynes and Susan England.
With experience both on stage and on screen, in front and behind the camera, Chaske’s credibility as a quality member of the entertainment industry stands strong. He is passionate about making a difference with all people in the area of reducing poverty and creating sustainable solutions for the issues that communities face. In fact, he is engaged in several projects to that end through the nonprofit UNITED GLOBAL SHIFT and his personal project SHIFT THE POWER TO THE PEOPLE.
Clearly, Chaske has been using his celebrity for good. In addition to developing his non-profit endeavors, he spends his free time traveling to various universities and reservations inspiring young people to BE THE SHIFT they want to see in their communities as well as say no to alcohol and drugs, based on his own life experience.
In May 2011, he joined forces with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move! Indian Country” campaign in which he supported youth creating a healthier lifestyle through fitness and nutrition within Native American families and communities. Always keeping busy, this past July, Chaske had his first photo exhibition. The exhibit was displayed at the Dream Hotel and was open to the public. Chaske says his work is best described as a “slice of life” with natural lighting outdoors. He does not do studio work as he feels natural light gives him the best creativity. Proceeds from the exhibit were donated to UNITED GLOBAL SHIFT. Chaske shared, “I am committed to using my art to help create new conversations in the media that support a positive shift for people everywhere.” Chaske resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Download: Chaske Spencer
What I Know To Be True
“Henry Ford said, ‘whether you believe something is possible, or you believe it is not, you are correct’. The history of mankind has shown that whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Thoughts become things and what we think about grows.” – Barry Lipscombe.
I know that I am not alone ~ that’s true.
I know that I am better off clean and sober ~ that’s true.
I know that the only opinion about me that matters is the opinion I hold of myself ~ that’s true.
I know that I am NOT the sum total of my past mistakes ~ that’s true.
I know that I have to apologize when wrong and forgive when wronged ~ that’s true.
I know that I have the capacity to love and be loved in return ~ that’s true.
I know that I deserve happiness ~ that’s true.
I know that I have value and worth just because
I exist ~ that’s true.
I know that I can heal from past wounds when
I am honest and seek help ~ that’s true.
I know that I deserve to be heard and I owe it to others to listen ~ that’s true.
I know that I don’t know everything and therefore I have to continually be open to learning ~ that’s true.
I know that every child deserves to live in peace and safety ~ that’s true.
I know that pedophiles never stop offending ~ that’s true.
I know that the laws in Canada greatly favour the pedophile and for the most part ignore the victimized ~ that’s true.
I know that Canada needs to take law and order seriously, that more needs to be done to protect our children from sexual abuse ~ that’s true.
I know that the changes to our justice system have to happen immediately ~ that’s true. I know that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will be sexually abused in Canada before the age of 18 ~ that’s true.
I know that together we can make changes to the current justice system if we all band together, raise our voices in unison and never stop speaking out until change happens ~ that’s true.
I know that childhood sexual abuse affects every race, religion, creed, orientation, belief, culture, nationality, gender and age ~ that’s true.
I know together we can stop this epidemic ~ that’s true.
I know that the sexual abuse I suffered does not define me, that healing is entirely possible, and that I am a Victor over childhood sexual abuse ~ that’s true.
And I know tomorrow the sun will rise, I will inhale and exhale, I will hug my children, eat my breakfast … and I will seek justice for all of the 8,000,000 directly affected by sexual abuse so that they too can become Victors ~ that’s true.
“... I have seen that in any great undertaking it is not enough for a man to depend simply upon himself.”
– Lone Man (Isna-la-wica) Teton Sioux
From Victim to Victor – Elevating the Conversation Through Action and Advocacy
“Hope doesn’t come from calculating whether the good news is winning out over the bad. It’s simply a choice to take action.” ~ Ann Lappe
In 2009 I released my best selling autobiography “Playing With Fire”, wherein I not only gave the reader insight into my incredible career ~ winning a World Jr. Championship to the NHL, going for Olympic gold and much more ~ I also shared the years of sexual abuse I suffered at the hands of my jr. hockey coach.
I decided during the writing of my book to file a criminal complaint and the Winnipeg police brought charges against my abuser, a previously convicted criminal, and a few years later I watched him receive a mere few months in prison after assaulting me and two other boys hundreds of times.
This is unacceptable.
In March of 2012 I read aloud my Victim Impact Statement for hundreds of media outlets across North America.
Since the release of the book, and public presentation of my Victim Impact Statement, thousands of Canadians from coast to coast, from the Arctic to the US border, have told me they want to be heard too ~ they need to read aloud their Victim Impact Statement, they need to release shame and guilt that was never theirs in the first place.
All victims, survivors, Victors and Advocates want the laws in Canada changed immediately to punish the offenders and remove them from society where they will, without a doubt, reoffend. And we all want punishment for those who hide, lie for, or ignore pedophiles and do not come to the immediate aid of the child being sexually abused.
We all NEED to be accountable. In Canada 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. That’s approximately 8 million victims.
When a child is sexually abused they become victims. This is the most lonely, terrifying, painful and confusing time for a child. This is done to them, and they are helpless to prevent or stop the abuse.
