Presented by the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI)
Star Anderson – Winnipeg, MB
Star is from Pinaymootang First Nation and lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She enjoys making TikToks to spread laughter but, most importantly, to raise awareness on Indigenous issues.
She started TikTok during lockdown due to COVID-19. She loves to educate herself on Indigenous topics and is engaged in the community to spread awareness on the impact of residential schools and MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women).
TikTok handle: staranderson1
Lynn-Marie Angus – Vancouver, BC
Lynn-Marie is claimed by the Gitxaala, Nisga’a, Cree and Metis Nations. Living on unceded Coast Salish territories in Vancouver, British Columbia, Lynn-Marie is the owner of Indigenous Business of the Year 2021, Sisters Sage.
She is an activist who uses her social media platforms to share about injustices and inequalities, Indigenous culture and social issues, and her handmade products.
Lynn-Marie gives back to her community through volunteer work, donations, fundraising and mentorship. Community connection is key to her success and she is thrilled to be growing her community with the help of TikTok and the National Screen Institute.
Thea Arthurson – Oliver, BC
Tansi, I am a Cree woman from Kinosao Sipi (Norway House Cree Nation), Manitoba, residing in the beautiful Okanagan Valley with my lifer and two children.
In 2019 my mother passed away, I had my second son, and shortly after I was diagnosed with mental illness and an autoimmune disease. It was then, where I felt like all my self-control was lost, that I became the most motivated to share humour, kindness and positivity because, at times, that’s all I could control.
Through my love of cooking bannock, I create and share recipes and my stories with friends and followers every weekend.
At times my disease is unpredictable but I show my followers what life with rheumatoid arthritis and depression is like for me. It can be rough, but with my approach of kindness and humour I am getting the best medicine!
Eagle Blackbird – Wallaceburg, ON
I am 18 years old, and I’m from Walpole Island First Nation Reserve located in southwestern Ontario, Canada.
I am currently an Indigenous creator on TikTok with over 250K followers. I make videos about Native life, Native humour and awareness for Indigenous people. I enjoy spreading awareness about my people, and making our voices heard through TikTok. I love to spread good medicine throughout my videos. Laughter is medicine.
Erin Brillon – Courtenay, BC
Erin is Haida and Cree and grew up immersed in the vibrant world of northwest coast Native art. Her earliest work experience in her teens was assisting her mother in promoting Native art.
After decades in the non-profit realm in Indigenous empowerment programs, since 2016 Erin has focused all her energy on growing her clothing, home decor and jewellery business, and social enterprise, Totem Design House (TDH).
TDH is built on a foundation of Indigenous values and is the culmination of a family effort. Co-creating with her brother, fiancé and daughter, Erin has designed, produced, marketed and administered every aspect of her growing business.
Vanessa Brousseau – Welland, ON
Vanessa is Inuk and Ojibwe and grew up in northern Ontario. Vanessa’s sister Pamela Jayne Holopainen has been missing for over 17 years, so she has become a strong advocate for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit. As an Indigenous woman, Vanessa has personally experienced abuse, neglect, racism and poverty.
Vanessa sits on an advisory board for Inuit children in the Ontario child welfare system and runs a bi-weekly virtual Inuit women’s group.
For the last eight years, Vanessa has been a public servant for the federal government and also owns her own handmade jewellery shop, Resilient Inuk Creations, that was opened officially in March 2020.
Vanessa creates traditional jewellery and works with sealskin, rabbit fur, feathers and moose hide. Vanessa also creates red dress items in remembrance and honour of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit.
Daniel Cutknife – Wetaskiwin, AB
I have a disability. I love doing comedy and I love dancing. I love sharing my Native culture and I am Two-Spirited.
My niece, who called me musical, got me into TikTok in 2018. I do my best to ignore the haters. I like to keep it positive. I eventually want to include my family or friends on my TikToks
Celeste Day Rider – Lethbridge, AB
I am born and raised in Southern Alberta, Canada, I’ve grown to understand and acknowledge my identity as an Indigenous woman living in the small city of Lethbridge.
