Celebrating National Indigenous History Month (#IndigenousHistoryMonth) each June on Twitter is an important tribute to the heritage and diversity of First Nation, Inuit, and Métis communities across Canada.
#IndigenousHistoryMonth provides an opportunity to recognize not only the historic contributions of Indigenous peoples to the development of this country, but also the strength of present-day Indigenous communities and their promise for the future. On Twitter, we are fortunate to see a broad range of voices take part in the #IndigenousHistoryMonth conversation.
These Twitter conversations take place on National Indigenous Peoples Day (recognized on June 21st each year) in addition to the important year-round discussions of current affairs, culture, and other topics from these vibrant communities.
As with other communities, COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on Indigenous health and well-being. Twitter is collaborating with numerous external Indigenous partners in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to stem the spread of misinformation. We are also extremely supportive of organizations such as the Assembly of First Nations (@AFN_Updates) and industry peers urging governments to prioritize access to broadband as a part of every policy and program.
In each of the past three years, we have partnered with an Indigenous artist to design the official #IndigenousHistoryMonth Twitter emoji. Chippewa/Potawatomi artist Chief Lady Bird (@ChiefLadyBird) helped us kick off this tradition in 2018 with her fantastic Turtle Island design. @ChiefLadyBird was able to share her design with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (@Jack) during his visit to Toronto in April 2019.
@ChiefLadyBird also provided a great suggestion for Twitter to partner with a different artist each year. In 2019, this led to a unique moose hide design courtesy of Janelle Waiwa (@embracecreative), a multidisciplinary Anishinaabe artist from Opwaaganisining First Nation, also known as Red Rock Band or Lake Helen Reserve, north of Thunder Bay, Ontario.
We’re delighted to be partnering this year with Aija Komangapik (@AKomangapik), an Inuit multimedia artist who specializes in illustration and digital design.
Born and raised in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Aija moved with one of her sisters to the Gaspé Coast in Quebec as a teenager where she cultivated her love of art and creativity.
In 2019, Aija won first prize for her digital artwork “Drumdancer” in the Indigenous Arts & Stories contest, presented by Historica Canada (@HistoricaCanada). The prize invites First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists (ages 6-29) to interpret an aspect of their culture and heritage through literary and visual arts.
Aija’s other work includes illustrations for the children’s book Country Food (published by Inhabit Media) and the design of the official logo of the Cultural and Indigenous Research in Counselling Psychology (CIRC) at McGill University.
Aijak is currently a student at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec, studying arts administration.
For the month of June, the emoji will unlock on Twitter every time you send a Tweet using one of the following hashtags:
Follow these hashtags to follow and join #IndigenousHistoryMonth conversation all month long.