@IndigiTikTok Platform Charter

IndigiTikTok Meeting in September 2020

In the summer and fall of 2020, Charlie Amáyá Scott worked with Lindsay Nixon and the Centre for Digital Humanities at Ryerson University to develop @IndigiTikTok: a TikTok account led by Indigenous content creators. IndigiTikTok will launch on Indigenous Peoples Day, October 12, 2020, with a takeover by founder and creator Charlie Amáyá Scott.

Charlie Amáyá Scott is a Diné (Navajo) scholar born and raised within the central part of the Navajo Nation. Charlie reflects, analyzes, and critiques what it means to be Queer, Trans, and Diné in the 21st century on their personal blog, dineaesthetics.com and other social media sites such as InstagramTwitter, and TikTok. Their English pronouns are they/them and she/her.

Enlisting the consultation of a community of Indigenous content creators—Charitie Ropati, Lane Yazzie, Cante Zephier, and Pauly Denetclaw—Scott devised the following platform charter for @IndigiTikTok.

Document’s Purpose: To develop a standard of ethics that ensures content creators are not affirming anti-Black racism, transphobia, homophobia, misogyny, classism, xenophobia, etc. In addition, outline the intentions, goals, and future of this multi-platform digital channel. 

Mission: Provide a digital platform that highlights Indigenous representation rooted in authenticity, humor, healing, and joy.

Below is an outline of the goals of this platform. 

  1. This digital platform is committed to expressing the immense complexity of what it means to be Native American, First Nations, Native Hawaiian, and/or Indigenous Peoples in the 21st century. 
  2. Content created for this platform is meant to celebrate the life of this complexity and is not intended to be educational.
  3. Integrated throughout the content and this platform are intentions of refusals against colonialism and understandings of what “traditional” means for Native Americans, First Nations, Native Hawaiian, and/or Indigenous Peoples. 
  4. Overall, this digital platform will challenge the colonizing narratives written out for many Native Americans, First Nations, Native Hawaiian, and/or Indigenous Peoples and be a medium to reclaim our voices. 

Outlined are the ethics that will guide the expectations of this platform. 

  • This is a platform by Native Americans, First Nations, Native Hawaiian, and/or Indigenous Peoples, for Native Americans, First Nations, Native Hawaiian, and/or Indigenous Peoples.
  • This is not a platform for the monolith.
  • This is not a platform for us solely to answer your questions about dream catchers or beaded earrings.
  • This is for all the youths who wanted to be a part of edgy queer Tumblr, but didn’t have internet access on their Rez.
  • This is a platform to show future generations who we really were, and who we have the potential to be.
  • This is a platform to share what we, Native Americans, First Nations, Native Hawaiian, and/or Indigenous Peoples, look like when we experience joy.
  • This is one place where we, Native Americans, First Nations, Native Hawaiian, and/or Indigenous Peoples, can make work for ourselves, and to heal ourselves.
  • This platform is for the instigators, the troublemakers, and the tricksters.
  • This platform challenges and advances notions of tradition. This is a platform for Native Americans, First Nations, Native Hawaiian, and/or Indigenous Peoples who are made to feel non-traditional. 
  • This is a platform of people like us.
  • This platform is sexy! This is a platform for sex and body positivity. Let us experience happiness and euphoria.
  • This platform doesn’t care about the comments or trolls. 
  • This is a platform for the shadow-banned.
  • This platform is not for the blue checkmark Native Americans, First Nations, Native Hawaiian, and/or Indigenous Peoples.
  • This platform is not for Native Americans, First Nations, Native Hawaiian, and/or Indigenous Peoples who fit into normative colonizing beauty conventions.
  • This is not a platform for fatphobes, or homophobic and transphobic cisgender and straight people.
  • This is not a platform for AAVE, the “savage” discourse, or other forms of anti-Blackness within Native Americans, First Nations, Native Hawaiian, and/or Indigenous communities. 
  • This is not a platform that entertains misogyny, classism, xenophobia, and/or other forms of colonizing violence. 
  • Yet, also this platform encourages shutting off your phone, taking distance from social media when needed, and knowing, in the love of your community, that everything will be okay.

Thinking ahead

  • This is a platform meant for supporting, healing, and mitigating literal and lateral violence against Native Americans, First Nations, Native Hawaiian, and/or Indigenous Peoples on TikTok and other social media networks. 
  • This platform desires to cultivate a digital community across the globe that encourages Native Americans, First Nations, Native Hawaiian, and/or Indigenous Peoples to be able to express who they are without appealing to a colonizing gaze through humor and joy. 
  • This platform is for generations now, and the generations to come.
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