Ten Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWSD) schools will welcome actor and stuntman Duane Howard during the FNMI school tour on March 13-17, 2017.
Among his achievements, Mr. Howard is known for his portrayal of 'Elk Dog' in the 20th Century Fox film, The Revenant. His biography also includes a stunt credit on the feature film The Scarlet Letter that grew to acting roles in the television movies Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and Goodnight for Justice: Queen of Hearts, along with the popular television series Arctic Air. He recently completed a starring role in the film The Sun at Midnight, which ironically sees him fighting to survive a bear attack.
His foray into acting in 1990 differs dramatically from the 13 years he spent living on the streets of Vancouver. Realizing he did not want his son to follow in his footsteps, Mr. Howard walked away from his dark life in 1986, became clean and sober, graduated from high school in 1988, and completed a degree in substance abuse counseling.
"Ending up with the lead native role on The Revenant is nearly as miraculous as my survival on the streets," says Mr. Howard, who initially landed a stunt position on the film. "I had decided to take a break from the business the year before the audition call for the part of 'Elk Dog' came out, and it was that role that brought me back to acting. Today, I am very grateful for all that I have, including my three children."
"We're excited to host Mr. Howard," says Darrell Willier, FNMI Education Coordinator at PWSD and organizer of the FNMI school tours. "The presentations are designed for Grades 6-12 students and there will be time for pictures and autographs. Grades 10, 11, and 12 Drama students at Peace Wapiti Academy will meet directly with Mr. Howard and share their passion for acting."
Mr. Willier says the goal of the FNMI guest speaker series is twofold. "First, it provides our FNMI students with positive role models which they can identify with from a cultural perspective. Secondly, the guest speakers also help to break down negative stereotypes that may still exist regarding FNMI people. We have been fortunate in the past to secure high-calibre guests whose achievements have served as an inspiration to everyone. This year's tour promises the same."
Mr. Howard will share his inspirational story during morning and afternoon presentations at the following PWSD schools:
Monday, March 13:
Peace Wapiti Academy Drama 10, 20 and 30 classes
Harry Balfour School / PWSD Central Office meet and greet
Tuesday, March 14:
Beaverlodge Regional High School
Wednesday, March 15:
La Glace School
Thursday, March 16:
Friday, March 17:
Hythe Regional School
Helen E. Taylor School, Wembley
Photo caption: Actor and stuntman Duane Howard will visit ten schools during the PWSD FNMI school tour on March 13-17, 2017.
UPDATE: March 14, 2017 - For photos from the tour, visit PWSD's Facebook page.