The Sunday Edition

'We are the ancestors of the future,' says Blackfoot filmmaker Cowboy Smithx

"There's a real responsibility for this generation to do something about what has gone wrong in this country," says Smithx, a filmmaker from Piikani and Kainai Nations in Southern Alberta.
"We are the ancestors of the future, and that's something we shouldn't take lightly." (Cowboy Smithx/Facebook)
Listen18:54

As a young man in his 30s, Cowboy Smithx says he's already thinking about the kind of elder he wants to be someday.

"Elder in the making is my truest aspiration," said Smithx.

"I've grown up where racism is completely normalized in my life, and I want to end that trend for my son, my future grandchildren ... There's a real responsibility for this generation to do something about what has gone wrong in this country."

We are the ancestors of the future, and that's something we shouldn't take lightly.- Cowboy Smithx

He's a Blackfoot filmmaker from Piikani and Kainai Nations in Southern Alberta. In 2015, he founded REDx Talks, an Indigenous speakers series modelled after TED Talks.


He is also the artistic director for the Iiniistsi Treaty Arts Society, and runs a travelling film school called Noirfoot Narrative Labs. 

Smithx speaks with The Sunday Edition's guest host David Gray about the story behind his unusual name, and why he sees uncomfortable conversations about Canada's past and future as an opportunity.

"What I recognize very clearly is that there's an identity crisis in this country. For me, I don't see this as a problem," said Smithx.

"Anybody who has any fragility about these uncomfortable conversations needs to flip the switch and understand that this is a huge opportunity, that we are actually being called to action for our future generations."

Click 'listen' at the top of the page to hear the interview.