It is a common tendency to refer to Indigenous people in the past tense. This blatant act of erasure is extremely harmful because it allows non-Indigenous people to disregard issues directly impacting Indigenous communities while simultaneously profiting off their culture through cultural appropriation.
While social media has often privileged White voices over people of color and marginalized creators (remember the #BlackTikTokStrike?), access to social media has also served as a means of enhancing Native representation. It has the capacity to level the playing field and redefine who is an “expert” and gets to speak on certain subject matter. And it has allowed folks to have their own voice and be able to hold people and big brands accountable for cultural appropriation. More on this from @dineaesthetics:
Our blog name — like our logo — is The Megaphone, because we believe it is not our role to reinvent the wheel. Instead, we serve as a megaphone, amplifying the work of the individuals and organizations that are boots on the ground everyday fighting for our rights.
This blog post aims to do just that — amplify 16 Indigenous activists on Instagram and TikTok that share their Indigenous culture, remind us what it means to be true allies, and advocate for the intersectional issues impacting Indigenous communities.
“The world is slowly recognizing that Indigenous people are not only beautiful and strong, but we hold values that are solutions to a lot of today’s problems, such as the climate crisis.” — Quannah Chasinghorse
1. Charlie Amáyá Scott / IG and TikTok: @dineaesthetics
Charlie Amáyá Scott is an Indigenous, trans-femme. They are a nonbinary educator and doctoral student and create content that explores what it means to be Diné, queer, and trans. (Check out their blog Diné Aesthetic(s) here!) Some of our favorite videos she shares reminds us that being Two-Spirit is not synonymous with being Queer and Trans, demonstrates how the word decolonization is often misused, and outlines how to be a better ally to Indigenous people. She is also always promoting other Indigneous accounts for folks to follow.
They said, “TikTok provides an opportunity for people outside of Native communities to directly learn and listen from us. That's amazing since for so long we have been historically silenced by mass media, and we are able to challenge and disrupt misrepresentations of our communities through TikTok and other platforms."
2. Tia Wood / TikTok & IG: @tiamiscihk
Tia Wood is a singer and creator based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She champions her Cree and Salish cultures on TikTok and Instagram, using these apps as platforms to educate others about her people’s history and traditions.
For instance, with this video, she provides this phone number (907) 312-5085 and asks followers to “text your zip code or city to find out which indigenous tribes correspond to your region”
@tiamiscihk (907) 312-5085 text your zip code or city to find out which indigenous tribes correspond to your region! 💗 #indigenous #native #nativetiktok #land ♬ original sound - audios
She is also super talented at TikTok trends and ‘Making It Indigenous.’ This Harry Potter video is one of our favorites.
3. Quannah Chasinghorse / IG: @quannah.rose
Quannah Chasinghorse is Hän Gwich’in and Sičangu/Oglala Lakota and currently based in Fairbanks, Alaska. She’s a Climate Warrior, Land Protector, and IMG Model. In 2020, she fought to conserve her state’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge despite threats from the Trump administration. On why these issues are so important to her, in an interview with Teen Vogue, Quannah said,
“I'm an Indigenous youth trying to stick up for our ways of life. They’re just tearing up more land, destroying more water, and in the end, when all of the oil is extracted out of Alaska, what are they going to do? We need to reconnect and rebuild our relationship to the land. If all of this were to be destroyed from drilling and oil spills, I don’t know how I would feel connected anymore. I don’t want that taken from us.”
She has also advocated for prominent Indigenous issues like Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Spirit and Landback.
4. Shina Nova / IG and TikTok: @shinanova
Shina Novalinga is an Inuk creator based in Montreal, Canada. Her TikToks consist of videos of her throat singing, a style of music unique to Inuit people, and often feature her special relationship with her mother.
Inuit throat singing was nearly lost in Canada after Christian missionaries banned it in the early 20th century. In an interview, she shared that “it means so much” to be able to sing and keep her culture alive. “And now, to put it on social media, I feel like our voices — mine, my mother’s and our people’s — are finally being heard. We want to throat sing for those who couldn’t.”
She also creates informative content, and some videos that we have found super insightful are about the expensive food costs in Indigenous communities, the Residential School system, and facts you might not know about Indigenous peoples.
@shinanova Facts that you might not know about Indigenous People’s 🤔 @kayuulanova #indigenous #inuit #taxes ♬ A-O-K - Tai Verdes
5. Prestin Thōtin-awāsis / IG: @prestomanifest0
Prestin is a Two-Spirit Indigenous poet. Before we go overboard sharing their poetry here, we recommend you check out their IG account. He shares poetry, reminders, ways to support Indigenous people, and some beautiful personal photos.
6. Radmilla Cody / IG: @radmillacody
Radmilla is of the Tla'a'schi'i' (Red Bottom People) clan and is born for the Naahilii (African-Americans). She’s a GRAMMY nominee, winner of Native American Music Awards, and one of NPR’s 50 great voices. You can find her latest music here. A survivor of domestic violence, Radmilla uses her personal experiences to advocate strongly against the epidemic of violence. The award winning documentary, “Hearing Radmilla,” explores her journey as an activist and performer. She uses her Instagram to promote events that amplify the issues she’s passionate about including anti-blackness, MMIW, and domestic violence.
7. Sean Snyder / IG: @seanqsnyder
Sean Snyder is a Two-Spirit Indigenous dancer and designer. He is Navajo and Southern Ute and is based outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. He grew up partaking in Utah’s powwow circuit, and his Instagram is filled with beautiful photos and videos where he is dressed in his own regalia and fancy dancing — which he describes as a “warrior-style dance. It’s a very high-energy, explosive style.”
