Tia Wood Is the Cree and Salish Singer Fusing Music and Style

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1. How has your Cree and Salish culture shaped you?

Growing up as both Cree and Salish was such a blessing, because I got to learn about two very different tribes and teachings, and combine them into one. In my mom’s tribe (Salish), women are allowed to touch drums, but in some of my dad’s tribe (Cree), they are not. Also, the food is amazing from both tribes! Salish has fish and berries, and Crees have moose, duck, deer, and rabbit, so I guess you can say I had the best of both worlds.

2. How has your content evolved on TikTok?

My videos were just for fun at first, but once I started gaining a following, I started noticing the lack of awareness among non-Indigenous people. Things such as cultural appropriation and issues happening inside the Indigenous community, and stereotypes in the mainstream media. So I began making content that was dedicated to educating about those topics.

3. What’s your process for creating TikToks?

The process is super different with each video. Usually for the singing ones, I scroll until I hear a beat that I think I could work with, and I’ll make like 6 different videos with different melodies until I find the one that fits the best. When it comes to all the other videos, I usually just wing it, unless it’s inspired by another creator! But whenever I scroll through TikTok, I always try to think, ‘how can I make this trend Indigenous? How can I incorporate the culture into it?’

4. We do love that you put an Indigenous twist on TikTok fashion trends. What do you think will be your next trend that you do?

It’s hard to say because whenever I do an Indigenized trend, it’s usually super random, and I never really plan out my videos ahead of time. But I’m loving all the rising Indigenous fashion brands like B.Yellowtail, Jamie Okuma, Lauren Good Day, and many more out there I haven’t even discovered yet, who are bridging the gap between Indigenous regalia and tradition with what it looks like to be a modern Indigenous woman in 2020 and beyond. I like to think that I am bridging the same gap in my music creation, and I hope to work with all of these fashion designers and stylists for my singles and album photoshoots, further social content, and music video treatments in the future.

TikTok: Courtesy of @tiamiscihk

5. Why do you think it’s important to share your Indigenous culture on a platform like TikTok?

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