SARAH Podemski, the actress with a recurring role in FX on Hulu’s Reservation Dogs – who was raised by an Indigenous Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) Canadian mother and an Israeli-Jewish father – recently talked to The Jewish Journal about the traditions and history that contribute to her identity.
In the interview, Podemski – who plays the mother of one of the show’s lead characters, the troubled youth Bear – described how her viewpoint has been shaped in a lifetime of taking part in two kinds of traditions.
Podemski talked about eating challah on Friday nights and then frybread at summer powwows. But besides the light-hearted aspects, she also got into the traumatic elements of both sides of her family history – from her grandfather’s Holocaust experience to the forced erosion of cultural identity on her mother’s side by church-run schools.
She told The Jewish Journal, “I think there’s something very similar to how we approach our lives from my Jewish background and my Native background”, and spoke about the importance of keeping tradition alive, especially with music.
“Music is such an incredible connection to our culture and I get emotional too when I hear a rabbi sing”, she added, comparing it to the “physical experience where I start to cry” on hearing the drums at a powwow.
“It’s so comforting.”
Watch the trailer for the series – EP’d by Taika Waititi: