(November 21, 2014 – Toronto, ON) Anyone who pays attention to Canadian news will be familiar with the word Kahnawake. No matter what side of Canadian justice you come down on, chances are good you wouldn’t associate the name of the Mohawk Territory on the south shore of the St. Lawrenbce River near Montreal with comedy. Yet, that`s exactly what Mohawk Girls is. Created and directed by award-winning Tracey Deer, Mohawk Girls is the first TV comedy series ever made in Kahnawake.
Mohawk Girls: The Series is similar to Sex in the City in a small way. It`s also a dramatic comedy about four women trying to find their place in the world and, of course, trying to find love. But instead of being set in New York, it’s filmed in Kahnawake and the four woman are all Mohawk. The geography is important too, because size has a lot to do with it. Kahnawake is not New York City. As Deer (pictured below) explained, “when you’re related to half the people there and the other half has dated your sister, and your cousin, and your aunt — you’re really left with not a lot of choices.”
Torn between family pressure, tradition, obligation and the intoxicating freedom of the “outside world,” the fabulous foursome is on a mission to find happiness – and to find themselves.
Produced by Christina Fon, Catherine Bainbridge and Linda Ludwick, Fon thinks the series shopuld have universal appeal. “APTN thinks Mohawk Girls will change the way Canadian audiences see native people,” said Fon.
Tracey Deer grew up as a member of a large family in Kahnawake. After attending local schools, she attended Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, graduating with a degree in film studies.
The idea for the series came from something in Tracey Deer`s background. She grew up as a member of a large family in Kahnawake. After attending local schools, she attended Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, graduating with a degree in film studies. She used to teach drama at a summer camp in Kahnawake and wrote the series with some of those campers in mind, including the lead actresses pictured above Heather White (second from the right) and Brittany LeBorgne (on the right).
Heather White is a dancer, musician, playwright and a graduate of The Centre for Indigenous Theatre. She holds a B.F.A. in acting from Montreal`s Concordia University and plays the role of Caitlin in the series.
Brittany LeBorgne costars as Zoe. She studied acting at John Abbott College’s Theatre Workshop program and takes part in Kahnawake’s Turtle Island Theatre Company.
Maika Harper (second from the left) is an Inuit actress who stars as Anna. She studied classical acting at the University of Windsor`s BFA Program and continues to study acting under Brian Rotenberg at the Professional Actor’s Lab in Toronto.
Jenny Pudavick (on the left) is Métis from Winnipeg. She studied at the University of Winnipeg’s theatre program and has over 18 years of on-camera experience. Her most recent credits include 20th Century Fox’s feature Wrong Turn 4, The Last Christmas, as well as appearances on the series Cashing In and Less Than Kind.
Mohawk Girls: The Series‘ first 13-episode season will air across Canada starting tomorrow, November 23 on OMNI 1 and on Tuesday, November 25 on APTN, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. There`s also international interest from US distributor GRB.