After the sexual abuse ends ~ either from a one time violation or many years of assault ~ the victim moves into survivor mode. They do the best they can to make it through every day. They are angry, they are in pain, they are confused and they lack the skills necessary to lead healthy, happy lives.
Once a survivor acknowledges that the abuse was not their fault, they did not cause it and they were helpless to prevent or stop it…once they realize that they can be free from the pain, from the shame, from the shackles of the after effects of abuse, when they start to hope and dream again, they become Victors.
It doesn’t stop there ~ every person who calls themselves a Victor is compelled in some shape or form to take action … for the children being abused, for tougher laws, for better access to therapy and for a complete stop to childhood sexual abuse ~ this person is called an Advocate.
Beginning on May 14th my team and me will walk from the Child Abuse Monument in Toronto to Ottawa, arriving on the steps of Parliament on May 23rd.
I will read aloud his Victim Impact Statement. I call this action the Victor Walk.
Thousands of Canadians will either join in that epic walk, or meet on the Parliament steps, with their own Victim Impact Statement which they will read aloud for the Canadian politicians and the entire world what happened either to them or someone they love … and demand changes to the law… 15 years in prison for a pedophile and 5 years in prison for those who aid and abet pedophiles. As well we will demand a national program making the public aware of where these offenders are residing and working.
Thousands will be there, millions more across the country will be watching. It will be epic and life changing.
I am inviting all victims, survivors, Victors and Advocates ~ those who have had this happen to them, someone they love, someone they counsel, to another fellow Canadian ~ to join me on the steps of parliament on May 23rd. Please check out www.theofleury14.com for more information.
I hope to see you there.
A member of the Yaqui people of southern Arizona, Gabriel Ayala (Guitarist) is at the forefront of a new generation of Native Americans making a career performing classical music. He earned a Master’s Degree in Music Performance from the University of Arizona in 1997, has taught at all educational levels from elementary through college, and serves as a competition adjudicator. Although Gabriel truly enjoys being a teacher his busy touring schedule allows him to teach only in masterclass settings.
Ayala performs regularly throughout the United States and has appeared at the Poway Center for Performing Arts, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Museum for the American Indian, and Oscar Meyer Theater in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2010, Gabriel was honored to perform at the Musical Instrument Museum in a series called “Guitar Masters”.
He has been recognized by the former State of Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, now Director of Homeland Security, for his musical achievements. In addition, he has also been honored as the Artist of the Month for the Indigenous Internet Chamber of Commerce (IICOC). Not only is Gabriel recognized locally and in the United States but he has had the opportunity to be the featured performer at the “Festival Internacional de la Guitarra Academica” in Venezuela with Performances in Caracas, Guarenas, Guatire and on National Public Television throughout Venezuela.
Gabriel was selected as one of ten musicians featured in “Native Musicians in the Groove” highlighting stories of musicians in their struggles while persevering with a career in music. He also has been featured in several media publications such as “Native Peoples”, “Indian Country Today”, “SAY Magazine” (Canadian and United States Editions), “Spirit of the Southwest (German Publication)”, “Native America Calling”, “Canadian Broadcasting Corporation” and numerous others.
Ayala has released three self-distributed albums: “Self Titled” in 2003, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in 2007 and “Tango!” in 2008. He has also been a featured artist on several other CD releases. Gabriel has been breaking stereotypes amongst Native and Non-Native people by performing classical, jazz, flamenco, and new compositions of his own which he highlighted on his 2010 release of “Remembrance”. Also recorded in 2010 is the CD entitled “Passion, Fire & Grace” which showcases the genre “JazzMenco” created by Gabriel. He is an award winning artist in several music award shows including the Native American Music Awards “Best Instrumental CD (2009)”, “Best World Music (2010)”, and “Artist of the Year (2011)” and the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards “Best International Album (2010 and 2011)”.
Gabriel also received the 2011 Tanner Award from the University of Arizona’s American Indian Alumni for his significant success in his professional career. His contribution and leadership provide a benefit to American Indian communities. Gabriel received many accolades in his career among them is the honor of sharing the stage with Motown living legends The Four Tops, The Temptations, Richie Havens, Dr. John and many others.
As Ayala continues to travel throughout the United States and other countries he serves as an advocate for education for all youth while instilling his values of living a traditional lifestyle while abstaining from Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco. Gabriel believes in leading our children in the right direction through his philosophy, “Love your children, Honor your elders, and Respect your women”. Gabriel wants to share the gift of music with as many people and show children that they can become whatever they dream. Gabriel currently resides in Tucson, Arizona.
Download: Gabriel Ayala Centerfold
From Sagkeeng First Nation, Manitoba seventeen year old Ali Fontaine is climbing local and national music charts, getting nods and nominations for various music awards and has a busy national and international touring schedule.
At eight years of age, Ali entered her first talent competition, singing “You were meant for me” by Jewel. Competing against all ages, in all genres, she won 1st place in the contest. The win was a dream come true for the aspiring singer/ performer, but caused challenges for her as well.
