Schweig, Eric

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Schweig was born to an Inuit mother and a Chippewa Dene father in Inuvik, the Northwest Territories. At six months he was adopted by a German-Canadian family. During his childhood in Inuvik, Bermuda and Toronto he was systematically physically abused by his adoptive parents and ran away from home when he was 16, to become a laborer.

In 1987 he was "discovered" while walking down a Toronto street and cast in the movie The Shaman's Source. At least 16 other films have followed, most notably as Uncas in The Last of the Mohicans. During this period he endured a "roller coaster of alcohol, drugs, violence, failed relationships, despair and confusion" [Schweig] due to the abuse and racism and ethnic identity deprivation of his childhood.

In 1996 he began to regain his cultural identity and is now primarily a carver, especially of Inuit spirit masks, living on Vancouver Island, but he continues to act in films. He is a passionate opponent of the adoption of aboriginal of native people by Europeans.


Mohican Press. "Eric Schweig." Available at:
"Eric Schweig" [Includes portrait]. Available at:
"Sandpiper's Eric Schweig Site." [Includes portraits]. Available at:
Annie. "Eric Schweig Bio." [Includes portrait]. Available at:
Schweig, Eric. "Eric Schweig Adoption Speech." Available at:


Native American and Alaskan Native, Inuit
20th Century
21st Century
Art, Architecture, Planning
Theater, Broadcasting, Cinema
Ethnic or Religious Identity Confused or Concealed, Racism
Estrangement from Adoptive or Foster Family
Addiction or Abuse (drugs, Alcohol or Gambling)
Formal, American/European-Type Adoption
Birth or Infancy
Trans-Racial, Trans-Tribal, International or Trans-Cultural Adoption or Fostering
Disrupted or Failed Placements
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