Some sobering remarks from Dakota House

Stardom ain’t what it’s all cracked up to be. Nobody knows that more than Dakota House, better known as TeeVee, the troublesome lad on that ever-so-popular television series, “North of 60” that ran from 1990 until 2003.

Born in northern Alberta, House almost became an army brat until one day his mom spotted an ad looking for a young Native actor and model. She encouraged her son to apply and he figured, what the heck, he’d give it a shot. The rest, as the old saying goes, was history.

He got a call back and received a scholarship to attend acting school. After that, “everything just snowballed,” he explained. It was quite a change for this teenager from the northern bush. Almost overnight, stardom descended. He went from one day “hanging out on the streets with his friends to being in front of a camera and flying all over the country.”

Actor Dakota House makes his appearance in traditional dress at his first-time powwow at Bosco Society powwow in Edmonton.  Article and photo by Terry Lusty

Actor Dakota House makes his appearance in traditional dress at the Bosco Society powwow this summer in Edmonton.   Article and photo by Terry Lusty


Then came the newspapers and reporters, people wanting to do interviews and “everyone in your face all the time, taking pictures,” he said.

Ah yes, the price of success. “I don’t think anyone can really understand the scope of giving up your complete privacy; it was like living in a fishbowl,” he said. “Everyone was looking in, judging you, pointing fingers but not really knowing you.”

Along with all that came the parties and the alcohol. It got out of control. But that wasn’t all. It swiftly got to be even more overwhelming , especially when he got into a relationship and started a family. His life became a juggling act filled with difficulty.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, some of his buddies got into a whole jealousy trip and one day, several of them ganged up on him. They used a two by four, beating him within an inch of his life. He lost a chunk of his ear and all his hearing on that side. He had a near death experience, saw that “what a wake-up call, white light” of heaven and spent a whole month in intensive care. “It took six months to learn to walk a straight line again. It was definitely a wake-up call. I look and laugh about it now but I say: That was the Creator giving me a bump on the head, saying wake up!”

Now that he’s away from the movie life, he travels all across Canada delivering good messages to thousands of youth, explaining what he went through and how it very nearly cost him what we cherish the most – life itself.

House has tasted sobriety for over ten years now. He walks that Red Road and is true to his convictions. The last thing he wants is to return to that traumatic lifestyle that calls so many of our Aboriginal people well before their time. This he does through the program Going Miles which he founded and believes can be something positive for Aboriginals to connect with.

Miles is actually an acronym for; “motivate, inspire, lead, empower and succeed,” he said. Travelling to communities, he tries to provide youth with hope and direction while passing on teachings and skills that he has learned through his life.

“It was an alcohol-fueled jealous rage that these guys went into ” and the fact that “I myself was still drinking and had that false sense of security so I couldn’t see what was going on until it was too late,” explained House and he wound up hospitalized and almost a dead man.

Today, he keeps his life a very private matter as he raises his three daughters as a single parent.

Although he has no immediate plans of getting back into the movie scene, House wouldn’t pass up a good part if the opportunity presented itself. He’s had a taste of directing and writing but his life and his family are a priority at this time and he continues to share his professional life and skills.

He’s thankful Creator has given him another try at life and he does not aim to disappoint.

House enjoys giving back to the community, seeing those young eyes light up, making a difference and helping our young people make positive changes in their lives to succeed.

“Life is what you make it,” he philosophizes, “not what it makes you.” Regardless of where you come from, even tiny communities, “you can be anything that you want,” he added.

On a more final note he tells youth to believe in themselves. “If you want to get into the film industry, don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t. If they laugh at you, maybe it’s just because they want to do that too.” Kids tried to pull that on House, telling him he was stupid and that he was wasting his time. We know different.

