FYIG Chats With Actress/Activist Nadia George

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. 
 
Kwe’ (hello)! A little bit about me … well, I was born in Guelph, ON but grew up most of my life in Simcoe Region and currently live just outside of Toronto. I am a Mi’kmaw-Canadian Actor & Activist, with a background in Social Work. My Indigenous roots come from my father’s side, and I’m proud that I can walk in his footsteps and carry Out his dream of continuous learning, teaching, and sharing about our culture. You pursued a degree in Social Work while dipping your foot into the arts. 
 
What led you to pick up on a career in acting in 2016? 
 
I had the opportunity to take theatre and acting as an elective in University but put it on the back burner to continue in Social Services and build some stability in my life. Then my son turned 16 (laughs), and that meant friends started to take priority; which gave me the freedom to follow my own passions. I’m a big believer challenging yourself, so when the opportunity came up I jumped in. 
 
What can you tell us about your role in the short, “Along The Water’s Edge”? 
 
I play the role of the Women in the Gas mask, which is the opening scene (in the Future 2030) and then you see me as a younger woman (present time) in other parts of the film, I also do the voiceover. Doing the voiceover was very exciting for me as it was my first time ever in a film, and the message is so powerful. The film explores the potential impacts water crises can have on Indigenous people living in these communities should the issues continue to be ignored. 
 
How important is it to get issues like these in front of more eyes? 
 
It’s crucial! This has been an ongoing issue for many years, and sadly we have seen and are still seeing the detrimental impacts it’s having on Indigenous individuals and communities as a whole. It’s hard to get people to truly understand the severity when they are not personally being impacted. Many people are unaware that just one hour away from Toronto, is a community who is being affected by long term boil water advisories … yes, that’s correct, one hour away from one of the biggest cities in North America. 
 
Nadia George
Photo credit: Denise Grant
 
Are there any other social issues that you are particularly interested in tackling on film? 
 
I hope one day I can bring further awareness to the lived experiences of Children in the Child Welfare system (Child protection) and displaced youth. It’s known that these vulnerable populations are more likely to be exposed to dangerous and fatal situations. I would also like to do a project on the Residential School System. 
 
What’s next for your career? 
 
I have some things cooking in the kitchen (laughs) I’ve been fortunate to speak with some people in the Film industry about future projects; but with COVID, it’s all up in the air right now. 
 
What advice would you have for aspiring actors/actresses? 
 
Training! Training! Training! Do workshops, engage in community theatre, and get some experience under your belt. The acting world isn’t easy, it’s work! Like any other job or career choice, you must work and train hard to be successful. Also please contact casting directors and ask what agents they’ve worked with and recommend; there are so many scams out there. If you can find a casting director who is doing a workshop, even better! They can help get you started in the right direction with headshots and agents. Please whatever you do, do your research, with so many dangerous people out there trying to lure individuals in by saying they are an agent or photographer, you can’t be too safe. 
 
What can you tell us about your work with The Child Welfare Political Action Committee of Canada and MotiV8 Canada? 
 
Currently, I sit on the Board of the Child Welfare PAC as an Advisor; which works to improve the outcomes for Youth in Care. Most recently The Child Welfare Pac has worked in collaboration with a number of universities and colleges in Canada to offer free tuition waivers for Crown Wards, the difference between these waivers and previous ones, is that this new collaboration removed many limitations and road-blocks that were previously there; allowing more access to post-secondary education. 
 
I’m also an Active Wellness Ambassador with MotiV8 Canada, also known as Influencers Motivating Influencers. This organization advocates for Mental, Physical, and Emotional Wellness in Indigenous Communities through Artistic and Expressive Workshops. Currently, we are focusing on creating PSA’s about COVID safety awareness, and virtual community activities. I had actually just returned from the Northwest Territories, where the team and I taught the community about filmmaking and Art, before the COVID lockdown happened. We were supposed to return there and teach the workshops with four more communities, so fingers crossed the travel bans get lifted soon. 
 
What’s your life like off-set? 
 
My life is hectic, but I wouldn’t have any other way. I’ve always enjoyed being busy. I like to be outdoors, visiting with family and friends, or traveling. I’m a big fan of Extreme Incline Hiking, so I hope to do more of that soon too. However, with the current situation, we are in, I’ve been taking a much-needed breather. Enjoying time with the ones I love, and finding peace in the stillness. It really makes me appreciate the life I have and worked so hard for. 
 
Let the readers know where to find you online. 
 
You can always find me on Facebook and Instagram as @nadiageorgeofficial I do my best to engage and answer comments, so don’t be afraid to leave them!