Native users: TikTok ban would cut bonds

Screenshot || CBS News

Creators can showcase heritage, raise awareness

By Arlyssa D. Becenti || The Arizona Republic 

Angellisa Hoffman — also known as @IndigenousApache by her over 100,000 TikTok followers — got on the short-form social media app for the same reason many did during the pandemic quarantine: to combat boredom and isolation.

But Hoffman, who is White Mountain Apache and San Carlos Apache, began her TikTok journey in 2021 for entertainment, she said her account eventually evolved into a way of bringing awareness to Indigenous issues and showcasing her Apache heritage.

“I started to take TikTok seriously during the pandemic,” said Hoffman, a college student. “I thought we needed more Native TikTok creators.”

Her content includes fashion, makeup, working out at the gym and drawing attention to issues like Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

“My content on TikTok will vary from Native regalia to Native jewelry,” said Hoffman. “From speaking out on many Native American issues that we face to this day and being the voice for the people out there. My main goal is to welcome everyone to my platform.”

At one point Hoffman used her Tik-Tok account to help her brother, who is in the military, travel back from Kentucky to Arizona. She had set up a Go-FundMe and promoted it in one of her videos, and she was able to raise enough money for her brother’s trip.

TikTok has allowed the world to get a glimpse of Native Americans, a group that many people do not know exist. Those who watch Native content will often be introduced to Indigenous issues, ideas, customs, culture, language, sense of humor and history, and realize that Natives not only do exist, but are also not a monolith.


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