The other message House wishes to put out there is for Aboriginals to work together, come together as one nation, one people and quit fighting with each other. He wants people to stop fighting one another and holding grudges. “Everyone’s the same, we’re all on one level!” he concluded.

by Terry Lusty 

27 Comments on "Some sobering remarks from Dakota House"

  1. Harriett Hodgins | April 28, 2016 at 2:46 pm | Reply

    I have great respect for Dakota’s walk

  2. I had the pleasure of recognising him in Edmonton and squealing like a school girl, he was incredibly gracious and I stuck out my hand to shake his he reached over and HUGGED ME. I LOVE THIS GUY!! Very proud he is one of ours, a fellow Albertan Canadian. Love the work he is doing now and still watch reruns of North of 60. Keep on keeping on Mr. House! You da man!

    • The truth is that his brother Rico smacked a 19 year old girl then got his ass kicked Then Rico went and grabbed Dakota who lived one the upper floor of the building,Dakota walked in and slapped the person he thought hit his brother and said do you know who I am?!! Needless to say it didn’t end well for the guy throwing up A W gang signs

  3. Dakota use to live down the street from us in Edmonton, Alta. & he was such a polite young man
    So glad he has succeeded & straightened out his life, he is a real insparation & proves you can do what ever you want. With your live. So glad to hear he has a family & is raising them on his own as a single parent. He is a very good person to be able to travel & teach the way he is.
    My husband always enjoyed talking to Dakota.

  4. Cheryl Miranda | February 14, 2018 at 8:59 am | Reply

    It’s nice to see a wonderful Actor change his life around
    I loved watching him act.. love this guy !

  5. i walked down the same road as he did. And i changed my life around also so i sure do know where hes coming from. Always loved watching North of Sixty,it was one and still is one of my favorite shows. Very proud of you Dakota for stepping up and being the person that you are teaching our youth.

  6. I’m from Huntsville Ontario where APTN just restarted North of 60. My favourite show of all time. I really admire his walk as I’m on mine as well sober since 2008 a relapse in 2016 but back at sobriety. I’m not first nations but I will always stand beside them with regards to rights and lifestyles.I would love to be able to talk with him. If he sees this perhaps he will email. I enjoyed his gritty honest approach to acting so it really didn’t seem like he was acting, he’s so believable. Well N. Of 60 on now gotta go. Hope to hear from you Dakota. If not keep the strength of the creator in your soul.

  7. I always watched North of 60 and am now watching repeats. It’s one of the best series ever produced on CBC. Acting is excellent and story lines are so interesting. I think the series portrayed real life. I’d like to see a new series of North of 60 portraying life as it is now for indigenous people. I’m glad Dakota is doing so well with his life. Thank you Dakota, for what you contributed to North of 60.

  8. Norma Redman | July 24, 2018 at 8:26 am | Reply

    I always admired Dakota House and his acting, and wondered where he is now. Glad to see he is lying low and raising his daughters, a very worthy occupation. But would love to see him acting again in the future.

  9. Janet Babitzke | August 11, 2018 at 11:23 pm | Reply

    My name is Janet, and have a sister named Norma…we and our parents are HUGE fans of Nof60!! So much so I just recently visited the set location, what a giddy experience!!! Hehehe. Wasn’t able to get out, but enjoyed driving around what we could. Would love to meet Dakota House for sure!

  10. My family and I would really appreciate to see mr house in an awesome film..playing someone’s biography ( indigenous )🙂 of course 👌🏽 My 21 year old sons girlfriend has sat down in our living room while me and my other children are watching no60.. now she recorded s it on her dvr.. she goes to university..and does not what to miss it..I also record on my drv..🤗💚 we love you mr house!!

  11. Watched North of 60 for years, my favourite

  12. I have been watching North of 60 since it’s been on TV I think the whole cast was talented in acting it was so natural but Tee Vee was my one favorite characters and he played the part very well I’m a fan of Canadian tv shows movies and music but Dakota House is a personal favorite I wish him all the best

  13. I watched North of 60 for many years. A groundbreaking show as I think it was the first show featuring First Nations actors.

