Winnipeg woman using TikTok to highlight Indigenous culture and issues

A Winnipeg woman has taken to TikTok to shine a spotlight and educate others on Indigenous culture.

Michelle Chubb, 23, said when she first started using the video-sharing app back in January, it was mostly about producing fun videos. Then, as she began to gain more followers, she decided to take advantage of the opportunity to provide more information about Indigenous people and the issues they are facing.

Now she has more than 310,000 followers and 10.5 million likes.

Chubb’s videos range from her providing beading tutorials and dressing in Indigenous regalia to teaching on topics such as moccasins, dancing, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), residential schools, and other issues facing Indigenous people. 

“I try to talk about the biggest topics that are floating around in Indigenous issues, such as pipelines and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, just generally fighting with the government,” she explained.

“Those are the issues I like to put a spotlight on.”

Chubb added she got the idea to produce this kind of content because “there wasn’t much Native content out there when I first started.”

As for why she uses TikTok to get her messages across, as opposed to other social media platforms, Chubb said it is because it captures people’s attention quickly. 

“The video is just right in your face,” she said.

“If you downloaded TikTok I’m sure you’d get hooked on it right away.”

She added that of all her videos, her favourite is the one where she sits down on a lawn chair and transitions into wearing a jingle dress.

THE RESPONSE 

Chubb said that in her home community of Winnipeg, people are happy and excited about what she’s doing on social media.

“I’ve been getting a lot of pretty good responses, positive responses,” she said.

“Of course there’s also going to be some negative responses, but you don’t focus on any of the negative, you want to focus on the positive.”

Chubb’s videos have even garnered attention across the border, landing her a feature and photo spread in Teen Vogue. 

“It was really big for me, because nothing like that has ever happened to me,” she said.

“It was a really big step for me, especially talking about my past.”

HER HOPES AND DREAMS

Chubb said in the future, she’d like to work as a model.

She said she also hopes for more “positivity in the Indigenous communities and more issues to be solved.”