Growing up from a young child to now, aged 22, I’ve come to recognize my passions in life as a Canadian, a university student, content creator and a role model for those in my community.
With my university education, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to learn about my own history as an Indigenous person in Canada, which has been a huge contribution to my reconnection to my culture and ancestors. With my continuing education, I am applying my knowledge to my TikTok content in hopes of educating those who take the time to understand and listen.
Jenny Kay Dupuis – North York, ON
Jenny Kay Dupuis (a member of Nipissing First Nation) is a multi-award-winning Indigenous author, artist and educator whose expertise supports the advancement of Indigenous education and the importance of relationship building.
Jenny Kay’s interest in her family’s past and her commitment to teaching about Indigenous realities through literature drew her to co-write I Am Not a Number, a best-selling children’s book about her granny’s experience at a residential school. Her second book is due out in 2023.
More recently, Jenny Kay is focused on creating fine art. Her collection of art blends her artistic skills with her interests in Woodland art, storytelling, and pop culture.
Jenny Kay completed her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Calgary. She holds a master of education and a bachelor of arts in history/visual arts. She is also a certified teacher. A well-sought after public speaker, Jenny Kay makes Toronto her home.
Sebastian Gaskin – Winnipeg, MB
Sebastian is a multi-instrumentalist R&B singer-songwriter based in Winnipeg, Canada, who grew up in Tataskweyak Cree Nation or Split Lake as it’s better known.
Sebastian writes and self produces music that is anything but formulaic, thanks to eclectic musical tastes in R&B, hip-hop, metal and punk. The Winnipeg Free Press says, “…think Post Malone mixed with Frank Ocean, all swag and smooth vocals, hits of hip-hop and rap, rounded out with emotive thoughtful lyrics.”
Following the release of Gaskin’s debut EP, Contradictions, on their own imprint, LieBoy Concepts, Sebastian made some impressive strides. Sean headlined a cross-Canada club tour, and made appearances at established festivals throughout the country, including Festival du Voyageur, Canadian Music Week, Interstellar Rodeo, and Calgary Stampede.
They have supported artists like Common, T-Pain, and have toured supporting the iconic songwriter and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie.
Hailey Hamelin-Wilson – Edmonton, AB
Hailey Hamelin-Wilson grew up in Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, Alberta. She has been attending the University of Alberta where she is studying history and classics in the hope of teaching the future different perspectives about the past.
She has always been involved in her community and even took part in student councils that involved leadership roles. These opportunities inspired Hailey to become a role model to other people in multiple ways.
Hailey achieved the titles of Miss Teen Canadian Teenager and Miss Globe Canada 2021. She represented Canada at the Miss Globe World Finals in Tirana, Albania where she shared her knowledge, culture and advocacy for MMIW (Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women) with the globe.
Hailey wants to continue to focus on her language and traditions.
Penína Sara-Lynn Harding – Prince George, BC
Penína Sara-Lynn Harding is a mother and member of Esk’étemc (First Nation).
She is a PhD candidate in natural resources and environmental studies (NRES) at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) in Prince George, BC.
Her doctoral dissertation title is Documenting Esk’étemc Experience of Place to Prepare for Generative Land-Use Planning.
Her areas of research specialization include Indigenous environmental planning; Indigenous research methodologies; and experience of place. She is among the first cohort of Indigenous doctoral students to receive a doctoral scholarship from the BC Network Environment for Indigenous Health Research (BC NEIHR) for the 2021-22 academic year.
She earned a bachelor of arts in public administration and community development in May 2018 from UNBC and completed two years of her UNBC master of arts – natural resources and environmental studies before being transferred to the PhD-NRES on the recommendation of her graduate committee in May 2020.
Crystal Harrison Collin – Sioux Lookout, ON
I am Anishinaabekwe. I am a mother, wife and grandmother from Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation. I was raised in Dinorwic, Ontario and I currently reside in Sioux Lookout, Ontario with my husband and four of my five children.
I enjoy reading, writing and spending time with my family. I especially love to travel in the summer on the northwestern Ontario powwow trail. I am an old-style jingle dress dancer.
