Irene Bedard (Mrs. Alma) was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She began a career in film and television and has over 45 credits including Lakota Woman for which she was nominated a Golden Globe, Grand Ave produced by Robert Redford, Into The West a Steven Spielberg miniseries, the cult classic Smoke Signals, and the voice of Disney's Pocahontas. She has received much critical acclaim for her performances and garnered numerous Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress awards from such organizations as First Americans In The Arts, American Indian Film Festival, NAMIC VISION AWARDS, Diversity Awards, LA Film Festival, and Sundance Audience Award. She is currently President of Native American majority owned, Sleeping Lady Films/Waking Giants Productions with past productions Ron and Laura Take Back America, NANow( a Native American variety/talk show), and Rezervations Not Required (An Indigenous travel,culture and culinary show)and is in post and pre production on several projects including the documentary series, All My Relations: Mending the Sacred Hoop, a documentary on the Standing Rock #NoDAPL protests, and feature films Two Old Women, The Wind of Heaven, A Thousand White Women, and Touchdown on the Tundra. As an actor, she is currently on the Netflix original series Longmire and the Spike TV Stephen King series, The Mist and two recent films Songs My Brothers Taught Me and Spreading Darkness.

Irene has been honored as inductee into the Museum of Western Heritage and was the first Native American woman to be inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame and has received honorary degrees from Sitting Bull College and the Institute of the American Indian Arts, and the Alumni Award of Excellence from the University of the Arts. She has co-chaired the Native American Collection of the Art Train and the American Indian College Funds Flame of Hope Gala and currently serves on the Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists National Diversity Committee. Irene has been Artist in Residence at Vox Box Arts Collective 501(c)(3) in Los Angeles for 20 years.

Irene is incredibly humbled and Honored to be of service for this history making healing that the Five Rivers Chautauqa: Mending of the Sacred Hoop is for the Miami Valley Indian Council, the original people of Ohio, for all humanity and the coming generations. Quyanq. Blessings now and in the future.