Eric Schweig

Birth Name: Ray Dean Thrasher

Place of Birth: Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada

Date of Birth: June 19, 1967

*father – Dene First Nations, German
*mother – Yupik, Cape Verdean, Inuvialuk Inuit

Eric Schweig is a Canadian actor, artisan, and outreach worker. His roles include The Last of the Mohicans, Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and The Missing.

Eric is the biological son of Margaret Mary Asselin-Thrasher. Born of mostly First Nations heritage, he and his six siblings were adopted out, as part of the “Sixties Scoop,” an assimilation drive of Native children by the Canadian government. He was adopted at six months, by an English-speaking family, a German father and a French mother, and was raised first in Inuvik, and then partly in Bermuda, before moving back to Canada. Eric moved to Toronto by himself in 1985.

On his biological mother’s side, Eric is the nephew of musician Willie Thrasher and artist Mona Thrasher, and a half-first cousin of sculptor Abraham Anghik Ruben. Eric has adopted two foster siblings.

Eric has often been described as being of “mixed Inuvialuk, Chippewa-Dene and German heritage.” Eric’s biological father has been said to be both “a Dene man from Alberta” and “Métis.” This may refer to mixed European and First Nations heritage, rather than Métis ancestry.

Eric’s maternal half-aunt Bertha Thrasher has been described as being “of Yupik and Portuguese-African ancestry” (Bertha and Eric’s mother had the same father, and their mothers were sisters). Bertha’s son (Eric’s half-cousin), Abraham Anghik Ruben, has written, “My mother’s parents were Portugese-African (Senegal) from the Cape Verde Islands on her father’s side and Inupiat Alaskan on her mother’s side. My great-grandparents on my mother’s side of the family were respected and capable Yupik Alaskan Shamans.”

Eric’s biological maternal grandfather was named Billy Thrasher. It appears that Billy was the son of a father from Cape Verde, and of a Canadian Inuvialuk Inuit mother. He has been described as “the son of a Portuguese whaler.”

Eric’s biological maternal grandmother was named Alice (the daughter of Apakark and Kagun). Alice was born in Alaska, and was of Yupik descent.

Source: Obituary of Eric’s biological mother –

5 Responses

  1. Oglala2701 says:

    Thank you so much for your research ! I’ve always wanted to know more about his ethnic background

  2. madman says:

    A Catholic missionary from Corsica who lived with Canadian Inuits for a while gives yet another description of Billy Thrasher in a book he co-wrote:

    “Father Griffin’s motley crew on Our Lady of Lourdes comprised the pilot, Billy Thrasher (half-Eskimo, half-Black), a whaler from San Francisco…”

    So maybe San Francisco is the place to look for him in. Haven’t found him yet though.

  3. Akwaba says:

    Cape Verdean and Inuit is the most unusual mix I’ve seen !

  4. andrew says:

    some work here

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