I am currently a third-year student at Laurentian University, studying BA (Hons) major in Indigenous studies and minor in history. I graduated from Confederation College in December 2019 earning my diploma for the library and information technician program. I am currently employed at the Nishnawbe-Gamik Friendship Centre, where I am the Aboriginal healing and wellness coordinator.
In my spare time, I enjoy sharing my humour and stories with anyone willing to have a listen.
Billi-J Heavy Shields – Standoff, AB
Oki Nikso’kowaiksi (hello my relatives).
My name is Aápohkiyaiyaki = White bear woman ‘ Billi-J Heavy Shields(DeadlyBlackfoot_Ma) I am a 41-year-old mother of three beautiful children, I was born in Cardston, Alberta which is located on Blackfoot Territory near the US border.
I am from the biggest reserve in Canada which is called Kainai which means Blood band of the Blackfoot tribe. Cardston is where I call home and work as an addictions and mental health recovery worker for Alberta Health services.
I was raised by my mother Marlene Heavy Shields and father Steven Heavy Shields who are both residential school survivors from the Blood tribe.
I am very blessed to be raised with my culture which was shown to me by my mother, as it has helped me in so many ways. I chose to share my culture with my TikTok friends and family because we have such a beautiful culture which helped me connect in such a positive way. I feel many others would find that same peace with my content.
Deanne Hupfield – Toronto, ON
Full-time auntie from Temagami First Nation, Deanne Hupfield has been dancing for 30 years (ish). She grew up as an urban Nish kid in Thunder Bay First Nation due to the Indian Act (her mom was enfranchised). The powwow community in Thunder Bay really supported her reconnecting to her culture.
Her mom was scooped so she wasn’t able to provide her with many cultural teachings. Dancing jingle dress and fancy shawl was how Deanne healed from her generational trauma.
She started teaching powwow dance and regalia-making classes about 20 years ago to support her community. She moved to Toronto to further her regalia-making skills in 2008 and then got snagged at the Native Centre Drum Social. Now she is married with five children and she teaches powwow dancing on YouTube and has an online jingle dressmaking course.
Brayden lidguerre – Saskatoon, SK
I live in Saskatoon, and I’m a second-year student taking kinesiology at the University of Saskatchewan.
I enjoy trying new stuff and exploring as many experiences as possible. I like to workout, play hockey, basketball and also snowboard which I just learned how to do last winter.
I really missed travelling – every year I travel out of the country at least once just to see new places and try new things.
Jocelyn Joe-Strack – Whitehorse, YT
Jocelyn Joe-Strack, Daqualama (Da-kal-a-ma), is a member of the Wolf Clan of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nation in the Yukon. Jocelyn is an Indigenous scientist, philosopher and artist who strives to evolve tomorrow’s policies by blending yesterday’s ancestral lessons with today’s systematic knowledge.
She uses her experience as a trained microbiologist, hydrologist and policy analyst along with her cultural foundations to explore resilient approaches to challenges such as climate change, societal wellbeing and prosperity.
Jocelyn is the newly appointed Indigenous knowledge research chair at Yukon University. Her research focuses on youth climate leadership, revitalizing traditional storytelling and fulfilling the spirit and intent of the Umbrella Final Agreement.
Daqualama was born and currently lives in Whitehorse, Yukon with her husband and two young children.
Christina King – Tuktoyaktuk, NWT
Atira Taalrumiq. My name is Taalrumiq, I am an Inuvialuk artist and designer from Tuktuuyaqtuuq, Inuvialuit Settlement Region, in the Northwest Territories.
I am also Gwich’in; but raised with my Inuvialuit family and community. I was named in the customary Inuvialuit way by Elders in my community, after my great-grandmother Taalrumiq who was named after her grandmother.
The skills and talent I inherited from my matrilineal line of expert Inuit seamstresses combined with a western education allow a unique opportunity for me to create, teach and share Inuvialuit culture with the world through storytelling and cultural preservation through art. At the same time reclaiming loss of culture, pride in Inuit identity and healing of intergenerational trauma.
