Walpole Island TikTok star hopes to connect with his messaging

Walpole Island TikTok star Eagle Blackbird. (Photo via Eagle's TikTok)

A teen from Walpole Island First Nation is embarking on a new adventure with TikTok.

Eagle Blackbird, 18, is among the 30 Indigenous content creators selected from across Canada for the first-ever TikTok Accelerator for Indigenous Creators, a new online training program designed to empower storytellers to grow their TikTok presence and learn the necessary skills for on-platform success and beyond.

Blackbird told CKNewsToday he’s very excited about the opportunity to grow his online presence and hopes it will eventually lead to bigger and better things down the road.

He heard the good news a couple of months ago and admits it caught him by surprise because there were 100 applicants.

Blackbird said this newfound exposure has really boosted the number of followers on his TikTok platform.

“Right before I started the program I had 215,000 when I applied and somehow in the week before they started the program I actually got another 50,000 and now I’m at 305,000,” said Blackbird.

He said he wants to spread the word about Indigenous people through humour in his videos.

“Humour is good medicine and it’s good to laugh once in a while,” he said.

His friends and family thought he was just tinkering around with TikTok at first but now believe he’s serious about his messaging and awareness campaign.

Blackbird noted his platform is not just for humour, but for serious and important subjects too, such as Every Child Matters and missing Indigenous women.

The new program is presented by the National Screen Institute.

“We have so many untold stories that are waiting to be shared,” said program advisor Sherry McKay. “Because there are teachings in each story, my hopes are that these creators will gain the technical skills and knowledge to not only tell their stories but inspire others to do so as well.”

Online classes started on November 8, 2021.