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December 22, 2002

Eric Schweig – Inuvialuk, Chippewa, Dene, German, and Portuguese Actor

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KEYWORDS: native american actor, Eric Schweig, american indian actor
biography, Eric Schweig picture, Eric Schweig photo, Eric Schweig pics, Inuvik, Northwest Territory, Canadian actor, Inuvik actor,  Inuit actor, Skins, Dead Mans Walk, Follow the River, 500 Nations, June 19, 1967

Eric SchweigEric Schweig had been acting for five years when his role as Uncas in The Last of the Mohicans brought him to the attention of the masses. With no formal training and very few lines, Eric brought the role of quiet, steady Uncas to life and to his tragic end using body language and facial expressions alone.

The fact that there are numerous Internet sites devoted to the movie and to Eric himself attest to his talent. He is one of the leading Native actors in the film industry.

Date of birth: June 19, 1967

Location of birth: Inuvik, Northwest Territory, Canada 

Biography:

Eric Schweig was born in Inuvik, Northwest Territory, Canada on June 19, 1967 to an Inuvialuk / Chippewa / Dene mother and a German / Portuguese father. His birth mother is now deceased. As a baby he was adopted by a White family of German descent, and was raised in Inuvik for six years. The family then moved first to Bermuda and then to Toronto, Ontario. 

Young Eric SchweigSchweig left home at age 16 and supported himself in Toronto for four years by framing houses. In 1987, Eric was approached on the street by a man who suggested he audition for a movie called The Shaman’s Source. He won the role and his career was launched.

Eric Schweig appeared in the Toronto stage production of The Cradle Will Fall and in a Glass Tiger music video, among other projects, before winning the role of Uncas in The Last of the Mohicans

In the years he has been acting professionally, Eric Schweig has also appeared in The Black Stallion, Bordertown, Diamond Sun, Chaindance, Heritage Moment, By Way of the Stars, For Love and Glory, the Broken Chain, Pontiac Moon; Squanto, a Warrior’s Tale; Follow the River, Tom and Huck, The Scarlet Letter, Dead Man’s Walk, Red River and Big Eden. Many of these projects are available on videotape

Eric Schweig has a distinctive low, resonant voice and did some of the narration for Kevin Costner’s series 500 Nations. Eric has appeared in television serials such as Claw in the Hawkeye episode, The Ally, as an Inuit hunter in the pilot for Due South, and as Darrow Lonetree in the War of the Worlds episode Dust to Dust.

Older Eric SchweigAlthough he was raised in a white family, Eric Schweig identifies most closely with his Native heritage and is active in the Canadian Alliance, Solidarity for Native People and the American Indian Movement. 

He has spoken to school children on the subject of racism and in 1999, he devoted most of his time to carving Inuit spirit masks.

Eric Schweig has also played the drums in a rock band appearing in clubs in the Vancouver area. He plays harmonica exceptionally well, as well as drums, guitar and many other instruments.

In the summer of 1996 Eric decided to take some time off his nonstop schedule to rest at his Vancouver Island home and ground himself again. In the interim he spent some time working with a children’s drama group.

Then he returned to acting and started producing. He cut his hair and began looking at not just Indian roles, but at any role which will feature his considerable acting talents.

Filmography:

2011 Blackstone (TV Show) …. Andy Fraser

2010 Casino Jack …. Chief Poncho

2009 Cashing In (TV Show) …. Mathew Tommy

2009 Blackstone (TV Movie) …. Chief Andy Fraser

2009 Kissed by Lightning …. Bug

2008 A Flesh Offering …. Mishomis

2007 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (TV Movie) …. Gall

2006 Mr. Soul ….Steve Lonethunder

2006 Indian Summer: The Oka Crisis (TV Show) …. Terry Doxtator

2006 Not Like Everyone Else (TV Movie) ….. Tim Blackbear

2006 One Dead Indian (TV Movie) ….Sam George

2005 It Waits …. Joseph Riverwind

2005 Into the West (TV Show) …. Sitting Bull

2005 Shania: A Life in Eight Albums (TV Movie) …. Jerry Twain

2003 Mr. Barrington …. Samuel
2003 The Missing ….Pesh-Chidin, El Brujo
2003 Mr. Barrington  …. Samuel 
2003 Cowboys and Indians: The J.J. Harper Story (TV Movie)…. Harry Wood

2002 Skins …. Rudy Yellow Lodge

2000 Big Eden …. Pike Dexter

1996 Dead Man’s Walk” (mini) TV Series …. Buffalo Hump
… aka “Larry McMurtry’s Dead Man’s Walk” (1996) (mini)

1995 Rivière rouge (mini) TV Series
1995 Tom and Huck …. Injun Joe
… aka Adventures of Tom and Huck, The (1995)
… aka Tom Sawyer (1995)
1995 Scarlet Letter, The …. Metacomet
1995 Follow the River (TV) …. Wildcat 
1995 500 Nations”  (mini) TV Series(voice) 

1994 Pontiac Moon …. Ernest Ironplume
1994 Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale  …. Epenow
… aka Last Great Warrior, The (1994) (International: English title)
1994 Due South (TV) …. Inuit Hunter 

1993 Broken Chain, The (TV) …. Joseph Brandt/Theyendangea
1993 For Love and Glory  (TV) …. Moses Moon

1992 By Way of the Stars (mini) TV Series …. Black Thunder
… aka “Lange Weg des Lukas B., Der” (1992) (mini) (Germany)
1992 Last of the Mohicans, The …. Uncas

1990 Shaman’s Source, The …. Robert Crow

Notable TV Guest Appearances:

“Hollywood Off-Ramp” (2000) in episode: “Casino” (episode # 1.6) 3 July 2000 

“Hawkeye” (1994) playing “Claw” in episode: “The Ally” (episode # 1.13) 22 January 1995

“War of the Worlds” (1988) playing “Darrow” in episode: “Dust To Dust” (episode # 1.14) 23 January 1989

Videos/ DVDs:

500 Nations

500 Nations is an eight part documentary which explores the history of the indigenous peoples of North and Central America, from pre-Colombian times, through the period of European contact and colonization, to the end of the 19th century and the subjugation of the Plains Indians of North America. 500 Nations relies on historical texts, eyewitnesses accounts, pictorial sources and computer graphic reconstructions to explore the magnificent civilizations which flourished prior to contact with Western civilization, and to tell the dramatic and tragic story of the Native American nations’ desperate attempts to retain their way of life against overwhelming odds.

500 Nations, Vol. 1: The Ancestors – Early Cultures of North America
500 Nations, Vol. 2: Mexico – The Rise and Fall of the Aztecs
500 Nations, Vol. 3: Clash of Cultures – The People Who Met Columbus
500 Nations, Vol. 4: Invasion of the Coast – The First English Settlement
500 Nations, Vol. 5: Cauldron of War – Iroquois Democracy and the American Revolution
500 Nations, Vol. 6: Removal – War and Exile in the East
500 Nations, Vol. 7: Roads Across the Plains -Struggle for the West 
500 Nations, Vol. 8: Attack on Culture – I Will Fight No More Forever

Cross Referenced
Native Actors & Movies
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