This intimate documentary follows Sherenté Harris, a Two Spirit teenager as s/he comes of age. Sherenté is a member of the Narragansett tribe, one of the nations first impacted by contact with invading Europeans. This film was a four-year collaboration between director Stéphanie Lamorré, Sherenté, and their family. It is a story of colonial resistance, Two Spirit leadership, and the power of young people.
One of Sherenté’s many passions is dancing. They grew up performing at powwows. But when Sherenté steps forward in full regalia as a Fancy Shawl dancer, s/he faces the colonial violence of the gender binary. Despite there being no formal rule to prohibit Two Spirit people from performing in a category different from their assigned gender, many of the judges hold Eurocentric beliefs about gender and sex. Sherenté’s firm sense of self and the support of their family, elders, and fellow dancers creates a strong foundation to overcome these challenges.
“As an Indigenous, Two Spirit youth, the most controversial act I ever committed was being myself,” says Sherenté. And like so many Indigenous youth around the world, Sherenté’s act of being themselves creates space for their people, and for all of us, to be more truthful and courageous.