Canada

Canadian actor Eugene Brave Rock delivers keynote speech on Kainai reserve: ‘make your purpose’

You may know Eugene Brave Rock best as the chief in the 2017 Wonder Woman movie. The character spoke Blackfoot, bringing international exposure to the language on the big screen.

What you may not know is that the actor was born and raised in Stand Off, Alta.

Brave Rock was the keynote speaker at the Kainai speaker series happening Friday in his hometown.

He spoke to the audience about how his journey to Hollywood and how being proud of being Indigenous has helped him achieve his goals.

READ MORE: ‘Wonder Woman’ actor inspires students from his hometown on Alberta’s Blood reserve

“Speaking Blackfoot in Wonder Woman was such an honourable moment.

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“To share my language with the world — it’s never been heard on that platform. Language is so important for me right now, for our people, for identity,” Brave Rock said.

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“The secret to my success has been traditional values… from riding horses to having long hair, singing, dancing, speaking my language is huge.

“It’s what’s taking me around the world,” Brave Rock said.

Attendees at the event say his presence was a source of motivation for the community.

“Knowing that he was from Stand Off… where I grew up, was kind of… inspiring to know that someone from Stand Off could actually go that far,” said Sierra Blood, one of the attendees.

“Youth and elders are quite proud. It promotes this, ‘Hey, I can do that too’… ‘He comes from where I come from,'” said Terri-Lynn Fox, the director of the Kainai Wellnness Centre.

WATCH: Alberta actor Eugene Brave Rock discusses his role in Wonder Woman

“Elders honour and support those that strive and move forward in spite of trauma, in spite of hardships,” she said. “They use those lessons to push them even further.

“Where we don’t talk about limits, there are no limits.”

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He also has an inspirational message for those chasing their dreams.

“I’m proof that the dreams that we have can be the realities that we live,” Brave Rock said. “You don’t have to surrender to the realities around you.

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“You have to define your own path, make your purpose.”