Documentarist examines Indigenous identity in courageous new film

Local filmmaker Robert Genaille has started the Indiegogo campaign to see his dream documentary "The Indian You Know" come to fruition

Local documentarist Robert Genaille examines indigenous identity in his new film 'The Indian You Know.' Genaille has started the Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to see his film come to fruition.

Sir Perphoulous Films officially launched the Indiegogo campaign for the feature length documentary, The Indian You Know. The campaign will be running from August 31 to October 8, 2015 and is seeking to raise a total of $20,000 in funds toward the completion of the film.

Hope resident Robert Genaille, envisioned the documentary as a response to the issues First Nations people are experiencing, especially around identity, representation of themselves and the perception of other native and non-native people.

The Indian You Know is an examination of Indigenous identity in Canada today — the complexities, the contradictions and the people who live those experiences every day,” said Genaille.

The documentary will offer a bird’s eye view of what indigenous identity actually means through the eyes of the various sources Genaille will be interviewing throughout the length of the film.

“I’m making the film because I want to start the conversation on how indigenous people present themselves to the world and how they are perceived,” he told The Hope Standard. “For example, I interviewed a guy who went to live in Vancouver with non-native parents.”

According to Genaille there are an excess of crucial rules and understandings regarding the indigenous population and who they are as people here in Canada.

“It can become confusing and downright misunderstood for everybody, especially those of us who have to live it everyday,” he said. “This is a documentary that is examining and unraveling the complexity of Indigenous identity in Canada.”

Words like status, non-status, Urban, rural, metis, Inuit, First Nations, Aboriginal, Indian, NDN, will be scrutinized as Genaille tries to determine what the labels mean and how they affect the people who have to live with them.

“How we are identified and are recognized matters — how we represent ourselves matters and that is why I am embarking on this film” he said. “We have to stop judging one another on how native or non-native we are and deal with the lateral violence we are facing, and we have to be proud of who we are — because if you are proud of who you are, you will have self esteem and other things, and not just exist.”

Sir Perphoulous Films is an independent production company co-owned by Genaille, who holds a Masters in Education with a focus on Indigenous education and has taught First Nations studies at places like Hope Secondary School. He is also Sto:lo, and a member of the Peters Band. For more information on The Indian You Know, please check out the campaign at www.indiegogo.com, or contact Robert at 604-819-4432 or robert.spfilms@gmail.com