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Individuals of all economic strata are shedding their jobs, hometowns, and lifestyle to embrace a wider experience and a more meaningful existence.

Jessica Matten

Jessica MattenJessica Matten is a First Nation Actress from Canada that is known for 3 Canadian Screen Award nominated and winning shows: Frontier, Blackstone and Mohawk Girls and her current series, Tribal.

Jessica has developed a small cult following in North America for her performance in the starring role of Elle-Maija Tailfeather's short film, "A Red Girl's Reasoning".

Matten’s breakthrough role came in 2012 in the short film A Red Girl’s Reasoning, a commentary on violence against indigenous women, which won Best Canadian Action Short at the imagiNative festival in Toronto.

Matten plays an avenging young woman who was raped and assaulted and turns into a motorcycle-riding, ass-kicking vigilante.

The film premiered at various festivals in Canada and the United States, taking home awards for "Best Canadian Action Short" at the prestigious ImagineNATIVE Film festival, winner at the Crazy 8s Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, LA Skins Film Fest in Los Angeles, and nominated at the American Indian Film Institute in San Francisco 2012.

Jessica MattenApparently, Matten worked as an indigenous warrior, and she turned some very important heads with her performance, including the cultural advisor on that film, who ended up working as one of the producers on Frontier.

“The producer saw that and she said, ‘Oh my God, that is the spirit of Sokanon,’” Matten explains. “They knew they wanted me in the series just from that.”

Jessica stars in Season 3 of Discovery Canada & Netflix's Television series "Frontier" starring Jason Momoa.

She also can be seen in the new CW Network and CBC drama alongside Kristin Kruek in "Burden of Truth".

Jessica also can be seen in the comic adaptation movie "The Empty Man" for Disney/20th Century Fox studios which filmed in Cape Town, South Africa.

She is also set to guest star in John Wells and Margot Robbie's Netflix show "Maid" this 2021 on Netflix.

Other TV and films include the Gemini award winning show "Blackstone" and "Pilgrims" written and directed by Marie Clements that Jessica starred in, was an official selection for the Cannes Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival 2013.

Jessica is the star and Associate Producer of the new critically acclaimed Crime Drama "Tribal" Season 2 the on APTN Network.

Jessica MattenBesides acting, Jessica runs an Indigenous wellness and fitness company with her family called Lemon Cree where they have helped thousands of Indigenous people achieve their fitness, wellness and health goals.

She also runs the viral campaign #N8Vgirls to help spread awareness globally on the issue of murdered and missing Indigenous women in Canada.

Matten has spent her whole life facilitating Indigenous Youth Workshops across Canada and continues to do so through her program www.lemoncree.com

Jessica authored multiple monthly articles and the magazine "Active Cree" distributed monthly to 60,000 people and 10 communities across the James Bay area throughout Northern Ontario.

She is a guest speaker along with her mother across North America with a presentation called: "Indigenous Women Breaking Barriers: A Mother and Daughter Story". Jessica also instructs acting workshops, and has had many wonderful success stories with the youth over the years.

She is also a Television and Film producer currently in development of several projects through a production company called 7 Forward Entertainment. www.7forwardentertainment.com

Jessica MattenIt's mission is to move Native people forward through working with First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities across North America.

Their aim is to humanize what it means in this day and age to be Indigenous through storytelling and working directly in communities for a better tomorrow.

With over 15 years of experience working with Indigenous adults and youth, they bring wellness and fitness programs with proven, transformative results to these communities with their trainers, workshop facilitators, and celebrity guest speakers.

They work in partnership with Lemon Cree (an Indigenous owned fitness and wellness program that travels to the most isolated reserves in North America).

Their mission is to educate, inspire and motivate indigenous leaders of this generation so they can carry it forward during this 7th generation and FORWARD.

Matten was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. She attended the University of Alberta and set about her plan to work in the fashion industry and even did a stint as a young fashion intern at Elle U.K. before moving back to Canada to finish her degree and move to Vancouver.

While she was preparing to head to New York City to pursue her fashion design dreams, the recession hit and left her stuck on the West Coast - not exactly a hotbed of style.

Jessica MattenShe moved to Toronto to pursue her acting career, and she found the city to be welcoming.

“I love Toronto. It feels like home for the first time,” she says. “I love the cultural diversity, the arts scene, everything it has to offer. I just feel like my spirit belongs there. I’m happy I made the move.”

