By: Claire Armstrong
Considering the United States’ historic and continued cruelty toward its Native peoples, the lack of education most American students get on Native issues is pretty despicable. Fortunately, TikTok now provides a platform for many young indigenous activists who are helping to educate others on their cultures as well as the issues they face. Below, I have highlighted four North American Indigenous TikTokers who I personally have learned a lot from. Readers, give them the likes and follows they deserve!
1. Shina Nova (@shinanova)
Shina Nova is an Inuk creator from Montreal, popularly known for her videos of her and her mother throat singing together. Throat singing is an unfamiliar art to many of us, and Shina frequently receives mocking comments on her videos, but that doesn’t stop her from posting.
She educates her followers on other aspects of Inuit culture, such as traditional clothing and traditional foods, like raw beluga, wild berries, and caribou stew.
She also critiques the Canadian government for its ignorance of its indigenous peoples, and sheds light on issues of cultural appropriation and harmful stereotypes.
2. Tia Wood (@tiamiscihk)
Tia Wood is Plains Cree and Salish, from Canada, and has amassed a whopping 1.4 million followers on TikTok.
She creates videos celebrating traditional dance, singing, and clothing, and also discusses issues such as cultural appropriation.
Tia also provides the vocals for the “Make it Indigenous” version of Banjo Baby by Nico Flaco, which has become widely popular on TikTok.
3. Lia (@fiiliia)
Lia is a neurodivergent, LGBTQ+ creator who is part of the Siksika Blackfoot Tribe, a tribe in Montana and Canada.
In the first video I saw of Lia’s, she explains why many Indigenous people prefer the terms “Indigenous” or “Native” to “Native American” or “American Indians.”
Lia has made several videos condemning the romanticism of the story of Amonute, who is commonly referred to as Pocahontas.
She also has videos about successful allyship for non-Native peoples.
Lia has also emphasized the importance of protecting the Tongass Rainforest, which is culturally significant to multiple Indigenous communities.
4. James Jones (@notoriouscree)
James Jones is a traditional Native dancer, and has performed all across the globe, and is one of the top five ranked hoop dancers in the world.
In his videos, James dances in many different styles, including the hoop dance, the grass dance, the men’s chicken, and the men’s fancy dance.
James also creates Hair Teachings, in which he educates his viewers on the significance of hair in Indigenous cultures.