Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers DIRECTOR of episodes 1-3.
Esther Rosenblum / Bezhig LITTLE BIRD
Esther Rosenblum is driven. An over-achiever, Esther, an aspiring lawyer, wants to prove herself. An Indigenous adoptee, raised in a Jewish home in an affluent suburb of Montreal, Esther has never felt like she fits in. Despite the loving home she was raised in, the opportunity and privilege she was afforded, Esther has never been able to shake the deep sense of longing that gnaws at her. We meet Esther at a crossroads. A moment in time where the past has caught up to her and she can no longer ignore its call. Reckoning with the fractured memories that haunt her and an identity she’s buried, Esther risks everything she knows and loves in pursuit of the truth of her past.
Esther is played by Darla Contois.
Leo LITTLE BIRD
Leo Little Bird: a handsome father and husband who is fiercely protective of his wife and kids. He is the eldest of the Little Bird children. He was just 12-years-old when his sisters and brother were taken by the child welfare system. He was the only one who was left behind. This instilled a deep anger and sense of abandonment inside of him. He tried to soothe the trauma of his childhood with drugs and alcohol before finding other, more holistic ways to cope.
Leo grew up alone on the Long Pine Reserve, raised by his grandfather. He is deeply connected to the community and his culture. He is a measured man with a calming presence in tense situations – but this calm is a practised coping mechanism to deal with his natural tendency towards rage that bubbles beneath the surface.
Leo is played by Braeden Clarke.
Dora LITTLE BIRD
Dora Little Bird: charming and gregarious. Nothing in her life has been easy since she was taken from her family and adopted at the age of three. Yet, no matter how impossible the circumstances are, Dora is resilient, and she finds a way to make them work for her. She is a survivor. Throughout her life, Dora has endured incredible hardship, meeting every single one of her struggles head on.
She is 18-years-old and pregnant. She and her partner Doug are working hard to create a stable life together. Despite all the hardships she’s endured, Dora is insightful and has an incredible sense of humour. She is compassionate and loving, and motivated to create a good life for her family.
Dora is played by Imajyn Cardinal.
Henry/Niizh LITTLE BIRD
Henry/Niizh Little Bird: is a charismatic and carefree musician, who has found modest success touring North America with his band. Performing in front of an audience is the only time he feels a sense of belonging.
He was abducted and placed in foster care when he was five years old, bouncing through the system, alone. Unlike his twin sister, Esther, he didn’t end up in a loving home. His childhood was lonely, devoid of love, and he has always struggled with a deep sense of abandonment.
Henry is mischievous and has a good sense of humour, but he is a deeply wounded man with a broken spirit. He is unpredictable, and quick to anger. He tries to cope with the traumas of the past and fill the emptiness in his life with alcohol and drugs.
Henry is played by Joshua Odjick.
Patti LITTLE BIRD
Patti Little Bird: is a mild-mannered mother of four children, whom she loves fiercely.
As a child, Patti was taken from her home and placed in a residential school. She is a survivor. Resilient and strong, with a distrust and a deep-rooted fear of the government and establishment.
When her three youngest children are abducted by Child Protection Services, her greatest fears are realized, as history begins to repeat itself. She is so broken, but she fights as hard as she can to get her children back, ultimately losing the battle against an impossible system. Filled with hopelessness, she breaks down under the weight of trauma and grief, becoming a shadow of her former self.
Patti is shattered. The only thing she knows to do is to try and run away from the pain, leaving her son Leo behind.
Patti is played by Ellyn Jade.
Morris LITTLE BIRD
Morris Little Bird: is a strong and rugged protector who loves his family and works hard to provide for them. Morris has a great understanding and respect of the land, which is something he is passing down to his own son. He is most at home in the bush. Morris is a gentle and confident man with a good sense of humor. He is stubborn and vehemently protective of his family.
Like his wife Patti, Morris is destroyed when his children are taken away.
Morris is played by Osawa Muskwa.
Asin: is the grandfather to the Little Bird children. He is Morris’s father. He is a wise and powerful knowledge keeper who has a traditional understanding of the world and the land around him. Asin is the backbone of his family and does whatever he can and whatever is needed to keep them whole. When Patti takes off, Asin raises Leo in the community.
Asin has seen and endured a lot of trauma and loss throughout his life, but he is grounded and a pillar of strength for the community around him. He is committed to his community and wants to see them flourish and thrive.
Asin is played by Eric Schweig.
Brigit: is outgoing and energetic matriarch in the community. She is like an aunt to Patti and the kids; she is helpful but is sometimes judgemental when she inserts herself in family situations that don’t involve her. Brigit is religious, wearing a cross around her neck and bursting into prayers to the Christian God in the depth of tragedy. She is a steadfast and dependable.
Brigit is played by Michelle Thrush.
Golda Rosenblum is Esther’s adoptive mother. She is strong and stubborn, and never has any trouble getting her point across. Golda is a holocaust survivor who lost her entire family in Auschwitz.
She came to Canada with nothing as a teenager, immediately entering law school and becoming a successful lawyer. Unlike the people in her circle, Golda is self-made and has worked hard for everything she has. Golda and her ex-husband adopted Bezhig after seeing an ad in the paper. At the time she thought she was doing the right thing—adopting someone like herself, who was alone and didn’t have a family. She thought she was giving her a ‘better life’.
Golda is deeply wounded when Esther shuts her out, along with everyone else, when she leaves on her journey to discover who she is and where she comes from. Esther’s journey forces Golda to reckon with the past and examine her own life, pushing her down a path of self discovery.
Golda is played by Lisa Edelstein.