But what they lack in glamour, they make up for in creativity. With a thriving film industry at her doorstep, Matten decided to give acting a try.

“Honestly, I never wanted to be an actor,” says Matten. “But I always grew up with an extreme appreciation for film.

At a very young age, my mother used to bring us to the movie store, and we’d never go to the kids’ section, always the classics. I was raised on Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn.”

Jessica Matten is of Red River Metis-Cree descent and is directly a descendant of Cuthbert Grant, the first rebel Metis leader famously known for the Battle of the Seven Oaks in Canada.

The television series Frontier is a historical drama chronicling the rise of the fur trade in 1700s Canada.

Frontier star Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones) portrays Declan Harp. He leads the Black Wolf Company of indigenous warriors in an often-bloody attempt to break up the monopoly of the Hudson’s Bay Company as it pushes into native land to secure resources. Sound familiar?

Jessica MattenAs Toronto resident Jessica Matten watched the events unfold at Standing Rock in North Dakota, where indigenous people were staring down construction of an oil pipeline near their only source of clean drinking water, she sees the same issues being addressed in her dramatic and action-packed new television series, Frontier.

The show has been well-received, and a second season was already announced and filming underway in Newfoundland before the first episode aired.

“Handsomely made, populated with great-looking, mostly young actors and knee-deep in blood, thanks to near-constant hacking (knives, hatchets, etc.), it clearly aspires to be a non-fiction Game of Thrones” wrote Toronto Star television critic Johanna Schneller.

Matten co-stars as Sokanon, one of the outlaws, an Ojibwa who was adopted into the Métis Black Wolf Company after her parents were murdered.

“She’s been following Harp her entire life,” says Matten, over the phone during a break from filming on the East Coast.

“And she’s grown up to be this very jaded but strong native warrior. She’s feeling, I would say, a little displaced in this new world, looking from within but also dealing with the colonialists and the land and fur trade takeover. Her people’s land

Matten says the way the indigenous people of Canada had to fight for land against the colonialists still resonates today in the Standing Rock pipeline protest and in Canada.

Jessica Matten“There are a lot of similarities, and that’s why I find it very, I would say, easy but very relatable to me,” she says.

“We are still dealing with these issues at the present moment. The treaties were broken back in the day, and they are still broken to this very day. We are still fighting for our land.”

The show employs cultural advisors to ensure authenticity, and, in addition, Matten has consulted with native elders to make sure her dialect is spot on.

“It’s still a story, like a fantasy, and because of that, because Sokanon is so unique, born an Ojibwa and raised Métis, I wanted to make sure I spoke more than one language.

So I spoke with elders about pronunciation to make sure the language makes sense. Even her accent is somewhat accurate given the circumstances.”

In her series called Tribal she had some thoughts about the show and it's dynamics - especially in the present day Canada and the horrendous history that has recently surfaced.

"First of all, I’m really excited for people to see this character – she’s like a superhero. I think it’s a really positive portrayal of a Native woman."

Jessica Matten"She’s strong and intellectual and I hope it really helps break down any stereotypes that the general public thinks of Indigenous women."

"Sam is an outside-the-box character. She’s a tribal police officer from a reservation, and she has to work with a municipal officer and ends up dealing with the prejudices from old-time cops who are mostly white men."

"The show is about these two people from completely different worlds coming together and they have to navigate solving crimes while also dealing with their own prejudices."

Jessica Matten is of Red River Metis-Cree descent and is directly a descendant of Cuthbert Grant, the first rebel Metis leader famously known for the Battle of the Seven Oaks in Canada.


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As an actor

Year Title Role Notes Ref(s)
2010 Pigs Woman Short film
2010 Eddie's Sterotype Jana
2011 Footsteps Into Gangland
2011 Best Day Ever: Aiden Kesler 1994-2011 Blake's Girlfriend
2012 A Red Girl's Reasoning Delia Short film
2013 Pilgirms Young Big Girl Short film/TIFF
2013 Robot Love Danielle
2017 The Empty Man Fiona 20th Century Fox

As a producer

Year Film Notes Ref(s)
2017 Sleepwalk Short
2011 The House Feature


Year Title Role Notes Ref(s)
2012 Level Up Alexis Season 1 Episode 12
2014-15 Blackstone Gina Season 4-5
2016 Frontier Sokanon Season 1-2
2017 Shadowhunters Maria Season 2 Episode 1 & 2



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