Photography courtesy of Kairyn Potts
From showing off Indigenous regalia to educating people on shared histories, these Indigenous content creators deserve an instant follow.
Date June 21, 2021
Today marks the 25th annual National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada, a time to celebrate the richness of Indigenous culture while recognizing there is still much work that needs to be done in regards to reconciliation. Through fashion, music and comedy (among other things), Indigenous content creators have been educating people through their social media platforms — and we can’t get enough. To help you get started, here is a list of five creators who are amplifying Indigenous stories through their lived experiences and sharing it on TikTok.
Marika Sila (@thatwarriorprincess)
@thatwarriorprincessGuess which part was more fun to play? 🐒 The receptionist? Or the Queen? 👑 ##nativeamerican ##culture ##indigenous ##inuit ##feminist♬ The Queen is Coming – Seth Sanker
Marika Sila is an Inuit actress from Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, best known for her lead role as sergeant Yuka Mongoyak in The Twilight Zone. In her videos, you will find her displaying Indigenous regalia and encouraging people to support Indigenous brands and designers while admonishing culturally appropriated pieces like fringe leather jackets. She is also a hoop dancer, fire performer and yoga teacher, so you can expect to see some of her routines alongside her activism.
Michelle Chubb (@indigenous_baddie)
@indigenous_baddie##voiceeffects today is a different story, I am now embracing who I am ✨🦅♬ You Driving Me Crazy (Indian Girl) – Joey Stylez & Northern Cree
Featured on Teen Vogue, Michelle Chubb is a 22-year-old living in Winnipeg who has become a TikTok star through her videos — a mixture of her jingle dress dancing, comedy sketches and social justice activism. With over 400,000 followers, she aims to inspire younger generations and fill in the educational gaps left in Canadian curriculum when it comes to Indigenous history and culture. Her mooshum, or grandfather, was her biggest mentor, she tells Teen Vogue, though he passed away around the time she was in Grade 5, which left her devastated. “I didn’t go to pow wows for a while. It was too hard, him not being there. So I took a break, but I lost myself,” she says. In Chubb’s videos, she speaks from a place of vulnerability and empowerment, discussing Canada’s dark recent history of residential schools and all the beauty that exists in her culture.
Kairyn Potts (@ohkairyn)
@ohkairynI feel like an evolved butterfly in this! Happy Pride from @Lesley_hampton ✨ Steal my look at LesleyHampton.com ##pride ##twospirit ##pridefashion♬ Touch It (remix) – Wisdom Kaye
Kairyn Potts, a Two-Spirit Nakota Sioux from Treaty 6 territory and a member of the Native Youth Advisory Council in Ontario, took to TikTok during the COVID-19 pandemic and has amassed over 120,000 followers. Through his videos, which feature a blend of fashion, makeup and comedy, he wants to address issues stemming from toxic masculinity. “I really want to show what I like to call ‘gentle masculinity,’’ Potts told Global News in a recent interview. He is also part of TikTok’s #LivingStories Campaign launched earlier this month, featuring Indigenous content creators sharing their histories and experiences.
Potts tries his best to make his platform a safe space for LGBTQ2 youth on his account, deleting hateful comments and making room for engagement. “My ultimate goal at the end of the day is to create some representation for people who look like me … and to show that there is space for us,” he says.
Larissa Munch (@lariissalynn)
@lariissalynnFeels good to dance ♥️ ##fyp ##jingledress ##native ##healing ##prayers♬ original sound – larissa munch
Larissa Munch, a 17-year-old Carrier and Nehiyaw from Nazko First Nation B.C., is another TikTok user aiming to inspire Indigenous youth through her content. As a jingle dress dancer, the teen content creator’s most popular videos (some with over 450,000 likes) are those of her dancing powwow — something she started doing from a young age.
Sherry McKay (@sherry.mckay)
@sherry.mckayInspired by my auntie 🤣 we’re just to personable sometimes🤣 🥰🥰♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod
Sherry McKay, who is from Sagkeeng First Nation and lives in Winnipeg, has over 418,000 followers and uses comedy as a way to educate people about her culture. “I don’t fit a perceived notion of what Indigenous people look like, and that’s fine because the amazing thing is that there’s so many different nations and tribes across the world and we all don’t look the same and that’s the beauty of it,” McKay says in one of her videos. “Welcome to Native Indigenous TikTok.”
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