Can you tell me your story of meeting Lloyd Kaufman?
Ya so it was at a horror convention in Calgary. It was pretty dead, as a lot of horror conventions are, and I was pretty broke when I went there and I saw Lloyd Kaufman and I was talking to him about movies and how much I loved his movies and how I loved the recent one, which was Return to Nuke Em’ High, at that point. And then we got to chatting and he gave me a shirt, Toxic Avenger shirt, and a signed copy of Return to Nuke Em’ High. And then he drove me to a theater where Return to Nuke Em’ High was playing. Ya it was great, Lloyd’s great, I met him and his wife and they were lovely people.

How long was the drive to the theater?
It was like a half an hour.

Did you guys chat on the way?
Ya I was just telling him about my movie ideas and then he asked me to send it to him and like he could maybe produce them potentially. But ya it was very influential for me as a young person. I was like 18. Now I’m a professional First AC focus puller.

In Alberta?
No, here in Vancouver. I work in the industry. Maybe thanks to Lloyd. I’m an indie boy, that’s what I do full-time.

How long have you been in Vancouver for?
I’ve been there for 6 years now and I’ve been in the industry for most of it. Now I’m out here at Fairy Creek.

What inspired you to come to Fairy Creek?
I just stand with Indigenous people and Indigenous sovereignty, as an Indigenous person. Especially with how messed up industry is in not respecting sovereignty and a lot of coercion tactics and foul play and horrible things that go on. And then when they don’t get their way, stuff like this happens and people get upset and then the military comes. It’s a nightmare and it happens all over Canada and the United States. It’s just awful, so I’m here to support.

Do you mind saying a bit more about what kind of coercion tactics are used within First Nations communities that’s leading up to this kind of thing?
I mean I can only speak on my first hand experiences that I’ve had and that is that oil companies will get people that are really good at talking and like a lot of Indigenous people are not familiar with money as a concept and don’t understand what people mean sometimes. And they're very flashy they’ll try to like pay for things to look nice, like they’ll ask people if they want their school paid for and things like that. And big sums of money, under the table stuff, which is very weird. Most people don’t accept it. I’ve personally had it happen to me with Suncor; somebody at Suncor offered me sums of money and I quietly declined it, on my home territory on Morley. When you don’t accept it, they just move on to the next family and they try to set up these weird things, like especially arts, a lot of films are funded by oil; all over Canada, everything’s blood money. As an artist working in one of these fields, I’ve had to quit a lot of jobs because I found a paper trail led to oil companies and things like that. Those are my real experiences with that. There are more deeper things that are at play that I’m not educated on or don’t have experience with.

What’s your Nation?
I’m Stony Nakoda, or Iyarhe (Ee-yah-hee), which means 'people who speak the good language'. Stoney Nakoda is from Alberta and Saskatchewan area and we go all the way down to the middle of America. The territory is very large because we’re tied in with the Lakota and Dakota. And we’re also known as Assiniboine and we’re also known as Sioux. Those are also our names, but names other people gave to us. Sioux means snake in the grass because people thought we were snakes because they don’t like us.

We you given that name by other Nations or by colonizers?
We were given that name by other Nations. We were given that name by the Algonquin. That’s what Sioux means, it’s not a Stoney word, it’s not a Nakoda word, not a Lakota word.

So it was given to you by the Algonquin and then the Colonizers gave it to you but it wasn’t the name that was from within your language.
Ya but people generally think Iyarhe. And I’m also Pomo, which is from Southern California, the Coastal Nations down South. We also got displaced horribly, obviously with San Diego, San Fransisco, Los Angeles. Really really heavily colonized.

What do you see as the path forward?
I don’t know. I don’t think I’m able to speak on that personally. Definitely, it’s a whole mess. Don’t know. That’s my answer.

That’s a wise answer.
That’s my honest and true answer. It’s hard to say what’s right. I just follow a lot of radical youth and take their lead and I support them. It seems they’re more knowledgeable about things. Especially here on the coast, there are a lot of very radical people who are very knowledgeable, and I like to listen to them and try to follow their word and how they do things. So that’s how I sort of judge things. Because I’m also a man and like it comes with a lot of privilege and I also speak very good English and I also went to University and these come with privileges. So that’s where that lies and that’s why I like to follow the youth, and older people, as to what to do.

How to do you balance your work life which is the film industry, which is very like fast-paced, commercialized and capitalistic with your deeper Indigenous roots?
It’s really a complicated thing and I really have a lot of emotions, especially with the commercials and things because they’re really not my style. But I think as far as why I’m doing it, it’s very much for knowledge and to transfer this knowledge because I teach youth film making. Y’know if they wanna do it they can do it and if I have this knowledge then I can give it to them because it’s very technical and using cameras is very technical and I can pass that on. And as far as balancing work and activism and being a Native person, it took me a long time to balance it, but I think I have it pretty good and I decline a lot of jobs. I'm in a privileged of enough position to do that. I pick and choose what I like and I don’t work very many days a month because what I do very specialized and not a lot of people can do it. So that comes with high wages and I’m not greedy and I just take the days that I need and only work enough to support myself.

I did the same thing when I was in film and it can kinda work going back and forth from this kind of thing (activism).
Ya you can just like fuck off for a couple of weeks.

Is there anything else you’d like to say to the nerds of Neocities?
I don’t know. It was very surprising to have somebody recognize my shirt, I was like whaaaa nobody knows what this is.

What are your other favourite Troma films?
Class of Nuke Em’ high is pretty classic, Tomeo and Juliet is also pretty funny.

Have you seen Monster in Closet?
No, I don’t think I’ve seen that one.

I recommend to you Monster in a Closet. How about other films from that time period, or just in general, what are some of your favourite films?
It’s all like 80’s stuff. What’s stuck in my head is Sleepaway Camp, it’s just so absurd. I just keep watching it, I don’t know why. It’s a high school camp movie where a bunch of people go camping and they’re playing baseball at summer camp and it’s kind of a horror movie but kind of not and there was a whole baseball game in it, a whole very homoerotic baseball game. There’s people with really short shorts, crop tops and big muscley men playing baseball and I’m like what is going on? And then somebody gets their face melted from this thing and like jesus what is this movie?, there’s a lot of face melting. I guess I really love American Werewolf in London, that movie slaps, it’s so good.

Is that a 35mm camera you have?
Ya I found this camera in a flooded house when I was a teenager wandering around in there kind of cleaning up ish, kind of spray painting it. I used to walk around abandoned buildings cause there were abandoned houses on the reserve where I grew up and this one house I went in had a box of VHS’s in it so I brought that home. I think I was 12 years old and it was full of horror movies, like really weird ones. That’s how I saw Child’s Play and I just like traumatized myself. There was a VHS tape of Halloween, and there’s this movie that really stuck with me, it’s really hilarious, I recommend it, it’s called The Stuff. I saw The Stuff and it made me scared of yogurt when I was a kid.

Oh ya I totally saw that too when I was a kid!
It’s like trypophobia, people’s heads explode and turn into weird yogurt. And ya, Phantasm, there was a VHS of the second one and the third one in there. Puppetmaster, things like that, there was like a ton of VHS tapes in there. I would find a ton of weird stuff cause I would just wander around abandoned buildings all the time. And that’s how I got into watching horror movies.

That’s awesome.