Scroll Top

Keynote Speakers Address Native Youth Mental Health at National UNITY Conference

UNITY Speakers (1)

United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) proudly announces the fantastic lineup for its upcoming National Conference, including world-renowned hip-hop artist Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas, acclaimed Indigenous Canadian actor, playwright, and physician Dr. Evan Adams, MTV VMA Winner, and official NBA DJ Emcee One. The 2024 National UNITY Conference is set for June 29- July 3, 2024, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon.  Attendees and their chaperones can register for the entire conference here before June 15th

This year’s conference theme is “Revitalizing Our Roots,” which focuses on increasing access to cultural protective factors and traditional tools to improve the mental health of Native youth nationwide. Through a variety of programmatic activities, team-building, and collaboration, our Native youth leaders will actively engage with one another, brainstorming and building on new ideas to create change within their respective communities. Since 1976, UNITY has been fostering the spiritual, mental, physical, and social development of American Indian and Alaska Native youth and helping build a strong, unified, and self-reliant Native America through greater youth involvement.


Physician and Actor

Evan Tlesla II Adams is a Coast Salish physician and actor from Tla’amin Nation near Powell River, BC, Canada.

Evan is a full-scholarship alumnus of St. Michaels University School and of Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific of Victoria, BC. He stars in the Emmy-winning TV-movie “Lost in the Barrens” (1990) and its nominated sequel “Curse of the Viking Grave” (1991). Besides numerous episodics like “The Beachcombers” and “Black Stallion”, he also appears in the feature film “Toby McTeague” and the Fox-TV movie “Lakota Moon”. On the stage, some of his highlights include the role of Edmund in Women in View’s “Lear”, Creature Nataways in the Arts Club Theatre’s production of Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, and Jamie in Headlines Theatre’s “Mamu.”

Evan stars as Thomas Builds-The-Fire in ShadowCatcher Entertainment’s SMOKE SIGNALS, written by Sherman Alexie and directed by Chris Eyre. SMOKE SIGNALS won the coveted Audience Award for best film and the Filmmakers Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival in 1998. He also won Best Actor awards from the American Indian Film Festival, and from First Americans in the Arts, and a 1999 Independent Spirit Award for ‘Best Debut Performance’. He has been a regular on the CBC TV-series DA VINCI’S CITY HALL and APTN’s RAVEN TALES. He won a 2011 Gemini Award for co-hosting the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards along with Adam Beach. Evan was recently seen on the critically acclaimed FX series RESERVATION DOGS, and was nominated for a Leo Award 2024 – Best Guest Appearance in Marie Clements’s CBC TV Mini-Series BONES OF CROWS.

Aside from his career in the arts, Evan has completed 3 years of pre-med studies at the University of British Columbia (UBC), a Medical Doctorate from the University of Calgary in 2002, and a Family Practice residency (as Chief Resident) in the Aboriginal Family Practice program at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, BC. Dr. Adams has a Masters of Public Health (2009) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. He is the past-President and V-P of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada. He was the Deputy Provincial Health Officer for the province of BC from 2012 to 2014. He spent 3 years (2020-2023) with the First Nations & Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB), Indigenous Services Canada, as the Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Public Health. He is a past Acting Associate Dean Indigenous Health at SFU School of Medicine, is currently the Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the First Nations Health Authority of BC, and will be the Canadian Harkness Fellow for 2024/25 at the John A. Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu.


Member of the Grammy Award-winning music group Black Eyed Peas

Taboo, aka Jimmy Gomez, is a member of the Grammy Award-winning music group BlackEyed Peas. Taboo, who is of Shoshone and Mexican descent, didn’t know much about hisShoshone heritage until he was older, learning his history from his maternal grandmother, who was from Jerome, Arizona. She played a significant role in his rise to success, encouraging him to work on his performing skills from a young age.Despite his success, Taboo’s journey to the top has also had a few bumps. In 2004, he was diagnosed with stage 2 testicular cancer. After aggressive chemotherapy, he is now cancer-free and released a single entitled The Fight, chronicling his healing journey and raising money for the American Cancer Society.Taboo’s latest fight has been in the name of Indigenous rights in North America, speaking out against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock, North Dakota. Taboo released a song and video, Stand Up/Stand N Rock #NoDAPL, in 2016, supporting the Standing Rock Reservation and the Sioux Tribe as they lead a peaceful and powerful movement to stop the pipeline. Taboo is also passionate about helping disadvantaged youth. He visits schools to inspire them to dream and help motivate them to reach for those dreams.


I am an EMCEE, DJ, Youth Advocate, & National Speaker. I am currently an official DJ for Nike N7, International DJ/Tour Support for Taboo (The Black Eyed Peas), MTV Video Music Award Winner, a member of newly formed group #Mag7, CEO of One Innertainment Inc. & Co Founder of an outreach program called One Chance Leadership.