Tanis was born and raised in Peace River, Alberta, Canada. She is a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta and is of Cree descent. Tanis holds a Bachelor of Physical Education in Physical Activity and Sport Performance from the University of Alberta and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from The New School for Drama and has a certificate in Personal Training.
Tanis is best known for playing JANE HALFTOWN, Cayuga Tribal Council Leader, on Billions opposite Paul Giamatti; SARAH WATERS, a Mohawk mother on FBI: Most Wanted opposite Julian McMahon, LACY COUSINS, Ocheole Tribal Chairwoman on Designated Survivor opposite Kiefer Sutherland; and TAMMY, the Native American waitress on House of Cards opposite Michael Kelly.
As a producer her inaugural film A Big Black Space won Best Canadian Short at Dreamspeakers International Indigenous Film Festival, won the Royal Reel Award at the Canada International Film Festival, was nominated for Best Live Action Short at the 12th Red Nation Film Festival, garnered a broadcasting deal on ARTÉ in Germany, France and Belgium and is screening at events in colleges and universities all over North America. She is now developing a series called Red House which centers around Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
Tanis is proud to say she has graduated with both Wayne Gretzky (UofA) and Tony Kushner (NSD) who each received honorary degrees the same years she completed hers.
Tanis is the Events and Media Manager at the American Indian Community House and also runs their Fit Native program. She has spoken on panels such as the Casting Society of America's Native American and Indigenous Actor Town Hall, SAG-AFTRA Foundation Native American Actor Panel, Decolonize Hollywood: SXSW via The New School, and is on the SAG-AFTRA Native American Committee.
Tanis lives out her passion for performing with tremendous support from her family and friends, and with a duty to Louis Riel, who is quoted as saying,
My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back.