Tag Archives: Tracey Deer

Mohawk Girls: Prepare for a #BEAST Season 5!

First, before I say anything at all about Mohawk Girls’ Season 4 and the upcoming premiere of Season 5,  I have to say I LOVE LOVE LOVE the press kit pic I used in the feature image for this article. If you recall the premiere season, our ladies were seen walking down the street together, very à la Sex in the City. Now as the fifth and final season is upon us, our Fab Foursome are toasting each other with the sunset off in the distance. They are four ladies who made it through everything life threw at them as the series prepares to close. Even the colours the ladies are wearing remain similar but more mature; refined. And ‘Hat Girl,’ is still ‘Hat Girl.’ Yeap! I am all about the metaphor.

Press kit artwork from Season 1

It has been 335 days since the “PowWow.” OK, I admit it. I had to look it up. And I used one of those handy online calculators to figure it out. But still, for those of us invested in these characters, we finally made it to the beginning of the end of our journey with Bailey (Jenny Pudavick), Zoe (Brittany LeBorgne), Anna (Maika Harper) and Caitlin (Heather White). The fifth and final season of Mohawk Girls premieres Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 8:30 p.m. on APTN. And with only six episodes, you know co-creators Tracey Deer and Cynthia Knight are going to cram in as much as possible to ensure fans will feel satisfied. So, I thought a quick run-down of where we are now might be in store, just in case you haven’t had time to binge-watch Season 4 in preparation for Season 5.

Season 4 literally faded to credits just as Bailey seized her sparkle and Watio (Jimmy Blais) tackled James (Jeffrey Wetsch). This conscious choice by Bailey will mean lots of challenges for this pairing. She has been down this road before in Season 1 with a brief love affair that proved too much for Jack. This time though, she knows what she is up against. But will this new found love stand the test of Kahnawa:ke, let alone time?

Then there was the surprise by Zoe. She checked herself into rehab for sex addiction. She fully believes that she is sick and twisted. Thinking that she has lost everything she cares most about, including the election for Chief, Zoe felt she had no choice. But we all know Zoe is a very private person; she likes to keep control of her naughty little secrets. So how is therapy going to work for her? Zoe doesn’t open up and counselling is all about just that. She hit rock bottom in Season 4 but will she be able to climb back out in Season 5?

Meanwhile, the end of Season 4 still saw Anna struggling to fit in. Really, for a character that has been through so much, she has not made much headway on her path to self-discovery. Following a one night stand with Butterhead (Meegwun Fairbrother), she then hopped into bed with Midas (Tanner Novlan) a.k.a. “The Blow Job King” in order to quash Butterhead’s “dead fish story.” But where is this leading? For four seasons we have watched Anna turn herself into a pretzel just to fit in, but she keeps losing a little piece of herself in each incarnation. Will Anna finally stop fighting and realize that to find a place for herself she has to be herself?

And finally Caitlin. In Season 4 we watched Luscious Leon (Dwain Murphy) woo her and treat her with all of the respect she has always deserved. But, the pressures of dating a black man, even the loss of her job at the hair salon, and a full court press by a new and improved Butterhead had Caitlin giving it another go for the team! That sets up lots of potential storylines too: what about Leon? Will Butterhead lapse back to his old ways? Will Caitlin just settle, or will she find her inner Goddess and put Butterhead in his place?

I think that has us all caught up! We are faced with lots of possibilities. After talking to Cynthia Knight the other day, I think it is fair to say we are in for some surprises this season too! For both Tracey Deer and Cynthia Knight, this show has been a labour of love, so we can be sure we are in for a #BEAST of a final season!

What do you think is in store for our Fab Foursome this season? Let me know in the comments below!

Mohawk Girls’ season premiere airs Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET/CT/MT on APTN.
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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.

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Working It Out Together: Heather White – Rebel with a Cause

Episode 7 of Working It Out Together examines the common literary trope so prevalent in mainstream arts: the Indian Princess/Pocahontas, and the harm that has come to Indigenous women due to the pervasiveness of that stereotype in society today. For centuries the “Indian Princess” has been recognized as an erotic thing, a sexual dream or ideal that exists only for the European white male. The process of colonization reshaped strong beautiful women into the hyper-sexualized noble savage, only to be dominated by all men. Today we witness the harm this archetype has perpetuated with the aid of such movements as “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women”.

This week features the story of Heather White, one of the lead actresses on the popular award winning television show  Mohawk Girls, created and directed by Tracey Deer. However, White is also a High School language arts teacher at Kahnawa:ke Survival School. It is here that she cultivates a safe environment for her students to discuss and challenge how media shapes their concepts of women and beauty. “As actors, our job is constantly to tell the story through someone else’s vision, but as a teacher that is where I get to be myself.”

With her first hand experiences on Mohawk Girls, White is able to teach her students about the extensive work that goes into the manufacturing of media as art, be it television programming, magazines, posters, or film. In this way her students understand that it is “ok when they walk in the world that they walk into one that is real. That it is 100% ok for them to be who they are, to walk this world proud of who they are.”

Earlier this week White discussed with me how her new found celebrity has given her the the platform to make human connections: “It is a great opportunity to tell people ‘this is who I am, this what I do and this is what I think’. To be able to say all of the things that I wish were said to me when I was younger, I think that is the greatest thing for me. There were no trail blazers like me and I grew up not seeing it. I am only now starting to see different women.”

White’s father Sykes Powderface, also featured in this week’s episode, explains the traditional position of women in the community: “Women were the most respected individuals in the community. Without women, there are no more children. You must always take care of the women, that was the first order that was taught to us.”

Michele Audette, Indigenous women’s rights advocate, explains that women had their roles, that men and women knew exactly what they were supposed to do “for the community, for the family, and for them self.” With the men off hunting for months at a time, it was the women who were the leaders in the community. But when the Europeans began to settle “this all changed; spirituality became religion, they changed our language, and they changed our system of our society. ”

When speaking with White, she reflected on what Mohawk Girls is really about, and what it means to women who watch. “Mohawk Girls could have been anything, and that is the most satisfying part of it. But it is not just about us (Indigenous women). There are so many universal themes that bind us (all women) all together and that is a gift in itself.”

 

 

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Link: Mohawk Girls creators confirm Season 4

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Mohawk Girls creators confirm Season 4
Get ready to head back to the rez! Mohawk Girls Season 4 is happening.

“We are developing the fourth season,” showrunner Cynthia Knight confirmed to The TV Junkies. The APTN comedy’s fourth year will be an extended run since “it’s going to be eight half hour episodes instead of six,” says Knight. She also said that they are aiming “to shoot around the same time as last year, hopefully around the end of May to mid-July. It’ll then air next fall.” Knight and Mohawk Girls creator and executive producer Tracey Deer also confirmed that the writers’ room for Season 4 of the critically acclaimed show will have six women in it. Knight calls it their “biggest story room yet by far,” as they get set to begin writing this week in Toronto. Continue reading.

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