Queen of the Oil Patch celebrates two-spirit Fort McMurray entrepreneur

Massey Whiteknife's sassy, entrepreneurial and voluptuous style is coming to the small screen in a docu-series titled Queen of the Oil Patch.

Series stars businessman Massey Whiteknife, who transforms into entertainer Iceis Rain

A promo photo for the upcoming show Queen of the Oil Patch featuring Massey Whiteknife. (Great Pacific TV)

Massey Whiteknife's sassy, entrepreneurial and voluptuous style is coming to the small screen in a docu-series titled Queen of the Oil Patch.

The documentary/reality TV show premieres Tuesday night on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

It places the spotlight on Whiteknife, a two-spirited First Nations entrepreneur who transforms into Iceis Rain, all against the landscape of Fort McMurray's oilsands region.

The trailer for the eight-episode season depicts Massey day-to-day, meeting contractors and roughnecks.

Then it quickly cuts to Iceis Rain, wearing cherry-red lipstick and sashaying in peacock headdresses, fur coats and bejewelled stilettos.

"I don't identify myself as trans[gender]," Whiteknife said in a CBC interview. "I identify myself as two-spirited and that is the journey throughout the show. I always tell people you don't need to put yourself in a label that society says.

"And I am not a big fan of having all these labels because then we are going to have this alphabet right across the board."

First Nations people use the term two-spirit to describe someone who has both masculine and feminine identities.

Massey Whiteknife transforms into Iceis Rain in real life and in the new Reality TV show Queen of the Oil Patch. (Great Pacific TV/ Submitted)

The show follows Whiteknife as he navigates life after the Fort McMurray wildifire, operating a struggling business in a tanking economy.​

Some moments depict Whiteknife as an upholder of Indigenous culture who keeps traditional dance and spirituality alive in the 21st century.

He's also a champion for LGBTQ2 youth who are bullied, and urges them to be themselves and not live for others.

"I dress up because I am a woman. And why can't I?" Whiteknife said. "I hope what people take away from the show is the real me."

Drama and a search for self

In the show, Whiteknife owns and operates a program called Get Ready; which helps First Nations people find full-time employment in Canada.

But the trailer also promises glamour, layers of makeup and "porn star" Botox lips — as Whiteknife describes in his brash style. There's also late-night drama and other twists, including a record album and a vehicle accident.

Whiteknife also ponders identity questions about whether he will transition from male to female.

"The large part of the question is, can I continue to sustain my lifestyle as Massey and Iceis Rain?" Whiteknife said.

"Or am I going to get rid of one or the other. So, will I transition full-time?

"You will just have to watch to find out."

Queen of the Oil Patch airs Tuesday nights on APTN at 10.30pm.

Connect with David Thurton, CBC's Fort McMurray correspondent, on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn or email him at david.thurton@cbc.ca


David Thurton

Senior reporter, Parliamentary Correspondent

David Thurton is a senior reporter in CBC's Parliamentary Bureau. He covers daily politics in the nation’s capital and specializes in environment and energy policy. Born in Canada but raised in Trinidad and Tobago, he’s moved around more times than he can count. He’s worked for CBC in several provinces and territories, including Alberta and the Northwest Territories. He can be reached at david.thurton@cbc.ca