Always loving creative arts, and in particular poetry, she began to write poems, and sang wherever and whenever she had the opportunity. She continued to enter talent shows, always placing, and often winning. At about twelve years of age, Ali learned to play guitar. This began the next stage of her journey – she began to write songs - turning her love of writing poetry into song writing.
Ali won the the Manitoba Star Attractions Talent Showcase 2010, which meant she would have a professionally recorded single – the prize for this talent showcase. Ali recorded an original song she wrote after the deaths of her grandmother and aunt, called “I Miss You”.
Turning sixteen in the fall of 2010, she was finally old enough to enter the NCI Jam contest. Ali placed 3rd, confirming that this was and is where she is meant to be, doing what she loves to do.
Ali was one of only twelve youth accepted in the 2010 Manitoba Music and AC I Manitoba’s Mentorship program. She and her peers were introduced to a variety of fields within the music industry including: artist management, record marketing, publicity and concert promotion. She learned from music industry professionals about working directly on the production, release and promotion of a compilation CD, In the spring of 2011, her parents approached Errol Ranville to mentor and assist Ali in her music career. This began a flurry of activity for Ali, with the first item getting a full CD recorded.
When asked if she had enough material for a CD, she said “Yes, I have about forty songs at home in a box”and Errol was floored. It is rare for a singer/ songwriter of her age to have that much material to work with.
Ali was nominated in four categories of the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards, and made it to the second and final round of voting in three categories; Best New Artist, Country CD of the Year and Single of the Year.
In October 2011, Ali traveled to New York City to perform at a reception where Val Kilmer was a keynote presenter, and she also performed at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park. From these opportunities, she has committed to perform and tour in Australia in 2012, and Africa in 2013. A tour of Western Canada in early 2012 is in the planning stages.
Future goals include completing her grade 12 in June, and starting her postsecondary education, at the University of Manitoba. She is considering a Fine Arts degree with a business minor.
Download: Ali Fontaine Centerfold
Dallas Arcand – Dancing Buffalo Man
Dallas Arcand is an Aboriginal Entertainer from the Alexander (Kipohtakaw) Plains Indian Cree Nation, located near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His Indigenous name is ‘Dancing Buffalo Man' (Nimihto Paskwa Mostôs Napew).
Dallas is the current 2012, three-time world champion Hoop Dancer, as well as a featured act on City TV’s Canada’s Got Talent Competition. He is a versatile artist in three major areas: Hoop Dance, Indigenous contemporary music, and public speaking.
Dallas is a graduate from the Enowkin Centre’s National Aboriginal Professional Artist Training program, and from Mount Royal University, Behavioral Sciences program in which he specialized in teaching and Aboriginal Education.
He has done many performances across North America and the world. Dallas does various workshops throughout the country ranging from: Dance to Music, Youth Empowerment to Cultural Education, and Medicine wheel teachings.
Dallas is a veteran within the performing arts world by having danced at pow-wow’s, festivals, concerts, and conferences for the past 20 years. In 2008, he was also awarded the Alberta Aboriginal Role Model Award in Performing Arts.
Dallas debut CD "REZalationzzz..." was released in April, 2007 and his second CD “Picking Sweetgrass” was released in the fall of 2007, which he earned an Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Award: for Best Flute CD and Best Instrumental CD (Picking Sweetgrass), and for Best Producer. As well, he was awarded a Canadian Aboriginal Music Award for Best Flute CD.
In 2011 his third CD was release was “Modern Day Warrior” Dallas plans to release his third Cedar Flute album this spring titled “Sacred Sweetgrass” which will be available on iTunes online music store.
For more information please go to our website: www.aboriginalentertainment.com
For bookings please call 1-866-913-0331 or email: email@example.com
Adam Ruebin Beach (born 1972) is a Canadian actor of Saulteaux descent. Born in a small Canadian town, Adam Beach grew up with his two brothers on the Dog Creek Indian Reserve. When he was eight years old, his mother, who was eight months pregnant, was killed in a car accident caused by drunk driving. She died in front of their home in a ditch. Two months later, his father died in a boating accident. Beach and his brothers subsequently moved to Winnipeg to live with an aunt and uncle.
Did you know?
• In 1996 Adam ran for the position of Chief on his home reserve of Dog Creek?
• That Adam has been known to help aspiring Native actors obtain training?
• Recently in Oklahoma Adam performed in a play, written by his uncle Chris Beach, about suicide?
About four years ago, SAY Magazine attended the unveiling of a wall mural of Adam Beach in the ‘hood’ in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
In high school, he attended a drama class. The class was originally supposed to be a place to “goof off” with his friends, but Beach soon exhibited natural talents in acting. He began performing in local theatre productions, and eventually dropped out of school to take a lead role at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People.
At the age of eighteen, Adam won a small role in a miniseries. He worked in local theatre and guest-starred on television shows like Walker, Texas Ranger and Touched by an Angel. Adam also had a recurring role on the television series North of 60.
His first lead role in a feature film was in 1994, as Squanto in Disney’s Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale.
A number of projects followed, but his lead part in Smoke Signals is considered his breakout role.
Contact Adam Beach