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This Indigenous TikToker Teaches Anishinaabemowin To Her Followers & It's So Educational

She also wants to spread kindness and awareness, and help educate people in a good way.

Toronto Associate Editor
Crystal Harrison Collin with her granddaughter. Right: Indigenous TikToker Crystal Harrison Collin.

Crystal Harrison Collin with her granddaughter. Right: Indigenous TikToker Crystal Harrison Collin.

June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada, and June 21 was National Indigenous Peoples Day.

This is a time to "recognize the rich history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples across Canada," according to the Government of Canada. And what a beautiful time to celebrate.

But, looking beyond just the month of June, a lot of content is out there to help build a connection with the many peoples currently inhabiting Turtle Island, one of which is by engaging with Indigenous or Native TikTok.

Narcity spoke with an Indigenous content creator, Crystal Harrison Collin, about the importance of being engaged with Indigenous TikTok and the joys of celebrating National Indigenous History Month.

The 43-year-old mother of five and grandmother of two is from Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation and lives in Sioux Lookout in northern Ontario. She started on TikTok in 2020 not knowing what to expect from the app, but now uses it as a platform to share more about her traditions, culture and language.

In many of Harrison Collin's TikToks, she teaches her 3-year-old granddaughter Amara words in Anishinaabemowin, an Ojibwe language. And the world just loves it!

@crystalharrisoncollin

#anishinaabemowin #indigenoustiktok #nativetiktok #heartberry

Colonization has suppressed Indigenous languages, ceremonies and ways of life. Therefore, the Indigenous content creator says, "We are reclaiming, and we're learning, and we're just teaching ourselves again to speak our languages. So I feel it's very important to continue sharing the language as much as possible."

"I am formed by the blood memory of my ancestors — both their trauma and their strength. And I feel, as an Anishinaabekwe, I want to share with the world that we are learning and we are proud of our culture and our heritage," she adds.

In other words, the content creator says that teaching Anishinaabemowin on TikTok and sharing it with the world is "a step toward reconciliation." In addition, she says her mission is to spread kindness and awareness and help educate people "in a good way."

There are so many reasons to follow Indigenous TikTokers, and Harrison Collin says that some may include engaging in the humour.

"We have a really unique humour — Indigenous TikTok, Native TikTok — and just sharing laughter is good medicine. And that's what I think it's all about, is sharing our good medicine with the world."

She says National Indigenous History Month is "a time of celebration, it is time for reconnection, and it's the opening of our ceremony season."

So, Harrison Collin says, head over to the powwows and ceremonies because they are places where everyone is welcome to "gather with us, come and join us and get to know us."

"It helps us to walk in a good way to keep walking forward. Because we are not just our trauma; we are resilient and we're strong, and that is also who we are," the content creator says.

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