Georgina was born in Edmonton, Canada, and is a Maskwacis (Plains) Cree, registered with the Samson Cree Nation of the Samson Indian Reservation near Edmonton, Alberta. She was raised off the reservation.
Georgina moved to Los Angeles with her three young children in 1990 to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts for three years. Upon graduation and completion of her studies, she remained in Los Angeles to work as an actor in the film industry and promote the careers of her three children.
However, due to the lack of roles for native women or participation of natives in the film industry, Georgina’s participation in the industry evolved from actor/acting coach, into producer, film director, screenwriter and advocate for Women and Native Americans involvement in film. She had various acting roles, coached her children, and supported various film producers in their work.
In 2007, Georgina co-founded Tribal Alliance Productions (TAP) with good friend Audrey Martinez, as a means to create opportunities for Native Indian and indigenous filmmakers. To date, TAP has produced two feature films, some shorts and music videos, is currently in Post Production, on a feature docu-drama called Fantasies of Flying, and has a slate of many projects in development.
In 2007, Georgina was featured in Filmmaker Magazine as one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film. In 2010, after her directorial debut (see below), she was the recipient of the White House Project (WHP) Emerging Artist Award in Film. WHP recognises women in leadership in all sectors. Lightning was the first woman to have received this prestigious award in the film category.
In 2008, Georgina directed, wrote, and starred in the suspense drama film Older Than America. As such, she became the first female North American aboriginal director of a feature-length film. The film won several awards from various film contests, including Best Feature Film, Best Director and Best Actor. The idea for the film came from her personal exploration of her father’s past.
Released independently, the movie also won Best Director and Best Supporting Actor at the American Indian Film Festival, the longest standing Native Film Festival in North America. The film explores and highlights the impact of the culture killing effects of the typical Native American experience in boarding schools in the 1900s, and other inter-social relationships between the Native American, the government and the people who ran these schools. This film has won over 23 awards.
Gorgina is an outspoken advocate of North American aboriginal causes, working to restore a greater common appreciation and awareness of the intrinsic value of North American aboriginal culture to society in general.
Her three children are either currently or previously performing actors. They are Crystle Lightning, Cody Lightning, and William Lightning.