Michelle Robinson has been using her podcast, Native Calgarian, and other social media platforms for years, spreading the word about important Indigenous issues in her backyard and across the country.
Robinson, who is Sahtu-Dene, uses these platforms to tackle a wide range of issues — from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to book reviews to incidents of racism the community may not know about.
Now, she's trying to widen her reach using the hugely popular Tik Tok, something she describes as a whole new world.
Robinson is one of 40 creators across Canada to be picked for TikTok's Accelerator program for Indigenous Creators, presented by the National Screen Institute.
"The program has really helped me learn how to use the medium in … a much better way and really learn what content creation is, how to plan it," Robinson said.
The program aims to help people increase their presence, hone their storytelling skills and learn the building blocks for a digital career.
During the dozen sessions, Robinson is learning about analytics, using the features of the app, goal setting and content planning.
Sherry Mckay is an Anishnaabe Tik Tok creator based in Winnipeg. She has more than 500,000 followers and is the program advisor for the accelerator initiative.
She says in addition to sessions offered by Tik Tok on the ins and outs using the social platform, the program also includes presenters talking about topics like the importance of digital wellbeing.
"Sometimes things happen, sometimes people aren't the greatest and don't treat you the greatest on social media and just how to take care of those things," Mckay said.
Robinson said this type of partnership between Tik Tok Canada and the National Screen Institute is helping Indigenous peoples be able to deliver their messages in an authentic way.
"I'm really excited to continue to do this, evolve and learn who I am and be more comfortable with it, with the content platform and just maybe spark some joy."