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Indigenous actress to receive lifetime achievement award


Last updated 8/20/2019 at 3:55pm

Red Eye Media

Indigenous actress Tantoo Cardinal will receive a lifetime achievement award.

SANTA FE, N.M.-Actress Tantoo Cardinal will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, which will take place in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from October 16th to 20th, 2019.

Distinguished Santa Fe Independent Film Festival Advisory Board Chair, Gary Farmer, says Cardinal is "a staunch worker for Indigenous people's rights and well-being who happens to be a unique inspirational [and] phenomenal actor." At the event, Cardinal will also introduce "Falls Around Her," a biopic centered on the life of legendary singer and Anishinaabe musician, Mary Birchbark. In this film, Cardinal performs her first lead role in a feature length film.

The Canadian-born Cree/Métis actor is considered to be one of today's most influential indigenous actors. Cardinal has been a Member of the Order of Canada for a decade, the second highest civilian honor in Canada. Since becoming notable in the Oscar-winning Best Picture, "Dances with Wolves" (1990), Cardinal has accepted indigenous roles, while seeking to combat on-screen stereotypes. In her 48 years of cinematic performances, Cardinal has been part of more than 100 roles in film and television, including feature films "Wind River" (2017) and "Legends of the Fall" (1994), and series such as "Westworld," "Godless" and "Longmire."

As part of playing Indigenous characters, Cardinal has spoken a number of First Nation languages, including Apache, Gwich'in, Paiute, Cherokee, Ojibwe and her familiar Cree. She worked with elders and people who spoke these languages and relayed their meaning to the best of her ability, honoring the languages, their history and meaning.

In 2017, Cardinal won the Earle Grey Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Canadian Screen Awards, and in 2018, she received the Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award presented by the Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA).


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