Indigenous youth are using TikTok to educate and preserve their culture — and gaining hundreds of thousands of followers along the way

Indigenous youth are using TikTok to educate and preserve their culture — and gaining hundreds of thousands of followers along the way

At 18 years old, Theland Kicknosway is already a public figure in Canada, gaining more than 404,000 followers and 9.7 million likes on his TikTok videos. What’s driving all of the love and support to his account? His storytelling through the app and sharing of what it’s like to grow up as an Indigenous youth in Canada. When Kicknosway first jumped on the app, he started with creating funny videos but realized shortly after that what people gravitated toward was his perspective and the realities that he faces as a young Indigenous person. “It’s a teaching moment. We need people to understand that this is who we are as Indigenous peoples, and whether you like it or not, we’re all going forward into the future together,” Kicknosway says. And the people are listening, he adds, pointing to a video he posted in May 2020 talking about how braids are a symbol of strength, wisdom and reflect Indigenous identity. The clip ended up reaching more than 5.6 million views and 1.4 million likes. While his videos educate the joyful, proud parts …
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