Everything about Mohawk Girls, eh?

APTN original series Mohawk Girls fifth and final season begins shooting

From a media release:

Rezolution Pictures announced that Season 5 of the APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) hit dramedy series Mohawk Girls will begin filming today, once again in Montreal and the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory in Quebec, where the show is set. Mohawk Girls’ final season will air on APTN in fall 2017.

The series was nominated for multiple Canadian Screen Awards for the last two years running, including Best Comedy Series, Best Direction in a Comedy Series, Best Writing in a Comedy Series, and Best Actress in a Comedy Series. And this year, actress Brittany LeBorgne was nominated in the Fan’s Choice category.

Mohawk Girls takes a comedic look at the lives of four modern-day women trying to stay true to their roots while navigating sex, work, love and what it means to be Mohawk in the 21st century. Set in Kahnawake, the half-hour dramedy follows these twenty-something women as they begin to forge their own identity within a community embedded with rules and cultural traditions.

This season, Bailey deals with the repercussions of leaving Mohawk fiancé Watio in favour of white guy James. Zoe gets out of rehab for sex addiction but the pressure to get back into her community’s good graces — leads her to the brink of relapse. Caitlin enjoys the highs of being back in a relationship with Butterhead. But when she’s reminded of the lows, Caitlin can’t quite bring herself to fully break it off with her former flame Leon. And Anna finally gets everything she’s always wanted – total acceptance into this community. But it comes at a high cost that she’s not sure she’s willing to pay.

The dynamic cast of four leading women includes returning cast members Jenny Pudavick (Bailey), Brittany LeBorgne (Zoe), Heather White (Caitlin), and Maika Harper (Anna).  Meegwun Fairbrother (Butterhead), Jimmy Blais (Watio) and Shawn Youngchief (Ohserase), Dwain Murphy (Leon) reprise their roles as the men they love. Also returning, Tantoo Cardinal as Zoe’s mom, Glen Gould as Bailey’s father and Jeffrey Wetsch as James.

Mohawk Girls is created and executive produced by Tracey Deer and Cynthia Knight; Tracey Deer directs the episodes and Cynthia Knight is the head writer. The series is produced by Rezolution Pictures’ Catherine Bainbridge, Christina Fon and Linda Ludwick, and executive produced by Catherine Bainbridge, Christina Fon, Linda Ludwick and Ernest Webb. Innovate By Day is the Digital Media Producer. Monika Ille is the Executive Director, Programming and Scheduling for APTN.

About Rezolution Pictures
The series is developed and produced by Rezolution Pictures’ Catherine Bainbridge, Christina Fon and Linda Ludwick, and executive produced by Catherine Bainbridge, Christina Fon, Linda Ludwick and Ernest Webb, the same team that produced the multiple-Gemini and Peabody Award-winning film, Reel Injun, as well as several award-winning documentaries and television series including Smoke Traders, Club Native, and Down The Mighty River. Rezolution Pictures’ feature film RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World has won several awards, including the Sundance Festival’s World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Masterful Storytelling and the Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary at the Hot Docs Festival.

Rezolution Pictures is an award-winning film, television and interactive media production company, founded by Catherine Bainbridge and Ernest Webb, which plays a vital role in bringing cultural diversity to the North American broadcasting landscape. Since 2001 it has built itself a reputation for creating acclaimed series and one-of-a-kind productions, working with many of Canada’s best new and established talents to create unique comedy, dramatic, non-fiction and video game programming, through its sister company Minority Media.


APTN’s Mohawk Girls ending after five seasons

It’s the end of the road for Mohawk Girls. That’s the word from co-creator, co-executive producer and director Tracey Deer, who broke the news to TV, Eh? during a one-on-one interview at the Toronto Screenwriting Conference. Deer was part of a panel entitled I Am: A Discussion on the Female Gaze alongside Shoot the Messenger‘s Jennifer Holness, Degrassi‘s Courtney Jane Walker, Odd Squad‘s Robby Hoffman and moderated by Saving Hope‘s Katrina Saville.

