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Indigenous artist Taran Kootenhayoo has passed away

The artist was known for his role as Niki in the Vancouver film 'Bella Ciao!'
Taran-Kootenhayoo
Taran Kootenhayoo

Indigenous artist Taran Kootenhayoo has passed away.

The Vancouver company Section 35 broke the news on Friday, January 1, 2021 in an Instagram post.

Kootenhayoo was a Denesułįné and Stoney Nakoda multi-disciplinary artist from Treaty 6 territory in Alberta, who lived in Vancouver.

He graduated from Capilano University’s Acting for Stage and Screen program in 2015 and is perhaps best known for his role as Niki in the 2018 Commercial Drive Productions feature film Bella Ciao!, which he starred in aside Carmen Aguirre.

He was the ‘Star to Watch’ at the 2018 Whistler Film Festival as well as the ‘Sam Payne’s Most Promising Newcomer’ award at the 2019 Jessie Theatre Awards.

Section 35 wrote:

"A Tribute to Our Dear Friend, Standing Sunrise // Taran - He brought beauty and light to this world and everyone he touched. He had a heart of gold and carried himself with kindness in way we should all strive for. He was a day one family member for us and graced our shoots with his beauty and style year after year all the while he was a talented artist, skater and star in his own right. Creator called a legend home. We love you and you will be missed. Rest in Power Brother."