August Schellenberg Award of Excellence

Michael Greyeyes
2018 Recipient

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This year, we are thrilled to honour actor Michael Greyeyes with the 2018 August Schellenberg Award of Excellence. Michael Greyeyes is a Nêhiyaw actor, choreographer, director and educator from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan.

In a career spanning 31 years, Greyeyes has moved fluidly between stage and screen, from his work as a dancer with The National Ballet of Canada to diverse performances in Bruce McDonald’s Dance Me Outside to his title role as Crazy Horse for TNT and for acclaimed directors such as John Sayles, Chris Eyre, and Terrence Malick.

Selected directing credits include: Pimooteewin (The Journey), the first Cree language opera with libretto by Tomson Highway, Almighty Voice and his Wife (Native Earth Performing Arts) and Seven Seconds (2010 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival). In 2010, he founded Signal Theatre and has created a number of full-length theatre works, including from thine eyes, Nôhkom, A Soldier’s Tale for the National Arts Centre and Bearing, a searing exploration of Canada’s Indian residential school legacy for the Luminato Festival in Toronto in 2017. He is an Associate Professor in the Theatre department at York University, where he teaches devised theatre and screen performance. Professor Greyeyes is published in the Canadian Theatre Review, Theatre Research in Canada, and Performing Indigeneity: New Essays on Canadian Theatre, Vol. 5.

Most recently, he has appeared in AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead” and in an acclaimed performance as legendary Hunkpapa leader Sitting Bull, in “Woman Walks Ahead” (A24) co-starring Golden Globe winning and Academy Award nominated actress, Jessica Chastain, that received its world premiere at Toronto’s International Film Festival in 2017. He can next be seen in the third season of HBO’s “True Detective” and as the lead in Jeff Barnaby’s feature film “Blood Quantum,” as Traylor, a Sheriff seeking to save his family and community from the apocalypse!


The August Schellenberg Award of Excellence was launched in partnership with Joan Karasevich Schellenberg to honor her late husband, the legendary actor August (Augie) Schellenberg, and the spirit of his work. This annual award is presented to gifted Indigenous actors from Turtle Island based on the longevity and impact of their careers, as well as their professionalism and involvement in mentorship and community work.

Award supported by ACTRA National and individual donations.