Responding to comments showrunner Naren Shankar made about the historical precedents the show crafts its political worldbuilding from, Gee said: “I think that’s why having such a diverse cast is such a huge asset to the story because we all bring our unique points of view to this story. I’m an indigenous woman and so, for me, of course I look at Belter issues from that perspective, and I think that’s part of what makes this story special.”
Speaking to EW at NYCC, Gee elaborated on the comments she made during the panel, saying:
“In real life, I’m an indigenous woman and so for me in particular, the questions about access to clean air and water and who has access to that is one that is extremely relevant given that so many reserves don’t have access to clean water, even in Canada and in the United States and that, to me, is just so mindblowing: that we can exist in such luxury, some of us, here and others be so oppressed. And to look at that from a few hundred years in the future and how those problems of today might carry forward to the future and how we might do a better job in the future, and how we might look at solving some of those problems today.”
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Shankar said that one of the historical reference points used in Season 4, which will explore humanity’s exploration into the unknown worlds they now have access to via the Ring Gate, was the European invasion of America, which would decimate the native populations of the North American continent. In this, and so many other ways, Gee’s presence on the show feels vital, as does giving her the space and spotlight to highlight her indigenous identity, should she choose to.
The underrepresentation and misrepresentation of Native people (in both period and contemporary media) is a serious problem. If you’d like to see a role of Gee’s that more explicitly taps into her indigenous identity, check out her breakthrough role in Empire of Dirt. The 2013 Canadian film follows Lena (Gee), a 30-year-old First Nations woman who is having trouble connecting with both her teenaged daughter and her mother, exploring the theme of generational culture gaps.
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