The show’s co-creator and director Tracy Deer and co-creator and head writer Cynthia Knight are proud of the journey they’ve been on so far, heading into Mohawk Girls’ fifth and final season. Together, they seek to help break the taboos and prejudices surrounding modern Indigenous women.
We generously had the chance to speak to Mohawk Girls costume designer Janet Campbell late last year, going through the challenges and the preparation it takes to get through production. However, this month we received an invitation to lurk on the set to see how a show like this comes together!
Throughout the seasons, Mohawk Girls has mostly shot on Kahnawake, a reserve just outside Montreal. However, because of some production issues in preparation for the fifth season, they had to branch out beyond the reserve. Our set visit took place at Cégep André-Laurendeau, a borough of southwest Montreal.
Personally speaking, this was my first time on any set of any kind, whether it’s a movie or television show. From a production standpoint, it is so fascinating watching the behind-the-scenes crew work so hard and meticulously. You really cannot grasp the amount of people behind the camera when you are watching your favourite shows, and it really does take an army to keep it all together.
While speaking to head writer Cynthia Knight, she exclaims proudly that the crew is approximately split 50/50 between men and women, and 4 out of their 5 producers are women. However more so, it wasn’t even set out that way. “We were just looking for the best people for the job,” Knight told us. “And those people just happened to be women.”
Mohawk Girls, which delves into the lives of four young women living on the reserve, shows a different side to women that we aren’t used to seeing on Canadian television. The show’s co-creator Tracy Deer grew up on a reserve herself, and bases the show off of her own experiences within the community.
Speaking to Deer between shots, she emphasized how important it was to portray the community as more than just their stereotypes, and to show them in a different light than the Canadian public is used to seeing. “There’s so much misconception about Aboriginal people, and so little knowledge,” Deer explains. “I think if Canadians can better understand, relate, see that we’re not that different, and see that it’s simply a human experience. Being a woman is being a woman, so if we can see each other at that level, those bridges can be built.”
Catch all four seasons of Mohawk Girls by going to www.mohawkgirls.com.