Storyteller follows Indigenous and queer people amid their journies to acceptance in new documentary

Follow the journey of a woman who completes her coming out process with friends, family and Indigenous community in Kettle Point, Ontario. Watch VeraCity’s Indigiqueer March 26 at 10 p.m. only on Citytv.

An Indigenous storyteller living at the intersection of both Indigeneity and queerness explores the past, present and future to help better understand her own queer identity in a new documentary.

“VeraCity: Indigiqueer,” which is set to premier March 26 on Citytv, follows Sarain Fox who seeks out the stories from other queer Indigenous figures on how they have navigated their lives.

Fox told CityNews it was important to feel like this story was told from an Indigenous lens and also portrayed alongside a lot of joy.

“I was just so tired of only seeing content that only shares trauma … this real sort of focus on trauma and traumatic histories and that’s a part of who we are as Indigenous people as Indigenous queer people. But we’re so much more than that.

“And so, I became really interested in this project and sharing these stories because I think they’re vital. But more in particular, I was really excited to share some joy mixed in with the storytelling and the history and, and trauma you see a lot of joy in this film still.”

The main story follows Fox’s young family friend, Banaise Henry, as she comes out to some of her family and friends. Fox said each story told in the documentary is unique yet “intricately connected.”

“I think the most inspiring piece over and over and over again for me, it was just the power that happens the healing the impact that sharing our stories, speaking our truth can have on young people as they came out time but I also watched it on elders as they called their stories sometimes out loud for the first time. It’s kind of underestimate that power that happens when you speak truth.”

Illona Verly, who identifies as two-spirit, made history when she appeared on Canada’s Drag Race. Fox said she and others who are taking up this space are changing the world for other young Indigenous queer people.

“You need to be able to see yourself to dream yourself into the world and I think colonization has really affected how indigenous communities are holding space for indigenous queer folk for trans people,” said Fox. “And so I think it’s vital for for change makers, warriors like Ilana taking up space to be that visual representation but also to help communities understand that this space isn’t going anywhere that these young people are important have important roles.”

Fox said, being an Indigenous and queer person, seeing these other Indigenous queer stories was very much needed.

“I needed to see myself represented not only in, in the moments of pride once a year, but in ceremony, in community from my own perspective. So, I think for me what I connected with over and over again, was the real need for Indigenous representation in this space.”

When asked what a viewer of this documentary should take away, Fox said she hopes that people just take the opportunity to listen.

I think that that is one of the most beautiful teachings that Indigenous methodologies can offer is that there’s so much value that you get when you just have the opportunity to listen to other people’s stories, perspectives. To have the opportunity to reimagine, rethink what your own bias might be, what your own experience might be.”

“And for the viewer who might be just clicking through and end up on this who might feel uncomfortable, who maybe has had these stories in their face, I really hope that they don’t turn the channel.”

Fox remains an optimist that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel and an impact of sharing these important stories.

“I think one of the things that happens is that we can get lost amid all of the work that needs to be done, all of the darkness ahead of us but we have to be able to see the light. I have hope for the work that our people do, the feeling that it’s happening … That’s what was stolen from us in residential schools. I have so much to cheer me up. That will happen in our communities as we continue to reemerge as the people we were always meant to, be fully Indigenous.”

You can watch “VeraCity: Indigiqueer” on Sunday, March 26 at 10 p.m.ET/9 p.m. CT only on Citytv

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