If you watch the popular TV show Fear the Walking Dead, you’ll know him as the character Crazy Dog.
He’s also recognizable on many popular television shows and even on the big screen and like many of us, Cree actor Justin Rain returns home for the holidays – but not only to visit family and friends.
This holiday season, Rain spent several days visiting a handful of remote First Nations communities in his home Province of Saskatchewan.
This trip is not a new one for Rain, he makes it a point to return to Northern Saskatchewan annually.
He speaks openly to First Nations youth about the darker times in his life – nearly dying from drugs and alcohol at a young age.
“I overdosed in my senior year of high school three times and since then I’ve been clean and sober,” said Rain.
“I’ve been clean and sober for about 17 years now and I enjoy going to communities and sharing my story of inspiration about why I don’t drink or use drugs.”
He believes that talking openly about his own journey can be used to help others facing similar issues including suicide.
“I’ve lost friends to suicide,” he said. “On a few occasions, I seriously considered taking my own life. And I think it’s important for us, people in my position, to visit and share our own personal insights and what we’ve discovered along the way to make it through.”
Rain said the only way to move through life on a positive path is through creative expression, which can include everything from dancing, painting, singing, writing, or even acting.
“I truly believe that every single one of us is an artist in some way, shape or form. And if we stop creating, we will inevitably start destroying in other ways, [through] various addictions and abuses” he said.
Rain said when people abuse substances, they suppress who they are and where they come from and it’s a vicious cycle that nearly killed him.
He says being creative and artistic in many ways has continued to lead him down a good path in life and taken his career to new heights.