Toronto actress Tantoo Cardinal was made a Member of the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honours. Presented by the Rt. Honourable MichaĆ«lle Jean, Governor General of Canada, recognizes Cardinal for her contributions to the growth and development of Aboriginal performing arts in Canada.

Arguably the most widely recognized Native Actress of her generation, Tantoo Cardinal has appeared in numerous plays, television programs, and films, including Legends of the Fall, Dances With Wolves, Black Robe, Loyalties, Luna, Spirit of the Whale, Unnatural & Accidental, Marie-Anne, Sioux City, Silent Tongue and Mother’s & Daughter’s.

Her stirring performance in Loyalties earned her a Genie nomination, American Indian Film Festival Best Actress Award, the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, plus Best Actress Awards at International Film Festivals in Zimbabwe and Portugal.

Cardinal won Best Actress, the Elizabeth Sterling Award in Theatre for All My Relations, and also won a First Americans in the Arts Totem Award for her portrayal of the character Katrina in Widows at the Forum Stage in Los Angeles. She won the American Indian Film Festival’s Best Actress Award as well as the first Rudy Martin Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Native American in Film for Where the Rivers Flow North.

Her impressive television credits include recurring roles on the series: Longmire, Mohawk Girls, Blackstone, Arctic Air, The Guard, North of 60 and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman plus Guest Starring on Strange Empire, The Lightening Field, Street Legal, The Campbell’s, Gunsmoke, Tom Stone, Myth Quest, Lonesome Dove and Renegade MOW’s include The Englishman’s Boy, Dreamkeeper and the PBS documentary Nobody’s Girls.

For her contributions to the Native Artistic community, Cardinal won the Eagle Spirit Award. Other awards include the MacLeans’ magazine Honour Roll as Actress of the Year, the 1993 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Toronto Women in Film and Television, an International Women in Film Award for her lasting contribution to the arts, and in September of 2011 she was inducted in to the CBC/Playback Hall of Fame.

Recent work includes filming three feature films, Eden, Maina and Chasing Shakespeare. Recent theatre work includes playing the role of Regan in the production of King Lear at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and the role of Pelajia in a production of The Rez Sisters at The Belfry Theatre.