There is a long-standing gap in literature and scholarship about queer Indigenous life in Canada. To date, examinations of queer indigeneity have typically focused on urban contexts. Dr. Billy-Ray Belcourt, Canada Research Chair in Queer Indigenous Cultural Production, is trying to remedy this by fostering and contributing to the emerging field of queer Indigenous studies.
To that end, he and his research team have written a novel that examines the lives of queer Indigenous peoples in northern Alberta. They are also hosting an international conference to bring together academics, activists and artists to discuss queer and trans Indigenous studies, and will publish an anthology based on the proceedings. Finally, they are developing a digital hub for queer and trans Indigenous culture and public scholarship about it. Ultimately, they aim to expand the scope of knowledge about the confluence of sexuality and race in a geographical region that has received almost no literary attention from an Indigenous point of view.