mohawk

Mohawk Girls: Defending my turf!

Insecurities are abundant in Episode 3 of Mohawk Girls and, as a result, some very clear boundary lines are drawn: S/He is MINE is the theme, but we also see some cultural lines peppered throughout.

Bailey (Jenny Pudavick), Caitlin ( Heather White) and Luscious Leon (Dwain Murphy) all head to the city to attend James’ (Jeffrey Wetsch) art show. However, Watio (Jimmy Blais) also decides to turn up. His discomfort is palpable in the world of wine and canapes but he shadows Bailey, making it clear she is with him. Unfortunately, Watio’s presence makes a nervous Caitlin even more so; she is not ready for Kahnawa:ke to discover she is dating  Leon. Once the coast is clear—i.e. Watio and Bailey leave—a hyper-aware Caitlin defends her turf with typical Caitlin verve. There are some really fabulous Caitlin gems in this week’s episode. It is a good thing Leon is so understanding—does everyone agree we all need our own personal Leon in our lives? Caitlin is completely not herself and these two worlds keep colliding in and out of the bedroom.

Anna (Maika Harper) is torn between two Annas. The old Anna is trying to sort through her feelings for Thunder (Kyle Nobess) while the new Anna is out to take her newfound acceptance for a test drive. She attempts the latter. Her new BFF Butterhead (Meegwun Fairbrother) gives her a pep talk and sends her off again into the wilds of Mohawk dating. She tries once more, this time with Lyle (Kristopher Bowman) but after just one batch of macaroons, that too falls flat.

Zoe (Brittany LeBorgne) made it to the pink cloud. Despite feeling she has made a breakthrough with her sex addiction, her therapist points out Zoe is simply not ready for any entanglements. Undaunted, she revises her campaign platform and presents it to a captive audience at the local diner. Even the presence of her formidable mother and Chief (Tantoo Cardinal) during her impromptu presentation does not throw Zoe off her game. Impressed with her daughter’s political savvy, the Chief has encouraging words! Could Zoe really be gaining some control in her life?

Getting back to Bailey and Watio; while at the art show, Bailey felt attacked for her work at the tobacco factory. Watio comes to her defence—cue the awwwwww—but still that attack planted a seed. Now I think Bailey, in some part of her, whether she is ready to admit it or not, has realized she is “settling” with Watio. In order to  satisfy her need for adventure, she tries to find an avenue to pursue it professionally. Bailey applies for an unpaid intern position at a travel magazine, but this proves fruitless. She recognizes that, in order to compete for a job in Montreal, she needs to learn French, much to everyone’s dismay.

Now this is where we get to our mini cultural lesson—it remains a political statement by many Mohawks who reside in Quebec to deliberately speak English rather than French. Historically, the Mohawks sided with the British in colonial times, but of late this political rift stems from ongoing tensions as the Parti Québécois continues the fight for recognition of its sovereignty within Canada. This is a battle Mohawks have been fighting for more than a century: recognition of their sovereignty within Quebec and Canada. In fact, the school actress Heather White (our Caitlin) teaches at—Kahnawa:ke Survivial School—was built in 1976 in direct response to language Bill 101. For those of you old enough to remember, this was the time when French became the capital “D” dominant language in Quebec and those who spoke English found themselves at odds in their own province.

So what does everyone think? Will Team #Cailon reconcile? How is Watio going to react to Bailey taking French lessons? What the HELL is up with Anna and Butterhead? And is Zoe finally getting her head on straight? Let me know in the comments below.

Mohawk Girls can be seen Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET on APTN.

More Mohawk Girls content can be found at their website here … and you can interact while you watch here.

Carolyn Potts
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Carolyn Potts

Teacher. Writer. Mom. Masters' Candidate, Faculty of Education, Western University. Studying Pop Culture Media as a Decolonizer of Education Policy and Practice. I also volunteer as a Girl Guide leader in my spare time.
Carolyn Potts
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