“This is our final season,” Deer confirmed. “[Cynthia Knight] and I have always known where we wanted to get these girls, from the three-arc conception of the show, so we’re doing it.”

Filmed and set in Montreal and the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, Mohawk Girls stars Brittany LeBorgne as Zoe, Heather White as Caitlin, Maika Harper as Anna and Jennifer Pudavick as Bailey. Pre-production on Season 5 begins next week; the last six episodes were greenlit by APTN two weeks ago.

Mohawk Girls has been nominated for several Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Comedy Series, Best Direction in a Comedy Program or Series, Best Writing in a Comedy Program or Series and Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Comedic Role for LeBorgne.

What can fans expect from Season 5? Deer was mum on details but did say the series’ final scene makes her cry every time she thinks about it.

“The final scene is going to be traumatic [to film],” Deer admits. “There is an event that is going to take up a lot of the final episode and there is a pool involved.”

Are you upset Mohawk Girls is ending? Do you have a message for the cast and co-creators? Comment below.


Mohawk Girls sparkle at Powwow!

Love lost, love found, love decisions and SPARKLES! Co-creators Tracey Deer and Cynthia Knight jam it all in as we tied up the loose ends in the season finale of Mohawk Girls.

First I will deal with the Zoe (Brittany LeBorgne) storyline as that moved to its natural conclusion. Zoe finally hit rock bottom after last week’s scandal; her father (Erland Campbell) came to her home and delivered the election results. Not only did Zoe lose the election, she was also responsible for her mother’s (Tantoo Cardinal) loss too.  And it also appeared #Zohserase may be finished: Ohserase (Shawn Youngchief) took his leave of “sick and twisted” Zoe with fondue pot in hand! And, to top things off,  the Band Council fired Zoe as their legal counsel. Zoe has lost her entire world and has to admit the truth to her friends: she is a sex addict. The last we saw of Zoe this season, she was checking herself in for treatment.

The rest of the episode revolved around Kahnawa:ke’s annual Powwow Weekend. We caught up with Caitlin (Heather White) and Bailey (Jenny Pudavick) discussing the election when Anna (Maika Harper) rode up on her bicycle begging Caitlin’s forgiveness for sleeping with Butterhead (Meegwun Fairbrother). Caitlin wasn’t having any of that and instead helped Bailey prepare for the powwow. Bailey confided in Caitlin, revealing she slept with James (Jeffrey Wetsch). Caitlin has to wonder if Bailey is trying to sabotage the good thing she has with Watio (Jimmy Blais).

Maika Harper (Anna) taking direction from co-writer, co-producer Tracey Deer

Finally, powwow arrived and  Elijah (Gregory Odjig) witnessed Anna’s bullying and called her out on it. He reminded her that being a Mohawk isn’t about being an angry bully. These two kindred spirits spent the remainder of their time exploring Mohawk traditions together; the very thing Anna has been craving all this time.

Meanwhile, Butterhead caught up with Caitlin—OK, he actually photobombed Caitlin in a selfie she was sending to Leon—and once again he was putting the moves on her. He confessed the entire time he was with Anna he was thinking about Caitlin instead. Their fierce battle set tongues wagging and everyone was assuming Caitlin and Butterhead were back together. Caitlin had a heart-to-heart with her father (Lawrence Bayne) and she was again reminded that the future of her people depends on her settling for a Mohawk man. When she heard Butterhead singing on the powwow grounds, Caitlin decided it was time to give him one more chance. Say goodbye to #Cailon!

