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(2021 - Fall/Winter Issue)


Sarain Fox, who is Anishinaabe from Batchewana First Nation near Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, is passionate about all her roles. Besides being a dancer/ choreographer, stylist, activist, brand ambassador, TV host of RISE on VICE TV and Future History on APTN, her energy these days is focused on a couple of new roles: mom to her baby daughter and a producer at Land Back Studios.

What is Land Back Studios?

Land Back is on a mission to uplift and amplify Indigenous stories and allows Indigenous storytellers to reclaim our narratives. I just completed directing 16 short films and music documentaries for the International Indigenous Music Summit this past summer. That was an incredible project! It was in partnership with Apple and all shot on iPhone.

Your first love is dance. How is dance involved in your storytelling?

So when I went to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City, being there opened my eyes to all the possibilities of performance art, and how potent the stage could be as a tool for me—as an Indigenous woman—to tell controversial stories that were hard to talk about with words.

What catches the eye when watching you in performance is the ink lines imprinted on your body.

All of my tattoos are adornments of moments in my life. I went on a deep dive to uncover and find our personal stories through Indigenous tattoos. The essential tattoo is from a piece by Indigenous artist Norval Morrisseau, “Tree of Life,” about balance and walking in a good way.

Tell us about you being the People Ambassador with the TreadRight Foundation. The non-profit arm of The Travel Corporation supports sustainable travel initiatives. Brands include Trafalgar, Insight Vacations and others.

When we travel to other people’s homelands, we’re constantly engaging with people—engaging with community stories. As a People Ambassador, it’s my place to think of the human role in sharing each other’s stories as we travel, how we affect each other, and how we can help each other thrive by sharing those stories. It’s an important role and I know first-hand the incredible impact that travel can have, but I also know the negative effects that it can have in terms of Covid. My role with TreadRight is about partnerships that help reach into the communities and create meaningful dialogues and opportunities for tourists to talk with the land’s first peoples.

COVID-19 has altered almost everyone’s travel plans. How has this affected you?

I’m looking forward to getting back on the road, visiting some powwows on what we call the powwow trail all across the Native American country. I had a trip to New Zealand planned. I’ve never been there. I was supposed to share a vital piece that I’ve been doing now for 10 years while on a tour. It shares one young girl’s story of a residential school. My mom was going to come with me as a family affair. It was quite heartbreaking when the pandemic forced cancelling this trip. I’m still dreaming of taking my mom and perhaps sharing that work with the world.

Bill King is a musician, celebrity writer, radio veteran, photo journalist and author. Coming Through the ’60s: An American Rock ’n’ Road Story by William M. King is his latest book available on Amazon.ca.

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