Tracey Deer

Tracey Penelope Tekahentakwa Deer
Born (1978-02-28)February 28, 1978
Nationality Mohawk
Education Karonhianhnonha School Elementary, Queen of Angels Academy, Dartmouth College

Tracey Penelope Tekahentakwa Deer (born February 28, 1978) is a Mohawk film director and newspaper publisher. Deer has written and directed several award-winning projects for the Aboriginal-run film and television production company, Rezolution Pictures, as well as her own independent short work.

Early life and education

Tracey Deer was born in 1978 and grew up in a large, close knit family in Kahnawake, a Mohawk reserve in Quebec, Canada, south of the St. Lawrence River across from Montreal. After attending local schools, Karonhianhnonha School Elementary and Queen of Angels Academy, she went to Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, USA where she graduated with a degree in film studies.[1]

Film career


Deer became the first Mohawk woman to win a Gemini Award, for her Club Native, a documentary on Mohawk identity, community and tribal blood quantum laws. The film received the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television's Canada Award for best Canadian multi-cultural program, while Deer received another Gemini for best writing.[1] Club Native also received the award for Best Documentary at the Dreamspeakers Festival in Edmonton, the award for Best Canadian Film at the First Peoples' Festival and the Colin Low Award for Best Canadian Documentary at the DOXA Documentary Film Festival. The film was co-produced by Rezolution Pictures and the National Film Board of Canada.[3]

In her first Rezolution/NFB co-production, Deer looked at three teenage girls from her reserve who faced the same decision she did at their age: to move away and risk losing their rights as Mohawks, or stay and give up the possibilities offered by the outside world.[4] Mohawk Girls received the Alanis Obomsawin Best Documentary Award at the 2005 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.[2]

Deer co-directed One More River: The Deal that Split the Cree, winner of the Best Documentary Award at Les Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois and nominated for Best Social/Political Documentary at the Gemini Awards.[2]

Other film work

In 2009, Deer collaborated with Montreal writer Cynthia Knight on Crossing the Line, a live-action 3D short for Digital Nations, an NFB and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network joint project featuring Aboriginal talent at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Deer and Knight also worked together in 2009 on the comedy television pilot Escape Hatch. A spin-off of a short she directed in 2007, it is about four young Mohawk women at Kahnawake making their way in the 21st century, including looking for relationships.[1]

In addition, Deer formed her own production company, Mohawk Princess Productions. She wants to independently produce her own short fiction films.[2]

TV work

In 2014 Deer was able to turn her documentary Mohawk Girls in to a TV series of the same name.


  1. 1 2 3 Griffin, John (December 5, 2009). "Tracey Deer is shattering stereotypes". Montreal Gazette. Canwest. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Tracey Deer". Biography. Native Networks, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
  3. "Club Native". Collection. National Film Board of Canada. 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
  4. "Mohawk Girls". Women Make Movies. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
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