8. Michelle Chubb / IG and TikTok: @indigenous_baddie
Michelle is Swampy Cree from Northern Manitoba. She’s a talented beading artist (check her work on IG: @baddie_beadwork) and model. She uses her platform to educate viewers about her life and culture, while simultaneously inspiring change within her community and beyond. Her videos blend Indigenous regalia, relatable jokes, and social justice activism.
Reminding folks Indigenous people are still here, check out one of our favorite videos:
@indigenous_baddie We’re not extinct btw! We are still here, we never left. ✨🦅 To the Indigenous people: stay strong ❤️ #indigenoustiktok #fypシ #cree #foryou ♬ Cities vs Everybody - fivar
9. Naiomi Glasses / IG and TikTok: @naiomiglasses
Naiomi is a seventh-generation Diné textile artist and skateboarder who lives on Navajo land. We recommend following her IG for the colors and beautiful shots alone! Additionally, her TikTok posts share snippets of her life – featuring her skateboarding, weaving textiles, and spending time with her goats and dogs. She also raises awareness about her bilateral cleft lip and palate.
Roll on with the fashion inspo… 🛹 Meet our holiday style hero Naiomi Glasses and discover more in this year’s gift guide now.♬ original sound - Amazon Fashion
10. Autumn Peltier / IG: @autumn.peltier
Autumn advocates for clean drinking water in First Nations communities and acts as the Chief Water Commissioner for the Anishinabek Nation. As a Global Water Activist she has spoken at the United Nations World Water Day and has been honored by the Assembly of First Nations as a water protector. Her Instagram bio shares this petition which demands clean drinking water for Indigenous communities.
She recalls meeting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2016. “I was told not to say anything to him, just to give him a gift. When he reached for the gift, I pulled back and said, ‘I’m very unhappy with the choices you made and the broken promises to my people,’ and I started crying. He said, ‘I will protect the water.’”
11. Lance Tsosie / IG and TikTok: @modern_warrior_
@modern_warrior__ #duet with @modern_warrior__ settler colonialism #heycolonizer #colonialism #nativefamily #nativetiktok #fypシ #fyp #indigenous #education #history ♬ Lofi - Domknowz
Lance grew up on the Navajo Nation and is an active member of the Denver Native American community. His TikToks blend content that educate his audience on Indigenous issues and social and environmental injustices, while utilizing the hashtag #heycolonizer to confront harmful stereotypes and racism.
12. Korina Emmerich / IG: @korinaemmerich
Korina is a clothing designer, artist, and writer. She’s Puyallup from Coast Salish territory.
She recently received some much deserved recognition because her work was featured by a high-profile Interior Secretary Deb Haaland — the first Native American woman appointed to that position.
Credit: Camila Falquez/Thompson | InStyle
She also organizes with the Indigenous Kinship Collective based in Brooklyn. They run a mutual aid organization to support people who are unsheltered. And she serves on the board of directors for the Slow Factory Foundation.
13. Haatepah / IG: haatepah and TikTok: @desertndn
Haatepah, also known as Coyotl, is a model and social activist of Chichimeca-Guamare descent. His TikToks are wide-ranging, covering climate change activism and the nuanced experience of growing up outside of tribal communities, and as an Indigenous Mexican person reconnecting to one’s background.
@desertndn Words from Juan Reynoso #nativetiktok #nativeamericanheritagemonth #nativepride #indigenous #fyp #foryou #new ♬ original sound - dyamithomas
14. Maka Monture Pӓki / IG: @makamonture
Maka is Tlingit, Mohawk, and Filipino woman from Yakutat, Alaska. She is an Indigenous jewelry designer, scholar, storyteller, poet, and ceremonial performer. In addition, she has been involved with environmental issues since high school and is a recipient of various awards and keynote speaking opportunities for her efforts as an environmental activist. Maka helps manage the Arctic Youth Ambassadors Program, which brings together diverse youth from across Alaska to build awareness about life in the Arctic. By working with youth ambassadors and the US Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, Maka helps share local and global perspectives on sustaining communities and cultures, as well as the changing Arctic environment. Her Instagram features issues to a wide range of Indigenous communities including the protecting the Tongass National Forest, the Wet’suwet’en matriarchs fighting the pipeline injunction, and Hawaiians protecting Mauna Kea.
15. Kairyn Potts / TikTok: @ohkairyn
Kairyn Potts, a Two-Spirit Nakota Sioux and self described Indigifuturist, shares TikToks about his life in Tkaronto (aka Toronto). He blends humor, fashion, art, and makeup, while tackling diverse subjects like dating, mental health, and traditional land acknowledgements. He also has incredible takes on Tik Tok trends. One of our favorites is this Mean Girls video:
@ohkairyn Mean Girls, but make it rez. Part 3 ✨💅 #nativetiktok #nativeamerican #twospirit #meangirls @realshannonbaker @mosomniya @crystle.lightning ♬ original sound - Kairyn Potts
16. James Jones / IG and TikTok: @notoriouscree
James is an Indigenous educator that has harnessed the power of social media to reclaim and share his culture. He was part of an original TikTok ad campaign in Canada, called ‘It Starts on TikTok,’ which was designed to celebrate Canadian creators making an impact through the social media platform.
@notoriouscree Answer @im_siowei 27 million 🤯 #nativefamily #fyp #indigenous #fypシ ♬ original sound - Tia Wood
He is from Alberta and Cree and admits that he wasn’t connected to his culture growing up because he has a number of family members who were educated in Canada’s residential schools. As a result, he wasn’t able to reclaim his voice and fully celebrate his heritage until he was older.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list. We know there are so many more so feel free to share your favorites with us! The main call to action here is simple: DIVERSIFY. YOUR. FEEDS.