Working with traditional Inuvialuit design elements and organic materials combined with modern materials I create contemporary Inuit adornment and original Inuit fine art. I am a modern Indigenous woman, artist, designer, wife and mother of five.
Richard Lush – Springvale, PEI
Richard Lush or his Traditional name Kitpu Amalkewinu (Eagle Dancer) is a Mi’kmaq man from Lennox Island First Nation, Prince Edward Island.
His passions are based on his Mi’kmaq culture, traditions, and love of the First Nations communities and his family, the Mi’kmaq people. Richard works with L’nuey as an engagement officer.
He graduated and was selected to be the valedictorian of his 2012 sport and leisure management program, and continued his education at the University of Manitoba. Richard has converted the skills he learned through education to skills for creating opportunities for the First Nation communities in PEI to thrive, preserve, and educate Indigenous and non-Indigenous people across Mikjikj Mniku (Turtle Island).
Richard is one of the founders and original members of Mi’kmaq Legends (Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors), an all-Indigenous theatre group that specializes in telling the stories, traditions, songs, dances, and culture of the Mi’kmaq from the past and present.
Brennen McGuire – Shannonville, ON
I grew up in a small town just outside Kirkland Lake, Ontario. I am Two-Spirit with huge interests in advocacy, cosmetics and comedy. I come from Batchewana First Nation and Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (Sand Point First Nation).
Growing up “colonialized” was a major struggle for me because I never knew who I was or where I was from. Maturing into an adult I found that these things were now more important than ever.
My main approach to social media is advocacy, and trying to find a way to make it ‘relatable.’ I am a water protector by nature and so bringing attention to the water crisis on Indigenous reservations is my number one objective. Bringing attention to an issue can be a difficult task, so I do it through comedy, art and entertainment.
Zachary Mann – Winnipeg, MB
Zachary is a Cree Native born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His reserve is Norway House Cree Nation. He is the youngest of five siblings and the proud father of three amazing children (two daughters and one son).
He enjoys making TikToks to bring awareness to Indigenous peoples’ issues and to make people smile.
Zachary aspires to help younger generations with the loss of their cultural identity, and to shine a light on what Indigenous people face on a daily basis.
Shania Morin – Saskatoon, SK
Tansi! My name is Shania Morin and my Cree name is White Bear. I’m a Plains/Woodland Cree woman from Big River First Nations, Saskatchewan. I am 25 years old. I speak a little bit of Cree and continuously learn my language more everyday. My goal is to one day become a fluent Cree speaker.
Some of my biggest inspirations are my late grandparents Rosie and Jim Morin – they passed on teachings to my current teachers today: my dad James Morin and my eldest sister Vanessa Rabbitskin.
My culture has helped me on my healing journey and attracted the art of beading/sewing, reiki practitioner certification, locally modelling for Native designers, engaging in traditional ceremony, travel, sobriety, etc.
I’m looking forward to seeking more beautiful healing modalities in the future and reconnecting in a way to inspire others, especially for our future generations and youth. Thank you so much, Hiy hiy.
Sean Morriseau – Thunder Bay, ON
Sean also known as @nativepoolboy is a content creator/influencer from Fort William First Nation, Ontario. He focuses on healing through laughter and bringing light to topics that are, most times, hard to discuss.
He’s a single, hard-working father who puts his family and mental health before anything. Sean creates videos to help people escape from their everyday struggles and find clarity. He uses his platform to spread nothing but positive energy. Even though some of his content can be touchy, most people find it to be relatable and impactful.
Benita Prado – Vancouver, BC
Chaos just works for some people. Prado, AKA Prado Monroe, converts manic energy into magic. The pop luminary will turn on a dime from sweet to sadistic before doubling back all over again.
Born in Vancouver, Canada on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, Prado is committed to the Black and Indigenous communities that raised her. What she describes as “a hella fun upbringing” turned her into “a fucking wildcard.” Of Indigenous Métis descent, her mom hailed from the North End of Winnipeg. “Google ‘North End of Winnipeg’ and see what comes up.” Meanwhile, her dad migrated from Buenaventura, Colombia to Vancouver.
