Podemski, one of the most well-known Indigenous actors in both Canada and the U.S., will play the aunt of Bear Smallhill (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai) in three pivotal episodes of the show’s sophomore run. Podemski will also be reunited with Sterlin Harjo, co-creator and executive producer on “Reservation Dogs.” Harjo’s directorial debut, “Four Sheets to the Wind,” starred Podemski in a leading role. She earned a Special Jury Prize for Acting at the Sundance Film Festival for her work in “Four Sheets.”
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Currently, Podemski plays Deputy Sheriff Joy on “Outer Range.” Last month, Podemski spoke to Variety about Indigenous representation in the Western genre, saying that the traditional Western “does not include Indigenous ideas and truths.”
“It served a function of conquering the West. There was a mythology to it,” she said. “I don’t think I could’ve gone into a traditional Western world. I’ve been fighting too hard in my fight for representation in television and in Hollywood. This is the work that I’m meant to do.”
“Reservation Dogs” is a comedy series from the minds of Harjo and co-creator and executive producer Taika Waititi. The series follows the exploits of four Indigenous teenagers in rural Oklahoma who steal, rob and save in order to get to California. Devery Jacobs, Paulina Alexis and Lane Factor co-star in the show alongside Woon-A-Tai. Filmed on location in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, “Reservation Dogs” prides itself on its Indigenous representation both in front of and behind the camera. Every writer, director and series regular on the show is Indigenous.
The series won the 2022 AFI Award for TV program of the year and was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards for new scripted series and ensemble cast.
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