Snotty Nose Rez Kids Indigenous Influencers

Meet The Social Media All-Stars Featured In Snotty Nose Rez Kids' "Something Else"

The Haisla rap duo celebrate their favourite Indigenous influencers.

by Darren "Young D" Metz and Quinton "Yung Trybez" Nyce

There are a lot of Indigenous creatives doing big things in the world of fashion, art, activism, and film. From the land defenders and the pipeline protesters showing what’s going down on the front lines, to the filmmakers, actors, and models breaking barriers in entertainment, to the clothing designers putting their all into dope fits, and the storytellers and teachers spreading knowledge through social media. As Indigenous people we’ve found all sorts of ways to amplify our voices online. It’s Indigenous Heritage Month and that’s drawing more attention to us at the moment, but we’re celebrating our people all year long. This past year has collectively hit us really hard. There’s a lot of healing to do, justice to demand, and struggles we’re still enduring on the regular. We want to take a moment from that and give something to uplift a number of our people who are cutting through the noise of the internet and shining.

When RANGE invited us to do this, it was perfect timing because we were already in the process of bringing together some social influencers for the music video we were working on for our new single, “Something Else.” The song and title were born from the viral social media moment in 2020 after CNN, when reporting voting demographics, listed Indigenous voters as “something else.” It was really the social influencers that took an otherwise negative moment, flipped it on its head and turned it into a series of memes; and in the process reclaimed the word as a positive. Fast forward to us working on our video concept for the song where we set out to honour the social influencers who are doing important things in that realm. This ain’t the top 10 because it’s not about a contest but these are 10 influencers we are fuckin’ with right now. You can catch them all in our video for “Something Else.”

James Jones aka Notorious Cree
@notoriouscree

@notoriouscreeMen’s fancy style @patrickmitsuing @darrellbrerttonjr ##native ##indigenous ##dance♬ original sound – Tia Wood

James made it his mission one day at a time through social media to teach us about our cultures, but it’s the way he’s doing it. He talks about his own journey and that’s what makes it more impactful. 

How are you using your online persona to affect positive change?
I like to educate through dance. I use dance as healing for both myself and anyone who needs that good medicine. I’m a storyteller. I like to do it in a good way that will be hopefully received in a good way.

 

Cheyanna Kootenhayoo aka DJ Kookum
@djkookum

 

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The one and only. She’s the Kookum (grandmother) of the community. Everyone knows her and the work that she does. Kookum is a prolific DJ and works in film/editing. She’s been our ride or die and SNRK’s official DJ from the jump.

How are you using your online persona to affect positive change?
Influencing the youth in a positive way has always been important to me. I want to show them that dreams do come true and anything is possible.

Grace Dove
@_gracedove

Grace is the homey. The steps she’s taken to reach new levels within the acting and directing world is pretty phenomenal. For the youngins that have dreams of being actors, and to see Grace on the stage, it lets kids know they can not only dream, but actually do it.  

What does it mean to you to be an influencer?
I don’t really label myself an “influencer;” I make movies. If that can inspire change I’m happy.

 

Justin Jacob Louis
@sweetloo35

 

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A post shared by Justin Jacob Louis (@sweetloo35)

Justin is the big bro. SNRK and his clothing brand, Section 35, started around the same time, about 5 years ago. Seeing his growth is phenomenal. We’ve repped Section 35 from day one. Now you see a lot of new designers who have been inspired by Justin to start their own clothing brands.

How are you using your online persona to affect positive change?
I’m not the most vocal person, however my work and art is how I use my voice and that comes through the online persona that I have with my brand.

 

Shayla Stonechild
@shayla0h

 

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A post shared by Shayla Oulette Stonechild (@shayla0h)

We really respect what Shayla’s doing with her online presence, creating Matriarch Movement and bringing together yoga, meditation, and teachings. She’s doing the work to inform her following and doing a lot of healing work. 

How are you using your online persona to affect positive change?
I wrote an article last Canada day for Jillian Harris called Reclaiming Our Roots about the relationship between Canada and Indigenous people. In it I questioned celebrating Canada day — I don’t. This article went somewhat viral and that’s when my following increased. From there, I realized I could use my voice in a system that only sought to silence Indigenous women and provide a different perspective other communities may not have heard before.

 

Scott Wabano
@scottwabano

@scottwabanoOut for a coffee run w/ @kendrajessie @notoriouscree @indigenous_baddie @nikitaelyse ❤️ ##indigenous ##fashion ##nativetiktok♬ Street Fashion Game – JVLES

Scott is killing it in the fashion world. His pieces are a vibe. He’s a dope stylist and creative. He’s important representation in the Indigenous LGBTQ2S+ community and he’s helping move representation forward. 

What is your most valuable tool that you have to communicate with the world?
My 2Spirit presence and my voice is the most valuable tool I have. Colonialism has tried so hard to erase people like myself, so just by me being here and taking up space my Ancestors were never in years ago is the most valuable thing to have.

What is something you’ve done or accomplished lately that you’re especially proud of?
I recently styled the National Indigenous History Month Campaign with Sephora Canada, which was filled with Indigenous cast and crew, behind and in front of the cameras. Something that has never been done with any mainstream brand before. 

 

Ashley Callingbull
@ashleycallingbull

@ashleycallingbullFelt inspired by my bro @notoriouscree ! My first TikTok with my sisters. Our culture is beautiful. ##indigenous ##jingledress♬ original sound – Tia Wood

It was a huge deal for Ashley to win Miss Universe and to see an Indigenous woman take that title, but equally impressive is the way she took that and ran with it, building a career and brand off her identity. 

What is your most valuable tool that you have to communicate with the world?
My voice is my power. I know social media can help but my voice is what resonates with others. My voice is what tells our stories, shares my truth and helps speak for others who aren’t being heard.

 

Michelle Chubb
@indigenous_baddie

@indigenous_baddieSharing all 3 of my jingle dresses✨ ##native ##cree ##jingledress ##winnipeg ##culture♬ Electric Pow Wow Drum – The Halluci Nation

We’ve been following Michelle for a while. She’s doing big things on TikTok and IG, doin’ her thing in her own way in the fashion world, and finding ways to promote a lot of Indigenous artistry, designers, and bead work.  

What is one thing about yourself that people wouldn’t know from watching your feed?
Social media can really take a toll on your mental health, especially the emotional labour you get from educating others.

 

Kendra Jessie
@kendrajessie

We go way back with Kendra. She was actually also in our video for “Real Deadly.” She’s a true role model from dance to fashion, skincare, mental and physical health. We’re stoked to see her rise!

What does it mean to you to be an influencer?
It means using the power in my voice. Whether that be to bring different perspectives to light, or to support and stand in solidarity with other marginalized groups, or to uplift and amplify Indigenous voices, or to inspire others to be the best they are capable of being.

Nikita Elyse
@nikitaelyse

@nikitaelyseit’s never too late to reconnect ✊?##fyp ##indigenoustiktok♬ PHONKY TOWN – Playaphonk

We met Nikita at a Section 35 shoot and really vibed with her. We saw that she was doing big things online, developing a following, showcasing a lot of Indigenous designers and recently some collabs with brands like Reebok. She’s dope. 

What does it mean to you to be an influencer?
I understand that having an online platform is a privilege and with privilege comes responsibility. Every time I go to post, I ask myself, “how will this information impact communities? Am I uplifting other voices? How can I bring joy to others?” Social media can be a negative place to exist so I share stories that could inspire, bring joy, or influence curiosity to others.

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