People of Georgian: Indigenous-Canadian actor champions cultural empowerment
September 25, 2020

What’s your story?

The Georgian community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives —and we’re sharing them as part of an ongoing series.

Person looks at the camera while resting head against their fist.

Youth have a right to their stories, says Nadia

But there isn’t one grouping of Indigenous people. We all have our own cultures, our own ways, and, just like everyone else in this world, we all look different.

Now, there’s a huge push for Indigenous people to start becoming film directors, getting behind the camera, and writing our stories.

We’re starting to see a better truth and reflection of who we are as people – our journeys, our stories and our struggles.

I want youth to know they have a right to their stories and to their voices. If we can empower them at a younger age, who knows what their stories will hold for them.

Nadia George, Georgian alumna, award-winning Mi’kmaq-Canadian actor, public speaker, and Indigenous rights and youth advocate.

She won a Distinguished Alumni Award at Georgian’s 2020 Board of Governor’s Awards of Distinction.

People of Georgian: Meet Nadia George

My father used to tell me stories about how his uncle got picked on very badly in school because he was Indian.

Both of my great grandparents come from Indigenous Nations, and it was just something that they didn’t talk about.

They wanted their children to have, what was considered back then, a normal life, and being Indian was not something you wanted to be.

My father never grew up being able to celebrate his culture; it was very hidden.
So, growing up, I didn’t get to learn about my Indigenous roots.

Eventually I wondered, “How much of my Indigenity am I allowed to own?” That was a mindset for me that I had to get over. No one has to give me permission.

But as an actress, seeing Indigenous people portrayed from only one perspective was really disheartening.

As I started to learn more about my culture and our teachings and how we are as people, and compare that to what I was seeing on the screen, I was confused.

Hollywood movies always portrayed us being in touch with nature and dressed in regalia, like we’re these mythical creatures.

Person smiles at the camera while holding an award.

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