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5 Indigenous TikTok Creators To Educate And Inspire You

Education and the ability to inspire others is a big part of our mission. We look to different cultures, races within and outside of Canada for ways to inspire a greater well-being, increased happiness, and a deep consideration for others. Canada has been facing one of their greatest cultural atrocities during the pandemic that has brought to light a very difficult history that we must face, acknowledge, and correct. Thankfully there are indigenous creators on TikTok that are using their creativity, life stories and spoken word history to bring truth to Canadian history.

For many people in North America, we are settlers on stolen land. This concept can cause discomfort and be difficult to sit with. The history we were taught to celebrate and adhere doesn’t tell the entire story, and is often at the expense of the people who nurtured this land before colonization.  Recently, some more disturbing facts have been unearthed – literally. Thus far, more than 1,000 unmarked graves have been discovered, belonging to children who were ripped away from their families and placed in residential schools. Unfortunately, this is a drop in the bucket when it comes to the historic injustice placed on Indigenous people – there are thousands of unresolved cases for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Indigenous communities have had little to no access to clean water for decades, there is a disproportionate amount of health care access for Indigenous vs. non-Indigenous folks, and the list continues.

A Change In Perspective And Understanding of Canadian History

The original topic of this article was supposed to be a listing of TikTok accounts from Indigenous creators that will make you happy. In light of the recent social trajectory, it is in the opinion of this writer that this level of happiness needs to be more layered. Yes, Indigenous creators are so full of joy and vibrancy, which is a testament to their human nature in spite of the atrocities placed upon them. However, these days, the happiness should come alongside social justice and advocacy in a effort to be allies. Love, light, and happiness are valuable concepts. However in this case, they can be empty without examining the shadow and dark.

Here are 5 TikTok accounts from Indigenous creators that will educate, inspire, as well as make you happy.

@notoriouscree (James Jones)

James does a wonderful job of combining education and entertainment where Indigenous issues are concerned. Dance is a large part of his identity because for decades, it was illegal for Indigenous people to perform their traditional dances. He’s got a flair for showmanship through dancing in traditional regalia, and he remains unapologetic in his stance with regard to the injustices his people have to continually undergo. His personal journey of reclaiming the Indigenous culture he hated in his youth is such a compelling watch.   @notoriouscree (James Jones) 

@isapadeau (Isabelle Chapadeau)

Isabelle will be the first person to remind you that she is living a good life. She is happy, thriving, and is feeling confident and empowered as she reclaims and unpacks her Indigenous identity. Having said that, she doesn’t shy away from talking about difficult topics such as the generational trauma that Indigenous communities have suffered. An advocate of mental health, her discussions of this topic is bellied by her natural charm and charisma. It’s so easy to smile when watching her. @isapadeau (Isabelle Chapadeau)

@dedrekmose (Dedrek Mose)

Dedrek Mose is a queer Samoan artist and activist who shares clips of Polynesian dancing through TikTok. Their videos challenge our limited and traditional ideas on gender, body types, and other binary views that colonization has placed upon Indigenous communities. Most videos offer words of inspiration and a celebration of their Samoan heritage, with a touch of biting humour. @dedrekmose (Dedrek Mose)

@ohkairyn (Kairyn Bureau)

Kairyn is a 2-Spirit (queer) TikTok creator, who by their own admission is a bit “all over the place” with the kind of content they share. There’s a little bit of knowledge on what it means to be a 2-Spirit person, some posts about fashion and serving looks, humorous posts about their dating life, and teaching us about traditional land acknowledgements. A seemingly unending cast of family members and cousins are typically featured, making this TikTok account an incredibly fun family affair. @ohkairyn (Kairyn Bureau)

@shinanova (Shina Nova)

Shina is an Inuk TikTok creator who showcases a traditional art form called throat singing – which was once demonized by Christian missionaries. These days, she takes part in this happily, and often with her mother (and these videos are adorable and so full of love). She also highlights Inuit culture through regalia, traditional food, and an open discussion of her people’s practices. @shinanova (Shina Nova)

Your Give To Yourself and Others

As these Indigenous social issues arise, it is important to have these potentially difficult conversations. TikTok offers a candid and unfiltered source of knowledge directly from members of various Indigenous communities. How are you contributing to your own unlearning and unpacking? Are there any other Indigenous TikTok creators that you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments below. If you want to learn more about Indigenous history, the University of Alberta is offering as free online course. 

Be Inspired and Unpack The Truth With Indigenous Creators

Part of our ability to be happy every day is showing compassion, understanding, empathy by giving. We thank these indigenous creators, and so many others, for giving their stories, opening their culture, and being public with the difficult conversations that we all need to have and listen to. Thank you! Send any of these indigenous creators a note of gratitude on their social media accounts!

What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
“Actions really do speak louder than words, which is why I believe the 365give Challenge has resonated throughout my community. Every give we do is so important to us and leaves us happier and appreciating our lives a little bit more than before.”
Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
“After watching the 365give TEDx Talk, I was inspired to join and begin a daily giving program in India. Today, along with 12 other volunteer women, we provide 100 meals to local underprivileged children in Bangalore for school every day.”
Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
“My life has greater meaning now.”
Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
“I just wanted to share that 365give really helped me. I am a better person now, thank you.”
MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)