Rick comes from a talented family of jewellers; his brothers are Alvin Adkins and James Adkins. In 1970, he studied under Freda Diesing. In 1971, he worked with Richard Yeltatzie. Between 1979 and 1980, Rick attended Emily Carr College of Art in Vancouver. That same year he produced his first bronze sculpture. He began working with wood in 1983, assisting his brother Alvin in producing a 34-foot totem pole for the Museum of Northern British Columbia in Prince Rupert. In the late 1980s, he studied with Bill Reid, and assisted in the production of a silver box. It was during this time that he also studied under Robert Davidson. Rick has exhibited at the National Gallery in Ottawa, the BC Provincial Museum, and the Royal Ontario Museum. He was featured in the 'Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation 2' exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, 2005. Rick's jewellery is highly distinctive and often contains single hatching and oxidization.