|Member of the Canadian Parliament
January, 2006 – September, 2008
March 20, 1962 |
|Liberal (until at least 2008)|
Tina Keeper, OM (born March 20, 1962), is a Cree activist, producer, actress and former member of the Canadian House of Commons. She is a Winnipeg-based media producer, and President of Kistikan Pictures, a partner company to Buffalo Gal Pictures.
Keeper is best known for her role as RCMP officer Michelle Kenidi in the CBC Television series North of 60, about the fictional aboriginal community of Lynx River. She also hosted a relief concert for the 1997 Manitoba flood. In 1993, she starred in the Canada Award-winning short docudrama For Angela, dramatizing Rhonda Gordon's response to racist taunting on a Winnipeg city bus.
Keeper was formerly an actor, best known for her work on the hit Canadian series North of 60. Recent productions include the feature film Road of Iniquity; the critically acclaimed Royal Winnipeg Ballet Going Home Star (2014), about the Indian Residential School history in Canada; The REDress REdress Project (2013), a short documentary on the issue of murdered and missing Aboriginal women in Manitoba; and the APTN drama series Cashing In (2014), which follows the high stakes gaming at North Beach Casino. An upcoming feature film production for Kistikan Pictures is Through Black Spruce, based on Joseph Boyden's Giller Prize-winning novel.
Keeper also served as a Member of Parliament for the federal riding of Churchill.
She was elected in 2006 Canadian election as the Liberal Party candidate in Churchill. She served as the Official Opposition's Critic for Public Health and Canadian Heritage and as Special Advisor for Aboriginal Outreach in the parliament that followed.
Awards and recognition
Keeper currently serves as chairperson of the board of trustees for the Helen Betty Osborne Memorial Foundation. She is a member of the advisory Committee to Urban Shaman Gallery, the advisory committee to Red Cross Manitoba, the Order of Manitoba, and Canadians for a New Partnership. She is an Honorary Witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She is the recipient of an Aboriginal Achievement Award, a Gemini Award, three American Indian Film Festival awards for acting and producing, and a 2014 Canadian Civil Liberties Association award for Public Engagement. She was named ACTRA's 2017 Woman of the Year. In June 2017, Keeper received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Wilfred Laurier University and a Governor General Meritorious Service Medal along with the late Elder Mary Richard and RWB Artistic Director Andre Lewis for the ballet Going Home Star.
A Cree of the Norway House Cree Nation, Keeper was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is the granddaughter of Olympic long distance runner Joe Keeper and daughter of Joseph I. Keeper (Norway House Cree Nation), member of the Order of Canada and the Rev. Canon Dr. Phyllis Keeper (née Beardy, Muskrat Dam First Nation). Her siblings Joy, Lorne and Barry are involved in the arts, media and education fields.
She has a BA in Theatre from the University of Winnipeg and has trained at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre, the Banff Centre and the Sundance Film Institute.
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