Canadas public TikTok

TikTok connects Indigenous women during pandemic

Maskwacis influencers share their stories

  • Feb. 22, 2021 10:30 a.m.

By Chevi Rabbit For Ponoka News

Usage of the popular social media app TikTok increased since the start of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Many Indigenous women started using TikTok as a way to share their indigeneity and hobbies and to stay connected to others.

Jacqueline Buffalo, known as @jacquelinebuffalo on TikTok, is a bi-racial Cree woman from “Akamihk” (the Cree word for Montana First Nation), located in Maskwacis Alta. She is a model, actress and MMIW advocate. Over the pandemic, she has become quite popular on TikTok.

Buffalo started using TikTok at the start of the pandemic.

“Back in April 2020, after the pandemic I started and was immediately hooked,” said Buffalo.

Buffalo says she didn’t even know what TikTok was, but her daughter downloaded the app on her phone and she decided to make a few videos.

“I didn’t think anyone would see it,” she said.

“Suddenly, my Tik Tok was getting a lot of views and likes. The rest is history.”

Buffalo said, “I have had so many people message me or comment about how they love how I interact with them online. I try my best to interact with my followers in a positive way. I let people know they are not alone in such a crappy time in history.

“The pandemic is hard on a lot of people.”

When describing her TikTok content style she says, “It’s mainly comedy and sharing aspects of my culture. During the pandemic, I felt the world needed my humour and good vibes.”

Buffalo is involved in a a Native TikTok group called #Reztok created by Zachary Mann @Neighbourhoodneechie.

“We are a group of Indigenous content creators that are involved in Indigenous education, comedy and art,” said Buffalo.

Fawn Wood, known as @fawn.wood on TikTok, is a member of Saddlelake Cree Nation, a recording artist, and a masters in linguistics student and mother of three.

“My Tik ok content kind of varies. I do share music and stuff like that but I really enjoy sharing humorous things about motherhood,” said Wood.

“I really love the Indigenous humour side of TikTok. I started using it when the pandemic first hit. I didn’t expect to be creating content or to even gain too much of a following on the app,” she said.

“I started posting videos because I was stuck at home like everybody else and it was a form of uplifting myself.”

Wood says she was also inspired by videos of the MMIW movement where people were putting red hand prints over their mouth. In the background was her favourite song, “Remember Me.”

“My TikTok has increased and helped me a lot,” said Lyvia Bruno, known as @BunnyKinsnoda82 on TikTok, a Plains Cree Indigenous woman and Ponoka resident.

“It helped me on a good day. It helped with mental health wellness during this pandemic.”

Bruno explains that she found an online community through the TikTok that is supportive and non-judgmental.

“As a plus-size woman I found a lot of people uplifting and accepting,” said Bruno.

The Native TikTok content creators make a variety of videos.

“There are videos on food, traditional teaching, bead work and our traditional Indigenous ways of life,” said Bruno.

“My content is mainly movie impersonations. You feel that you can be yourself and there is no judgment. I have really gotten positive feedback on my humorous content and impersonations.”

TikTok

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Annual spending on debt interest is closing in on $3 billion

The Town of Sylvan Lake has launched a new contest to attract a new business. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

Alberta reported an additional 399 cases of COVID-19 Thursday, on 9,217 tests, for a test positivity rate of 4.3 per cent. (Image courtesy CDC)
Red Deer down to 562 active COVID-19 cases

8 new COVID-19 deaths, 399 additional COVID-19 cases

Mike Ammeter (Photo by Rebecca Hadfield)
Sylvan Lake man elected chair of Canadian Canola Growers Association

Mike Ammeter is a local farmer located near the Town of Sylvan Lake

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

A helicopter flies past a mountain near McBride, B.C., on Saturday January 30, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Avalanche warning for backcountry users in North and South Rockies

Avalanche Canada is urging backcountry users to always check their regional avalanche forecasts

Supporters pray outside court in Stony Plain, Alta., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, as a trial date was set for Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church. He is charged with holding Sunday services in violation of Alberta’s COVID-19 rules and with breaking conditions of his bail release. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Trial date for jailed Alberta pastor charged with breaking COVID-19 health orders

The court says it will reconvene with lawyers on March 5 for a case management plan by teleconference

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Emily Keeping of Wetaskiwin, Alta., was last seen at 4:20 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin. Supplied/ Wetaskiwin RCMP.
UPDATE: Wetaskiwin RCMP seek assistance in locating missing 11-year-old

Emily Keeping was last seen on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin.

Alberta premier Jason Kenney, right and Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, provide details about Bill 13, the Alberta Senate Election Act., in Edmonton Alta, on Wednesday June 26, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Minister Doug Schweitzer talks on Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit

Provincial government rolling out new benefit this April to better help small businesses.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

Minister Rick Wilson poses with Katie at the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin, both wearing her Pink Shirt Day design. Facebook/ Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin Boys and Girls club Pink Shirt day design focuses on kindness

Katie with the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin created this year’s Pink Shirt Day design.

Most Read