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Tina Keeper

Arts (2005)

You can’t hear the phrase North of 60 without thinking of Tina Keeper’s portrayal of Lynx River’s RCMP constable, Michelle Kenidi. Ms. Keeper’s portrayal of Kenidi on the highly rated CBC series was credited with garnering much of the show’s success. “A dream come true television series,” is how she describes North of 60. Ms. Keeper describes Kenidi as “a woman who made a decision to gain control of her life as the result of her pain and struggle. She sought a sense of order, so she became a Mountie – she believes that law and order and a strong sense of community will save Lynx River from itself.” Ms. Keeper was born in Northern Manitoba and moved to Winnipeg with her family when she was four. She completed the acting program at the University of Manitoba while working on a history/theatre double major. In 1982, her sister drafted her into helping with wardrobe for an Aboriginal theatre group. This led to work as a stage manager and later to performing. Ms. Keeper supplemented her stage work with mime, improvisation and dance. After only two film parts – one in a NFB short and the other in Smoked Lizard Lips – she landed the lead in North of 60. The rest is history. She received a Gemini for Best Actress in 1994. She has been a host of the Sharing Circle and Hot Topics and gives much of her time to supporting community-based initiatives and serving as a role model and inspiration to Aboriginal young people.