“Spill the Tea with Ms. Rabbitt”

A continuation from my third article profiling actors off Trickster, CBC new show that’s based on Eden Robinson’s Best-Selling Novel Son Of A Trickster.

Photo Supplied: Cast of Trickster

Edmonton actor Griffin Powell-Arcand is a multitalented artist and model who can be seen walking at Western Canada Fashion Week. Not only can he model, but he can also Rap and is an emerging indigenous Canadian star.

His latest acting gig puts him on Canadian Primetime Television. He plays the character, Dylan, in Trickster, a new must-see indigenous supernatural tv series on CBC.

He recently landed a recurring role in the new Netflix series Chambers starring Uma Thurman and Tony Goldwyn. He says, “that he played a really sweet guy and devoted boyfriend” in the show Chambers, but Dylan’s Character is different than Trickser, He says that in Trickster, “I’m a bit of a bully to Crashpad but I think there is possibly more to Dylan than meets the eye!”

WCFW – Top 40 under 40 Chevi Rabbitt, Actor Hunter Cardinal and Model/Actor Griffin

Right, now there many opportunities for indigenous actors. Did the world get kinder and more inclusive on its own? No, it was caused by a film industry rocked by scandal(s). In my earlier article with Georgina Lightning, she highlights a monumental shift in the film industry caused by social movements like the George Floyd murder and the Harvey Weinstein case.

These movements rocked the film industry and opened up new thoughts on the inclusivity for indigenous, women and people of color. In Canada, you can overlay the Calls to Action by Canadas Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) findings. For those curious here is the link to the (TRC): www.trc.ca.

All these social inclusion movements, societal framework shifts, and racial tragedies open up opportunities for racialized communities. It’s sad in many ways that it takes violent deaths, violence, and endless class struggles for Indigenous peoples and other radicalized communities to participate in western society. And participate in a meaningful and respectful way. But here we have a new show in Canada, called Trickster, which is a indigenous-led film project on CBC. A show aimed to introduce Canadians to Indigenous folklore, Indigenous superstition, and Indigenous talent like Griffin Powell- Arcand.

Photo Supplied: Griffin Powell-Arcand

So, let’s get to know this emerging star. Powell-Arcand reveals that he got his start in film at a very young age. He says, “I was four my Mom & Dad drove me to Calgary to audition for a role on Dreamkeeper.  I’d never done an audition before, and when I arrived I was not really cooperating, so everyone left the room except the director.” and that “My parents were outside the door laughing as everyone started filing out. I did the audition for him, and next thing you know, I got the role. I’ve been acting ever since.” .

Having a supportive family is key for indigenous families choosing to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma. He is also part of the Indigenous Z generation thats very rooted in Culture, Indigenous Heritage, and proud to be Cree. He says, “I’m very proud of my heritage. Growing up I had many moments where I was discriminated against. I was always taught by my whole family to be proud of who I am, but it wasn’t always easy.” and that he is, “ grateful to now be on a journey where I am constantly learning more about my Cree culture and language. 

Indigenous Z can be described as a generation craving to redefine what it means to be indigenous in Canada. We as indigenous people have always known we are more than what is assigned by the dominant Canadian culture. Indigenous Canadians are the fastest and youngest population in Canada. It’s clear that Indigenous Z is set to make themselves heard and we need positive examples in TV.

Photo Supplied: On set of Trickster.

Griffen Powell-Arcand has a message to Indigenous youth, “I would tell young people, no matter what happens, if people are being racist especially, to stand tall and be proud of who you are. If you are having problems remember to talk to trusted family members when you need guidance and seek wisdom from your elders.  Wise words coming from this rising indigenous star.  

He also explains that “In the future, I’d love to do acting and self-esteem building workshops with indigenous youth helping to keep them away from drugs and crime.” Marginalized communities need role models like Powell-Arcand to steer them away from crime or substance abuse. There are no second chances when it comes to the legal system in Canada. Indigenous people face a Justice system with Systemic Racism woven into the fabric of it and it over criminalizes all Indigenous peoples compared to non-indigenous communities.

You can catch Powell-Arcand every Wednesday At 9PM On CBC & CBC Gem. The show is described as a “darkly humorous coming-of-age story,” The Trickster is a supernatural thriller that follows an Indigenous teen named Jared who struggles to keep his family afloat when a stranger named Wade ruptures the balance. “What begins as an unnerving slow burn of strange events in Jared’s already-messy life crescendos to an epic clash of magic, monsters and mayhem,” said the CBC in a press release.

For more information click here: https://www.cbc.ca/trickster/

Thank you for reading my articles that are authentically Rabbitt.

Chevi Rabbitt, Top 40 under 40, Human Rights Advocate

rabbit@ualberta.ca

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