Canadian Indigenous creators can accelerate their careers with TikTok initiative
TikTok is a hit with Canadians looking to share unique experiences, connect with their communities, and get daily news updates. And now the platform is giving back by partnering with National Screen Institute (NSI) for a unique program aimed at boosting Indigenous creators
The TikTok Accelerator for Indigenous Creators provides participants with the tools and techniques they need to make a career out of content creation. Applications for the free program are now being accepted.
According to Sherry Mckay, TikTok creator and program advisor, the program will empower creators and boost their self-confidence so they feel comfortable sharing their gifts and stories with the world.
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“We touch on topics like navigating the app and how to use it to its fullest potential, online safety and protecting our digital wellness, how to create audience engagement and view analytics,” said Mckay, an Ojibway Anishinabe woman from Treaty 1 Territory born in
Winnipeg, Manitoba. “The program also provides technical training and media career building.”
The part-time six-week online course is limited to a maximum of 40 participants and will run from October to December. The accelerator will be led by industry experts, TikTok creators, and the TikTok team, and was developed by the NSI and TikTok with curriculum guidance from Mckay.
Sarah Simpson-Yellowquill, a filmmaker and NSI program manager who helped launch the accelerator in 2021, told Daily Hive that Indigenous creators from all styles are encouraged to apply.
“This program is for Indigenous creators that make any genre of content, including artists, musicians, comedians, teachers, comedians, gamers, and more,” explained Simpson-Yellowquill. “However, at this time we are not accepting applications for bigger business and marketing.
“I hope the Indigenous creators will gain tools and network with folks building up their community to grow and further their careers as storytellers and content creators.”
To be eligible for TikTok Accelerator for Indigenous Creators, applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents living in Canada, aged 18 or over, and currently active on the platform using a creator account.
Applicants must be First Nation, Métis, or Inuit and have made a minimum of four public TikTok posts in the last 30 days. Selected participants outside of large urban centres are also eligible for a stipend to help cover internet fees during the course of the program.
Vanessa Brosseau, a graduate of the TikTok Accelerator for Indigenous Creators in 2021, encourages everyone eligible to apply.
“Being a part of the TikTok Accelerator Program for Indigenous Creators was truly an amazing experience that I will always be grateful for,” said Brosseau shared. “Not only did I learn about the TikTok platform, such as what are community guidelines? And how to make a video and go live? But I also received the tools that truly make my videos stand out.
“The biggest highlight for me was being verified at the end of the program. The accelerator and the verification truly changed my life and helped my voice to be heard.”
The Wellend, Ontario-based creator uses TikTok to grow her brand Resilient Inuk Creations. She is known for advocating for Missing and Murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people.
“I’m able to use my content platform to create awareness, tell truth about my life as an Indigenous woman, and create change all over the world,” said Brosseau. “My videos often get viewed by thousands of people and that’s because I know how to create videos that people want to watch. And that’s thanks to the TikTok Accelerator program for Indigenous Creators.
“Any Indigenous creator who is curious about applying, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and do it. You never know where it will lead you and what opportunities it may bring. If I can do it, so can you.”
More information on TikTok Accelerator for Indigenous Creators can be found online.