Caitlin (Heather White), her father (Lawrence Bayne) and Butterhead (Meegwun Fairbrother) talking with co-creator, co-producer Cynthia Knight
Caitlin (Heather White) and her father (Lawrence Bayne). [That would be me wearing the jean jacket, standing to the right of the woman in red]

In the meantime, James arrived, as promised, to catch Bailey dancing at powwow. Feeling guilty about their afternoon together, she tried to turn him away but Auntie Velma (Ashley Michaels) spotted them. Unlike all of the other non-Mohawks that Bailey has dated, Velma noticed something very different about James. Bailey is sparkling! Velma has never seen any man cause Bailey to sparkle, not even Watio (Jimmy Blais). Later, the two were questioning all of the unlikely couples: Anna is with Midas (Tanner Novlan) and Caitlin and Butterhead have reunited. A confused Bailey just didn’t understand why her friends were settling for men who don’t make them happy. And then she realized marrying Watio was settling too. Goodbye Boring #Batio and Hello Sparkling #Jailey … but it seems Watio isn’t letting go without a fight!

And that is a wrap on Season 4! Thanks to Tracey Deer, Cynthia Knight, and the entire cast and crew of Mohawk Girls for another great season! You have all set the bar pretty high and we all look forward to a #BEAST Season 5!

If you missed the season finale, you can catch it here.

What did you think of this season of Mohawk Girls? Comment below!





Mohawk Girls: Traitor

In this, the penultimate episode of Season 4 of Mohawk Girls, the theme of the week was betrayal.  If you are keeping up with things, you know that all four of our ladies were about to betray or be betrayed! So let’s get started.

Traitor No. 1 was Caitlin (Heather White). Butterhead (Meegwun Fairbrother) turned the heat up another notch in his attempt to win back Caitlin with a candle-lit bubble bath and a bouquet of flowers; 50 per cent off flowers, but flowers nonetheless. Just in time too because, due to her drop in clientele, Caitlin was fired from the beauty salon. She was beginning to question whether dating Leon was really worth all of the trouble that relationship is creating in her life. To top things off, Leon insisted she meet his mother the very day she was fired. Can you say culture shock? Not only did Caitlin meet Leon’s mother, Nadash (Yardly Cavanaugh), but she felt ambushed; his entire family was also there. Someone’s resolve is faltering! But really? How could anyone hurt Luscious Leon? I call this a weak traitor, since at this point, Caitlin is only contemplating returning to Butterhead.

Traitor No. 2 would be Zoe, who finally began to accept she might actually have an addiction to sex … but the fun still outweighs the harm this addiction is causing in her life. Despite developing real feelings for Ohserase (Shawn Youngchief), she made alternate plans with her new dom Henry (Marc Trottier). This time her dalliance required that she bind herself but in her haste Zoe fell.  Afraid for her well-being, Henry called for the paramedics, who arrived to find her in that compromising position. Word quickly spread and Ohserase, initially, came to Zoe’s defence. But, as things became uncovered, he revealed “uptight” Zoe has a side no one dared to imagine! Can Zohserase survive this kind of betrayal?

Traitors No. 3 and 4 were Anna (Maika Harper) and Butterhead. After running into Thunder (Kyle Nobess), Anna misread his courtesy as interest, until she realized he had moved on with new girlfriend Claire (Brooke Debassige). In her grief, Anna turned to Butterhead. Both drunk at a party—you guessed it—they fell into bed together. The next morning, Anna immediately ran to Caitlin to apologize but instead was greeted with Zoe’s debacle. Before she could tell Caitlin, Iostha (Allyson Pratt) spilled the beans. Caitlin lost it, and Iostha piped up, “Why do you give a shit? You are always saying how awesome your new boyfriend is!” That IS a valid question! But still, BFF’s don’t mess with an ex! AND WHY is Butterhead hooking up with Anna when he wants Caitlin back? Seems Blockheaded Butterhead has not learned a THING!

And that left us with Traitor No. 5: Bailey (Jenny Pudavick) who came to the sudden realization that when she marries Watio (Jimmy Blais), he will be the  only man, potentially, for the rest of her life. That realization came as a complete surprise. Suddenly, all of Watio’s habits were annoying and, on a whim, she ran to hang out with James (Jeffrey Wetsch). The sparks that have been trying to ignite blasted off and WHOA! Yep, these two hooked up; on the floor of the studio no less.