  14. June Schoening | February 8, 2019 at 12:27 am | Reply

    North of 60 is one of those shows that gets you so involved that you believe you are part of it! Very few shows can do that. We were always on Teevee’s side right from the beginning. What a wonderful actor you are, Dakota! You are just the right guy to talk to our youth. So many need to hear what you have to say. Politics is a difficult game. Being honest is the hardest part as you have probably figured out. I would love to see you win and go all the way to Prime Minister….and get there still being completely honest! I believe in you. You can do it. Hugs, June.

  15. This is my third watching the series. It speaks to my soul and I’m Caucasian I have so much respect for First Nation people. I love all the actors on the show and would love to meet them. I agree with doing a remake with current issues.

  16. E Grant Goodwin | April 6, 2019 at 11:45 am | Reply

    Your best years are ahead of you, Dakota. Entering politics is a great step. Give it all you have as I am sure you will.

  17. Hi I,ve always enjoyed watching North of 60 the actor who played Joe was and still is my Favorite and as for TeeVee what a brat who acted like he was better than any one in the show .I read where some of his Friends put a licking on him I say GOOD FOR YOU GUYS HE NEEDED THAT BEATING ..To play a part like that usually means deep down he was a bully in his own home life ..Now The Creator has stepped in and helped Him become a better person.I am metis French and admired all the other Actors as the show was so true to life for me as I grew up on a rez too

  18. I seen him afew times in Mayerthorpe at a gas station. Always waited outside till him and his posse left, was afraid it might be getting robbed and didn’t wanna disrupt anything.

  19. Sandy Lazar | May 2, 2020 at 12:17 am | Reply

    The Creator? Heaven? European religion. Indigenous people need to reconnect with their own faith not an imported one.
    It is good Dakota House is recovering from an addiction but that will be his life project. Waking up from a foreign religeon
    imposed on him will be another.

  20. I have learned about life of the people who truly own the land that I only “share” with them, as a Montrealer. My education did not adequately teach me the about the injustices; Dakota House did.
    In his screen life in North of 60- he taught me- God bless him!
    In the episode where as chief he was screwed in Calgary & lost his running the oil company. I own my company in mining industry & felt his portrayal of loss of directorship on a personal level.
    My God…still no running water for many indigenous communities in Canada !! Thanks to you: again you touched my soul & bitterness to damn political liars. Take good care with your best efforts to educate.
    Lewis from Montreal

  21. We definitely need more indigenous actors like those on North of 60. They make me proud to
    say I’m a “real Canadian.” No other group in Canada has been as marginalized. To our actors like Dakota House, Adam Beach, Tina Keeper and Tom Jackson, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
    Maybe the Federal Government will actually start to listen.

  22. Lawrence f blackie | May 20, 2021 at 7:58 pm | Reply

    Dakota house u were and still are great i hope u are doing well u make me proud to be a cape breton nova scotia all world haters yea well screw them

  23. Dakota I’m very happy you are doing well.
    I meet you in person years ago at Brunt Stick lake Campground. I was the campground caretaker anyway just like to say hi. May The Lord continue to bless you and your family. Take care from the Rod and Gloria Erickson

  24. Constance Frances Lamb | January 3, 2022 at 11:23 am | Reply

    Every day at 2:00 pm I would make a cup of tea and sit down to watch North of 60 – the only REAL story on TV. I have been watching it for so long I’m sure I have the script memorized. You did good work Dakota, but don’t let them quite now ! I am a great great great great granddaughter of Laura Secord, the story of our country is just beginning. – don’t let it stop now, there is so much more to tell. My 2:00 pm tea break is empty now that the episodes are removed from TV. God Bless Dakota. – take care.

  25. Ruby Freeman | July 21, 2022 at 12:18 am | Reply

    my brotherin law was in dawson creek when dakota house came in to have a drink at the alaska bar they became fast friends and he always said to my mom who was also a big fan i met teevee hes passedaway now with cancer for sometime but he never fogot the time he had a drink with a movie star 🙂

  26. I actually did aeration of his lawn this summer. Cool dude.

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