Sask. athletes start podcast to showcase Indigenous talent and stories

Best friends River Thomas and Raymond Fox created Foxing Around, a self-produced podcast based on creating meaningful conversation with Indigenous guests.

Best friends River Thomas and Raymond Fox co-host Foxing Around

From their basement in Olds, Alberta the Saskatchewan men are hoping to help people tell their stories, but also hear stories of success. (Submitted by Raymond Fox )

What began as an idea for two Cree best friends has turned into a podcast that is catching on with their laid back conversation and list of Indigenous guests.

"We firmly believe that everyone has a story," said River Thomas, 25, originally from the Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation in Saskatchewan, and co-host of Foxing Around.

"Everyone comes from all aspects of life with some sort of knowledge they can give or share to the general public."

The other co-host is Raymond Fox, 25, originally from the Sweetgrass First Nation in Saskatchewan. The pair currently live and produce the program out of their basement in Olds, Alta., where they both are student athletes.

Fox attends Red Deer College, where he plays soccer, and Thomas goes to Olds College on a partial volleyball scholarship.

"The thing I am most proud of is we are doing this together," Fox said.

"To do this with my best friend is the best part about it." 

Fox came up with the idea to do their own podcast after being interviewed on a Saskatchewan podcast this past summer.

"I was shown the basics and thought it would be a great platform to start Foxing Around," said Fox. 

Fox thought with COVID-19 restrictions it was a great time to do it, so the pair scraped up some funds to buy used microphones and a mixer and with a homemade green screen the podcast was on the air in October.

"We wanted to create meaningful conversation, but at the same time keep it light," he said. 

The list of guests has included a wide variety of people from actor Adam Beach, international round dance singers Fawn and Tia Wood, as well as Saskatchewan rapper Joey Styles, who was their first guest.

"They are just starting out and you get that feeling it was something they were meant to do," said Styles. 

"It seems to be thriving; they are connecting with people while realizing their dream and inspiring others."

Joey Styles, a Indigenous rapper from Saskatoon was the first guest on the podcast. (Submitted by Raymond Fox )

The show has gained thousands of followers and comments from the audience are reflected, with issues ranging from culture, entertainment and personal stories of guests. 

Melissa Worm, originally from Kawacatoose First Nation in Saskatchewan said that, as a listener, she was excited to hear about the subjects the show delves into.

"Hearing the culture being talked about from a younger point of view and how honest and open the space they created to talk about these things is becoming, is really very exciting," she said.

Fox said they hope to bring together people who have success stories with others who can either learn from them or relate to them. 

According to the pair they have had messages and comments from Indigenous people all over Canada and the United States. 

The podcast airs every Sunday on Facebook and can be found on YouTube.