June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada, celebrating the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
For the first time in 2018 in Canada, there will be an original Twitter emoji to help mark the occasion. For the month of June, Twitter users can Tweet any of these six hashtags to unlock the emoji.
This also marks the first time that Twitter Canada worked directly with an artist on an original emoji design. Chief Lady Bird (@chiefladybird) is an Anishinaabe (Potawatomi and Chippewa) artist from Rama First Nation with paternal ties to Moose Deer Point First Nation.
Naturally, @chiefladybird took to Twitter to ask for feedback on an emoji design. More than 1,700 voted in the poll, with “Turtle Island” receiving the most votes amongst the four options.
Twitter Canada has also partnered with Susan A. Point, a Coast Salish artist who is a descendant of the Musqueam people. Throughout the month of June, Susan’s fine art work will be featured as header images on the @TwitterCanada profile page and this blog post.
The Indigenous conversation on Twitter has been robust in recent years. Hashtags such as #IdleNoMore and #MMIW (missing and murdered Indigenous women) have been used to raise awareness, fuel conversation and inspire activism. We’ve also seen the rise of media accounts such as CBC Indigenous (@CBCIndigenous), providing the latest news and current affairs from Indigenous communities across Canada. @IndigenousXca is another top follow on Twitter, a shared account that hosts a different Indigenous voice every week and is an invaluable source of original news and views.
Twitter Canada has also been investing in working directly with new and emergent Indigenous voices on the platform. In spring 2018, we partnered with Journalists for Human Rights (@jhrnews) on a series of workshops in northern Ontario as part of its Indigenous Reporters Program. Visit this Moments collection to see some highlights from those workshops and revisit real-time reactions from attendees.
We also led two recent Twitter For News workshops in partnership with First Nations University of Canada (@FNUNIVCAN) and its INCA program, a valuable training ground for the next generation of Indigenous journalists and communicators. Follow #2018INCASummer on Twitter for the latest Tweets from students, instructors and program partners.
Look for more #IndigenousHistoryMonth activities on Twitter in the coming weeks and for a deeper look at 100 of the key Indigenous voices of Canada on Twitter, be sure to check out this list from Open Canada (@OpenCanada) to follow and join the conversation.