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Not Your Pocahontas

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This actress is tearing down colonial misogyny, and she's doing it in Mohawk! Zing.

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Nè:'e aó:wen ne ken' nikahá:wi tionhnhétie ne aonsaiakwatháwa tsi niionkwakarò:tens. Ne akwé:kon osherón:ni tsi tentsitewatáttaste. Iah Pocahontas tetia'tò:ten. Ó:ia nitia'tò:ten.

Heather White ióntiats. Nè:'e watió'te nòn:wa wenhniserá:te ne Caitlin ne APTN "Mohawk Girls" akatatón:ni. Ne kí:ken "Mohawk Girls" nè:'e karihwaientáhkwen ne kí:ken kaié:ri nikón:ti konnón:kwe tsi kontatia'tatshénries. Tánon kanien'kehakà:ke nitioné:non. Akwé:kon konte'niéntha aiotiró:ken'se tsi nahò:ten nè:'e kén:ton. Iakoià:tate ne Caitlin. Iakaweriashowá:nen tánon tiakorihwaié:ri. Nek í:ienhre ónhkha tahiatatenó:ronhkwe. Watenatáksens nón:we iaké:saks. Wahonwaia'tatshén:ri kí:ken Butterhead tánon kwah wahshakoié:sahte. Nek akothahinéhtshera í:ken. Í:wehre aiakotó:ken'se tsi nahò:ten tionská:neks. Tsi nahò:ten entiéhnhe tánon tsi ní:tsi entieniarotáhrhoke kí:ken iakónhnhe.

Ó:ia ní:ioht ne tewatierónnion waterihwahtentià:ton. Sewatié:rens iah nek tsi nihseweién:te thaiesaia'takará:tate. Ne aiesátken'se tsi nihseweién:te. Kheh enhonnì:ron, koh í:satste kí:ken óhwhare, koh kí:ken, orihwakaionhnéha kí:ken… "onkwehonwehnéha ní:ioht". Oh kwah niiá:wens ne kèn:'en? Shé:kon rón:nehre tsi ó:nen'k tsi tho naiakwaia'to'ténhake. Tsi Pocahontas niiakwaia'tò:tens. Tánon iah ó:ia teiakwaia'tò:ten.

Wentó:re iotòn:'on tsi nonkwá:ti ne konnón:kwe. Iah orì:wase té:ken tsi ó:nen'k tsi ken' nakontiia'to'ténhake tóka'ni tho nakontiia'to'ténhake. Sénha tsi nonkwá:ti ne konnón:kwe, nó:nen enhsahténtia'te tká:ra's tánon enhshé:kon kí:ken iakotí:wen, iakoskarakén:ra tánon teiekahrarà:kens… Iah tho ní:tsi tekatátie nonkwe'tà:ke. Oh nontié:ren tsi shé:kon eh ní:ioht ne kaká:rakon? Nè:'e kerihwanón:tha.

Òn:wa'k wa'onkwátken'se tsi wa'tkatierónnion ne American TV aorihwà:ke. Thò:ne wa'ón:kon ne kahiatónshera, tánon Inuit na'eia'tò:ten. Tánon onhwa'kéhkha í:ken. Ionterihwaiénstha tanon ken' niiontiéhrha tánon thí:ken. Ó:ia ní:ioht wáhi tsi iah tekaia'takwe'ní:io nakoká:ra tsi iakonkwehón:we. Tsi nek iakoia'tasté:ris tánon iakoià:tate niieia'tò:ten tánon iakonkonhón:we ó:ni. Tsi na'katonhnhà:ren tsi wa'ontia'tará:ko. Nè:'e tsi ken' shikà:'a iah nonwèn:ton tekheia'tatshénrion ónhkha ne kwah sha'teiakeniia'tò:ten. Tsi tiontehrhá:rats kítskote, sok nek aóskon rotiia'táskats teionkwahkwatasè:ton. Wáhi? Tsi na'katshennón:ni tsi onktó:ken'se tsi rón:nehre ohén:ton taié:ta'ne ne sha'teiakeniia'tò:ten ne kèn:tho tká:ra's tewatierónnion. Néktsi iah tha'teionkwatonhwentsoníhahkwe. Sok wa'katerò:roke ne tsi nitewatkaratashawà:ne teióia'ks… iehnarà:ken wahshakonón:ni. Teioterien'takáriaht.

A self-proclaimed ‘hybrid’, Heather was born to a Mohawk mother and Stoney father. At 12 she joined Kahnawake’s Turtle Island Theatre Company where she first honed skills as an actor and singer – favourite roles include Mama Rose – Gypsy, Mame – Mame, Winifred – Once Upon A Mattress and Chris Gorman – Rumors. After graduating from Concordia University with a specialization in Theatre Performance, Heather continued her acting training at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre where she worked on Muriel Miguel’s A Series of Savage Events, Alanis King’s Gegwah, and with playwright Tara Beagan developing her semi-autobiographical play. Recently, Heather played one of the voices in Macleod 9’s animated film First Contact and has been featured the APTN documentary series Working It Out Together in the episode entitled Rebel With A Cause. Heather hopes that her Mohawk Girls character, Caitlin, inspires young women to not only love themselves and understand their true worth, but also adopt a positive body image and help redefine society’s expectations of beauty.

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