Cheri Maracle – Mohawk Nation, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory
Mohawk performer Cheri Maracle takes her place front and centre in the third season of APTN’s drama series Blackstone. The Mohawk actress portrays Sarah Bull, a fiery character whose return to the reserve brings even more drama to the fictitious community of Blackstone. If you have never taken the time to watch Blackstone it’s worth checking out. The series examines the political and moral challenges facing Chief and Council of the fictitious Blackstone First Nation.
Maracle says of her character Sarah, “She is a fiery woman; rash in her choices, and driven by survival. She is tough, smart, and can be unscrupulously ballsy.” In her first episode, Sarah Bull blasts back into town, finds out her sister is missing and that the home they shared has been rented out by the housing department. In response, Sarah goes around angrily confronting nearly everyone she sees and ends up negotiating for another house on the reserve by sleeping with the Chief. “She is a spitfire, and was a blast to play, for sure. A very bold gal, and as an actor that’s just juicy! On a personal level I connected with her because I am very familiar with the ‘stereotypical Indian upbringing’; drinking, violence, and often times pure chaos, with a dire sense of trying to stay afloat within that cyclone.”
Cheri was in seventh grade when she got hit with the acting bug, “It was a movement piece on the Creation story, Skywoman Falling From the Sky, and was performed by two actors; Rosa John, and her partner. I was struck by what they were doing and knew immediately that that was what I wanted to do. It was like I was hit by a lightening bolt…I knew.”
When she was seventeen, Maracle moved to Vancouver to train in theatre at Capilano College and Spirit Song Native Indian Theatre School. Afterward she began building a professional career when she was only 20 years old as an indigenous performer in theatre, film and music. You may have recognized her as ‘Misty Moon’ from the Canadian comedy series “Blackfly”, or from her role as ‘Mrs. Wolfe’ in the APTN drama “Moccassin Flats”.
Maracle also performs a one woman musical about the life of Mohawk poetess Pauline Johnson. Throughout the run of this production Maracle has developed a great respect for the writer, “She was an insanely talented artist, and a really brave woman in her art and in her life. A trailblazer. A woman ‘before her time’. The more I study her, the more respect I gain for her, and the more understanding, passion, and empathy I have for her and the challenges she faced back then.”
For more information and upcoming dates for Paddle Song you can visit her website www.cherimaracle.com, and don’t forget to check out Blackstone on APTN this fall, Wednesday evenings at 9pm.