Alright everyone, next week is the final episode. We know Bailey has invited James to the PowWow. Team Cailon, Team Zohserase and Team Batio are all being threatened. How do you think creators Tracey Deer and Cynthia Knight plan to end the season? Let me know in the comments below!

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


Things get Under’hand’ed in Mohawk Girls!

This week’s episode of Mohawk Girls is jam-packed, so I apologize now for the length of this recap. However,  whilst depicting a celebration this episode actually deals with a very serious and ongoing contentious issue. So, first a bit of background before we get to the “meat” of it (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

The title of this week’s episode “Marry Out Get Out” refers to a  band policy that still exists in Kahnawa:ke. In short, since 2010 if a band member of Kahnawa:ke marries someone who is non-Indigenous, they face eviction. The motivation behind this policy is to ensure that the Mohawk bloodline does not die out and it also prevents the non-Indigenous from taking advantage of tax exemptions afforded to those of Indigenous heritage. This summer, this issue gained public notice in the news, coinciding with the filming of this current season. Members of the community are understandably divided on this issue, since as we all know, sometimes you cannot help who you fall in love with, as is/has been the case with our fab four.

With all of that in mind, we begin this week with Watio (Jimmy Blais) and  Bailey (Jenny Pudavick) clashing heads once again. Both of them are feeling pressured to be people that they aren’t. Compromises seem to require  more and more work for these two.  Bailey did manage to snag a good Mohawk man but, she is still second guessing herself. Is she compromising a happy future, just to ensure she marries Mohawk?

The Marry Out Get Out policy also overshadows the scenes featuring Caitlin (Heather White) and Leon (Dwain Murphy). Team Cailon go shopping for an engagement gift for Bailey and Watio, but conversation quickly revisits the argument Caitlin had last week with her father (Lawrence Bayne). She explains the pressures she is facing culturally and socially because they are a mixed-race couple. Leon completely gets it and we can cue the adorable #Cailon moments again. Seriously, who finds a guy as amazing as Leon?

Heather White and Dwain Murphy run lines in prep for their next scene
Caitlin (Heather) and Leon (Dwain) purchase an engagement gift for Bailey and Watio

The heartbreak this policy causes is showcased with Anna’s (Maika Harper) scenes. She attends the eviction protest in support of those in favour of the Marry Out Get Out contingent. (Did everyone catch that the protest was at co-creator/co-director Tracey Deer’s “house”?). But her heart is clearly not in it. Her own parents faced this same dilemma which has led to Anna not fully fitting in in Kahnawa:ke.

Now we know Mohawk Girls can’t be entirely serious when we have the physical comic talents of Brittany LeBorgne playing Zoe.  Tonight, Zoe has clearly fallen off her sex addiction wagon. The threat of losing the thrill that dom Henry (Marc Trottier) provides proves too much to bear. Zoe scrambles for forgiveness but now she is more tightly bound—heh get it? bound—to Henry. Anyway, Henry issues his order and despite its interference with her campaigning,  Zoe follows through. LOL Brittany hun! That is a big standing “O” for the bar scene with Ohserase (Shawn Youngchief). You two went for it and delivered!

Finally, all of our ladies show up at the engagement party and life  for Caitlin gets even more complicated. Butterhead (Meegwun Fairbrother) turns up his interest a notch, and even steals a kiss from unsuspecting Caitlin. Talk about confusing! And we get a great scene with Sose (Glenn Gould); I wish we had more Sose this season! He is one of my fave characters! He lets Anna know how disappointed he is in her and she leaves in tears. Is this finally the sense that Anna needs?

OK everyone, we only have two episodes left! What do you think is in store for us? Are Bailey and Watio actually going to get married? Will Zoe get elected chief? And what the heck is Caitlin going to do about Butterhead and Leon? Let me know in the comments below!

Mohawk Girls can be seen Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET on APTN. If you happen to miss the episode you can catch up here.