“When you listen to me, you should feel blissful, you should feel crazy, and you should feel hot as hell.” — On her 2021 debut Prado Monroe EP, she flips the term “genre” upside down once and for all with a big smirk.
Matthew Brian Shorting – Winnipeg, MB
Matthew is an Anishinaabe from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
As an Indigenous content creator he engages with people through humour, culture, education and collaborations.
Locally Matthew holds a Royal Canadian Humane Association Bravery Award and is a TEDx speaker.
He hopes through storytelling and videography he can show ways of healing from multigenerational, complex trauma with holistic well-being while connecting with culture and community.
Kailey Simon – Elsipogtog, NB
Kailey Simon is a Mi’kmaq woman, a self-taught artist, and a fancy shawl dancer. She is in her second year of school studying psychology and Indigenous studies at Dalhousie University.
She teaches fancy shawl dancing and beadwork in her spare time. While attending university, Kailey began a small business selling beadwork and paintings. Her small business, Sleeping Polar Bear Art, is named after the spirit name that was given to her at five years old. Kailey believes that beading is medicine and that art is an amazing tool to heal our minds and spirits. Kailey is passionate about Indigenous activism and mental health.
With her academic and traditional background, she hopes to use this opportunity to share her two-eyed seeing knowledge about healing intergenerational trauma with modern and traditional medicine. Intergenerational trauma stems from colonization and the continuous acts of assimilation, but Indigenous women are sacred knowledge keepers and the keepers of change.
As an Indigenous woman, Kailey hopes to spread awareness about the lasting impact colonization has had on Indigenous mental health. Through art and storytelling, Kailey aims to share knowledge about Indigenous mental wellness and healing.
Jessica Taylor – Regina, SK
I am a Cree woman living in Treaty 4 territory. During the day I am a mother to two beautiful girls and in the evenings I work as an esthetician at a local spa.
I am empowering, intrepid, resilient and I strive to be a good role model to my girls, proving to them that we can do anything we put our minds to.
One day I hope to share my stories on what it means to ‘live out your truth’ and find your inner voice. In doing so, I hope that people will be able to resonate with me and share their ‘comeback’ story.
Kesha Tipewan – Saskatoon, SK
Kesha is a Plains Cree content creator and entrepreneur from Witchekan Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan. She is a survivor of sexual abuse and a cycle breaker of intergenerational trauma.
Kesha created a TikTok platform that focuses on healing from trauma, self-love, humour and awareness.
Kesha lives an alcohol-free lifestyle and is reconnecting with her Cree language. She shares her own personal experience in hopes of encouraging other Indigenous people to heal from their own trauma.
Lori Ann Tulugak-Kopak – Naujaat, NU
I am 34 years of age. I am a self taught baker, I educate other people from all around about my Inuit culture and use TikTok as the platform. I have recorded videos of traditional Inuit food, hunting tools, and also video and record hunting trips to educate others.
I am promoting my Inuit culture to educate and spread awareness that we too are here and have similarities but also have different ways of life. I am also educating our Inuit language to preserve our language – it is very important to me.
Xavier Watso – Montreal, QC
Xavier Watso est un Abenaki d’Odanak et depuis plus de 15 ans il enseigne avec passion le théâtre à l’école secondaire Louis-Riel à Montréal. Xavier est aussi un militant autochtone qui s’est battu pour les droits des Premières Nations lors de mouvements clés tels que Idle No More, Wet’suwet’en, Standing Rock et Stop Line 3. Il est membre fondateur d’un groupe de pow-wow drum les Flying Sturgeons et il est le Maître de Cérémonie lors des pow-wows d’Odanak et de Wolinak. Il est également père de deux extraordinaires enfants.
Xavier Watso is an Abenaki from Odanak in the province of Quebec and a drama teacher at Louis-Riel High School in Montreal. He is also a First Nations activist fighting for what is right during key Native movements such as Idle No More, Wet’suwet’en, Standing Rock and Stop Line 3.
Founding member of a powwow drumming group, The Flying Sturgeons, Xavier is also the Master of Ceremony for the powwows of Odanak and Wolinak. And finally, but not least, he is the loving father of two incredible kids.