Who Am I?

“I Am…”

Tharonhianente Barnes. I’m 22 years old and am a Mohawk of Kahnawake, and thus practice its culture, ceremonies, and customs. However, I’ve also learned to balance my cultural background with my life in a modern age. I speak three languages, Mohawk (my mother tongue), English and French; the latter being weaker than the others, though I hope to someday become more proficient in French given I live in the Greater Montréal Area. I grew up on the Territory of Kahnawake, but I’ve also lived in another Mohawk community in Upstate New York. Briefly, I called the suburb of Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, my home as well. Just a subway stop from Coney Island.

What I’m passionate about. 

Telling stories. Be it film, writing, or oral tradition. Having gone to CEGEP in the Communications Program, I had the opportunity to exercise my passion of storytelling in the medium of short films. Although I enjoy writing tales and telling them in front of my enthralled colleagues and friends. I think we learn a lot through the sharing of life events and stories. Telling one another our experiences, what we’ve learned in and out of the classroom. What we’ve learned on our walk to the metro, what we learned walking through the forests.

I’ve always doodled and drawn orcs and elves in my childhood, and later learned the proper techniques of drawing in CEGEP. Of all mediums, I prefer the use of graphite to illustrate what I see in my mind. That said, watercolours will always have a special place in my heart. In a professional setting, I’ve storyboarded for Season 12 and 13 of the Kahnawake based children’s series, Tota tanon Ohkwari. Recently, I wrote the Season Premiere and Finale of the latter season.

Coffee. I am willing to advocate that coffee is a teacher’s trusted companion.

Music. Listening to music is very therapeutic. A poem set to melodies. Whenever I write or draw, I always make sure to have a nice relaxing playlist of my favorite artists.

Travel. Seeing the world, different parts of it. Broadening my sense of the world, the different people and the different cultures. Not only can travel be inspiring and informative, but I feel that travel possesses a certain ability to heal one’s emotional being.

A favourite quote of mine, from the series Penny Dreadful (2014-16): “I am simply a blade of grass. But I am.