Sunshine O'Donovan


When I was born, my mom and dad welcomed me with joy because I am their first and only daughter. I have two older brothers from my mother's side and one older brother from my father's side. When I was little, I had a very short haircut so many people thought I was a boy, and remarked, "My, what a handsome little fellow!"

I attended the Lower Nicola Indian Band School from grades 2-5. I had great teachers there, and I liked the art classes and running. Since Grade 6 I have been homeschooling. My favorite subjects are reading and writing, science, art and physical education.  In my spare time I read a lot. I like mythology, fiction and some science fiction.

I have sampled a lot of sports, including fencing, archery, kung-fu, swimming, soccer, cross-country skiing and curling. This summer I started training for track and field because I want to compete at the 2014 North American Indigenous Games. I like running longer distances because I have endurance. I also like the hurdles, and the throwing events such as hammer,  javelin and discus.  For the past 3 years, I have been practising marksmanship with a .22 rifle because I would like to compete, maybe in biathlon.

At the band school, I was in a few plays. I acted the parts of the Sun, the Moon, and a  trickster rabbit.  It was easier to be in the Shana movie because I only had to perform for the camera, not for a room full of people who were watching at the same time as we were acting. I really liked working on the Shana movie because the cast and crew members were fun and supporting. We all helped each other and it was an exciting new chapter in our lives. I hope that the Shana film creates a more realistic view of our lives here in rural Canada than what TV usually shows. What the Shana film meant to me was a chance to get out in the  world and make new friends. I hope my ancestors and descendants will be proud of this film.

The movie has some powerful lessons, for anyone anywhere in the world. Shana realizes that she has to go out and do things if she wants to succeed, and that she can't be held back by other people. She also needs to learn to forgive others for their wrongdoing, and let go of things that she can't control.

I loved working with the wolf because he was intelligent and we respected each other.  My father's family has a lot of affection for coyotes and because the wolf is cousin to the coyote, I felt a special bond.

Right now, I spend my time on sports and my Grade 8 schooling. In the future I want to go to university and the Olympics.  I would like to become a dentist and travel to fix people's teeth in poorer countries.

If I could go anywhere, I would like to visit the Swiss Alps, Alaska, and Paris when it sizzles.


Interview with Sunshine 0'Donovan

Sunshine Shenandoa O'Donovan is Shana. In the interview she answers questions about the character she plays in the film and about her life.