Born in La Tuque in 1991, Rykko Bellemare lives in Wemotaci. He is a drummer, singer, and the manager of Northern Voice, a musical group from Wemotaci that has performed at numerous Canadian pow wows since 2010. Northern Voice consists of some fifteen drummers and singers as well as four female back-up vocalists. In 2014 and 2015, Northern Voice was nominated in the category Best Contemporary Pow Wow CD at the Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards. They collaborated with the band A Tribe Called Red on the pieces Sisters and Suplex.
Rykko has taken part in and won numerous traditional Native dance competitions in Québec and Canada. He was a member of the Québec delegation of Atikamekw dancers at the World Culture Festival in Berlin in 2011, where he performed before a crowd of over 70,000. An adept of mixed martial arts, he has also fought in a number of amateur matches in Mauricie.
Rykko follows the traditional lifestyle every day, spending time in the forest, hunting, fishing and trapping. He is the proud father of baby Miyona, who also appears in the film.
“Shawnouk resembles me with his protective nature and sense of family. He’s someone I can relate to, though his life is very different from mine. I’m very active. I spend all my time in the forest with my boys.
The shoot was difficult because for many hours each day I had to connect to emotions linked to mourning. The burden of my character was heavy to bear, but the worst part was having my hair done after every take! Chloé asked me if I’d make another film with her. I answered, ‘Sure, if it’s a film about hunting or a comedy shot in the forest!’”
– Rykko Bellemare
You can look at the clip A Tribe Called Red ft. Northern Voice