Indigenous Canadians are finding their voices in ways they've rarely been able to before, and it's nothing short of glorious.
As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday this year, there's been a lot of discussion about the people who were here before 1867, and with good reason. After all, it was the many indigenous people who first settled this land, and their traditions are as valuable today as they were then.
So today, on the first official National Indigenous Peoples Day (formerly National Aboriginal Day), we're taking a look at eight indigenous accounts on Instagram that are showcasing their cultures in surprising and stunning ways.
ᑕᓯᐅᖅᑑᒃ / Tasiuqtuuk / They're holding hands (or going arm in arm) ᑕᓯᐅᖅᑐᖅ & ᑕᓯᐅᖅᑕᖓ / Tasiuqtuq & tasiuqtanga / He takes her by the hand ᑕᓯᐅᕈᒪᕕᑦ? / Tasiurumavit? / Want to hold hands? ᑕᓯᐅᖏᓐᓇᖅᑑᒃ / Tasiunginnaqtuuk / They're always holding hands 👫 #learninginuktitut #Inuktitut #syllabics #inuit #inuitlanguage #qikiqtaaluk #baffinisland #iqaluit #nunavut #nunagram
This South Baffin-based account teaches Inuktitut words and phrases with a meme-like twist, keeping it relevant and interesting for all readers.
Selfies, scenery, social justice and more make up 16-year-old Ta'Kaiya's account. The activist and singer has spoken at United Nations conferences, We Day events and in classrooms across the country.
Tunchai Redvers was born in the Northwest Territories, but now travels across the country and the globe, speaking out with We Matter, the non-profit she created to offer positive messages of support for indigenous youth who are dealing with difficulties.
My heart is in #StandingRock. Seeing as I can't go just yet, I have been thinking of what I can do from here and have decided to auction three large format 24x36" #blackwhite #ConcreteIndians #portraits. All proceeds towards Standing Rock for supplies and whatever they need. Details comin' within the next day or so! #indigenous #art #artist #photographer #photography #portraiture #portrait #portraitphotography #portraits #nodapl #moneycannotbeeaten #keepitintheground #rezpectourwater #defendthesacred #nopipelines
Nadya Kwandibens is one of the founders of Red Works Photography, a studio that focuses on showing pictures of indigenous people in every facet of life. As Kwandibens puts it in the company's description, "We are musicians, lawyers, doctors, mothers and sons. We are activists, scholars, dreamers, fathers and daughters. Let us claim ourselves now and see that we are, and will always be great, thriving, balanced civilizations capable of carrying ourselves into that bright new day."
Melanie Charlie is a photographer dedicated to showcasing the connection between the land and the spirit, and her eye is spot on. She makes the traditional feel modern, and the modern feel, often, irrelevant.
A staple of the Canadian art scene, Kent Monkman works in paint, video, performance and installations to create rich scenes that require a double-, triple- and quadruple-take. His Cree ancestry informs his art as much as his focus on marginalized people, particularly with regards to the queer community.
Marjorie Tahbone teaches the Inupiaq language in Nunavut, and her pictures show everything from her classrooms to her musical talents to her repurposing of the practice of amaaq-ing a baby for her puppy. Brilliant.
Adrian Sutherland and Midnight Shine are getting ready to head "down south" to #Toronto for #CMW2017 next week. But first things first... it's spring harvest time in #Attawapiskat... #caribou #geese #hunting #fishing #wayoflife #lifeinthenorth #thenorth #cree #creeculture #canadianculture #canadian #canadiana
This northern Ontario group melds their traditional Cree culture with the very real behind-the-scenes life of a band trying to make a living playing music. Lead singer Adrian Sutherland recently wrote about his experiences as a father in HuffPost.