Canada’s “Moccasin Flats” Returns for a Third Season

 
 
Jennifer Podemski and Andrea MenardAndrea Menard

The third season of Canadian TV series Moccasin Flats debuts this month on the Aboriginal Peoples' Television Network, and Showcase, and with it returns not one but three lesbian
characters.

The show, for which the adjective ‘gritty' is an understatement, depicts the lives of Aboriginal youth struggling to make their way in the inner city community of Moccasin Flats (located in Regina, Saskatchewan's Native ghetto).

The young people who are the focus of the program include Candy Foster, a drug-addicted prostitute who manages to get clean and leave the streets behind only to learn she is HIV positive; Jonathan Bearclaw, a former pimp and drug dealer haunted by memories of child abuse who for the sake of his girlfriend and their son, tries to ply a more respectable trade; Red, the aspiring hip hop artist, recently released from jail who tries to focus on his music but gets distracted by the chance to make a quick buck in a crystal meth lab; and Mathew Merasty, an aspiring music producer whose respect for his elders and his culture has kept him on the straight and narrow.

Among the residents of Moccasin Flats is Constable Amanda Strongeagle, a police officer with a forward approach to helping the members of her community who find themselves in trouble with the law.

In the first season, we see her launching an "off-the-record" investigation of the suspicious death of "another drunk Indian" after his death is dismissed by her racist colleagues as a suicide, and in Season Two, she attempts with mixed results to introduce the concept of community policing to Moccasin Flats.

At first glance, Constable Strongeagle comes off as a one-dimensional stereotype of the do-gooder cop with a heart. But as we get to know her better, she becomes more three-dimensional. She struggles with the thankless task of maintaining the trust of her community while ensuring that justice is done, she is an out lesbian, and, in the words of one of her exes (the spunky medical intern, Deb Johnson, played by the show's
co-producer/creator Jennifer Podemski, another of Canada's leading Native actors), she
“sucks at relationships.”

Amanda's poor performance in the relationship department is abundantly evident on the program. Midway through Season One, she enters a relationship with social worker Laura, a former addict and prostitute, only to screw up it up in Season Two when Laura's work takes her out of town for an extended period and Amanda's libido gets the best of her.

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