Barbara Patrick. (Submitted/Lakes District News)

Former Burns Lake local to play the first Indigenous character in a Hallmark movie

Barbara Patrick, a former LDSS student takes a huge step for the Indigenous community

Burns Lake local and former Lakes District Secondary School student Barbara Patrick, will be the first Indigenous character in a Hallmark movie.

Patrick, who did her schooling in Burns Lake, is Carrier/Dene and will play an Indigenous character Suzanne Ralston in the upcoming movie.

“I am mixed race, my mom is Dutch and my dad is from Stellat’en First Nation. I went to preschool on the Lake Babine Band reserve and so that time there had a lot of influence over me. This role in particular is really cool and I am really excited about it because when I got to the set, the director said ‘I know you are Indigenous so do you want to incorporate that into your character?’”

“I was so taken aback by that because nobody on set has ever asked me that before and because we don’t really find Indigenous characters on TV unless it is specifically a story line for an Indigenous character.”

Patrick’s entry into the glamour world at the young age of 14 years, was a stroke of luck when she got discovered in Prince George while on a shopping trip with family.

“I grew up in Burns Lake and throughout my life there, we would go to Prince George for shopping trips. In 1997, I won a modeling contest in the Pine Centre mall. It was a big whirlwind. Originally we thought it was a runway show and that was kind of the only reason why my mom let me do it. It wasn’t that my mom didn’t want me to model, but she wanted me to focus on school,” she said. For Patrick, her performance in the competition was a success not just because of her efforts but also because of an outside influence. “John Dennis and his wife along with their daughter Mary Dennis really impacted me with teaching me how to dance traditionally,” she said.

After winning the competition, the following year Patrick went to Japan by herself and calls it a “big moment of trust” for her parents, in her and her career choice. She then modeled for about 10 years internationally in Hong Kong, Spain, Greece, New York, South Africa, before she finally came back to Canada in around 2007.

Upon returning, she started venturing into acting and has had several roles like her roles in the series Arrow, Supergirl or movies like Small Town Christmas and Little Fish.

Patrick said that while she was doing all these roles, and commercials she would always think of how she would play a bigger role in bringing the Indigenous people in focus.

“It has always been my goal to represent First Nations and mixed race people on TV shows because we are just not represented. So that’s why, this role for me I thought to myself is a good opportunity for First Nations people. And Suzanne Ralston is just like everybody else, they allowed me to wear my mukluks, my earrings and few of them are what I got from Burns Lake area,” she said.

Patrick’s movie Fire Star Christmas will be airing on Nov. 27 at 8 p.m.

“For me, it is a great honour that with this role, the Hallmark network is finally acknowledging First Nations people as people. And I was able to stay in character just like everybody else and not the way it is depicted usually which is kind of in a negative light,” she said.

While Patrick herself stays in Vancouver, her parents still stay in Burns Lake. Norma, her mother, is a nurse at Grassy Plains clinic, and her father, Steven, works in Prince George during the week. Patrick often visits Burns Lake.

“Burns Lake is such a special community, and I have always carried that with me. Every time before auditions, before Covid happened, we all had to sit in a room; it is just so nerve wrecking. They then make you introduce yourselves and so one of the mantras I would say was ‘I am Barbara Patrick, from Burns Lake.” For some reason that just always makes me feel stronger,” she said, adding, “Burns Lake is one of the most beautiful places in the world and I am so lucky to have grown up there. I am proud to be from Burns Lake and proud to represent the Indigenous community.”


Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist
@PriyankaKetkar

priyanka.ketkar@ldnews.net


Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lake Babine Nation closure sign
Lake Babine Nation issues COVID numbers update

Urges members to follow provincial health orders

NH representative confirmed that people who received their first dose will be scheduled to receive their second dose within the recommended timeframe.(The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette photo)
Vaccine rollout abruptly halted in Lakes District

Northern Health cites Pfizer shipment delays for the vaccine distribution disruption

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

The B.C. Government increased limited entry hunt (LEH) authorizations of cow/calf moose by 43 animals in 2020 in mountain caribou recovery areas near Revelstoke and Prince George. (Wikipedia Commons)
Cow moose and calf harvest numbers expected by May

No wolves culled yet; cull scheduled for 2021 winter

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Francina Mettes and Thomas Schouten with the 200-page document they submitted in December of 2018. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Dutch man, 94, facing unwanted trip home can stay in B.C. with wife of 45 years

Immigration offices cuts red tape so couple of 45 years can stay together in Victoria area

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier, health officials to discuss next steps in COVID immunization plan

Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Most Read