How Activist Sarain Fox Empowers Through Her Art

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“I want to tell stories,” says Sarain Fox. “I tell stories through my body in dance, through my activism on the front-lines or retelling other people’s stories in film or television. The connection through all my work has always been about sharing, remembering and creating new stories.”
Sarain Fox is the definition of someone who has transformed their pain into power. Sarain was bullied as a young girl growing up in Barrie, Ontario. As the only Indigenous person in a primarily white school and outspoken by nature, she was often targeted. 
“We all feel different. But I am an Indigenous person who knows my history and the daughter of a parent who died by suicide,” she says. “There is this dark and complicated side to my history that impacts how I interact with and trust the world. For me to be who I am, I have had to advocate to take up space.”
The bullying did not extinguish her light, but instead ignited a fire within her to educate others. Sarain attributes having found her voice and strength to being raised by a single mother and a circle of women she calls her “fireside family,” a term used in Indigenous communities to mean those who keep you close and warm—a group that act as both teachers and confidants. With passion and energy to spare, Sarain has made it her life’s work to advocate for Indigenous people through her art. From dance to frontline activism, Sarain uses her platform to preserve the history of her people. 
“I do consider myself an activist and artist for my people,” she says. “Although this is a vulnerable position, it is a powerful one. I can lift up others who feel they are not seen or heard. To amplify the voices of others—this is what I see as my work. I don’t take it for granted. It is an honor and a privilege.”
Sarain sees her very existence as a form of resistance and activism. Growing up, she never saw herself reflected in mainstream media, and she wants the next generation of Indigenous youth to be proud of who they are. However, she feels the most important catalyst for positive change is creating a safe space for open conversations.
“Storytelling has always been how Indigenous people have passed down who we are,” Sarain explains. So many of our stories have been taken without our permission and retold without crediting the origin, or lost. Whether you are Indigenous or not, you claim your story. Who you are and what makes you a unique being, you claim this for all those who came before you and those who will come after you.”
“For me, storytelling is resistance because it speaks our truth,” she says. “And our truth is directly connected to who we are. Our truth is our belonging.”


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