“As a queer filmmaker, I am also concerned with the striking absence of two-spirit, Indigenous stories being shared in our country.”
Growing up in the politically charged and opinionated Mohawk community of Kahnawake, I witnessed inspiring community collaboration as well as internal turmoil and lateral violence, particularly around issues of membership and identity in Kahnawake. This compels me to share the voices and stories of those who are often silenced and told they do not belong.
This led to a documentary web project Kahnawake Voices, giving the community a space that welcomes differing opinions on membership and identity. As a queer filmmaker, I am also concerned with the striking absence of two-spirit, Indigenous stories being shared in our country. My first documentary film Sex Spirit Strength focuses on the challenges and triumphs of two young Indigenous men shedding the stigma and shame associated with their sexual heath and gender identity. The goal and overall theme of my work is to bring visibility to queer issues and sexual health, and to create dialogue on our individual and collective Indigenous identity - who are we, what and who defines us?
Flat Rocks (2017) is poetic documentary short recounting 79 year-old farmer Louis Diabo’s relentless battle against the St. Lawrence Seaway expropriation that tore through his land and the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory in the 1950s, forever changing their livelihood and the landscape of the community.
Courtney Montour is a Mohawk filmmaker from Kahnawake living in Montreal, Quebec.