Digital Smudge is an Indigenous youth-led project working to confront online hate and racism, and inspire connection and community. Digital Smudge is: a safe space, community, connection, boundaries, and a reimagining of the online world. We want to see social media used to connect and unite individuals in community, raise awareness about important issues, and share knowledge. Follow along for empowering and inspiring content!
It was important to us to keep this project online. We want to share knowledge, healing, community and resources to counter the violence, hate and racism that is increasingly present here. We want to flood the internet with radically kind and supportive spaces and inspire others to do the same.
The beautiful logo was created by Digital Smudge participant and extremely talented artist, Reiner!
Digital Smudge is made possible by funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage.
In November 2021, Digital Smudge hosted a virtual Youth Conference where we shared our knowledge and experiences with Indigenous youth from across Turtle Island. We were even able to book some pretty exciting guests!! All conference participants received a “MOVE, I’m Indigenous” shirt and postcard. “MOVE, I’m Indigenous” is a powerful reminder that Indigenous spaces and voices must be elevated and empowered and that Indigenous people, especially youth, deserve to take up space without permission online and in the real world..
Reiner led youth through an art-based session called Creativity Thinkers, encouraging youth to think about the things that make their communities special, and what they’d like to see change. It was amazing to watch participants share their art and what art means to them. Reiner is an incredible artist and it was so special to learn from them!
The internet allows us to share, inspire and support one another to express themselves creatively. To connect and share online is a powerfully healing way to spend time online.
Sekwanahcahk’s Combatting Small Town Racism was a powerful retelling of their anti-racism journey against the Town Council. Spoiler alert: it went viral. Sekwanahcahk shared how they stayed true to their roots in the pursuit of justice. Participating youth felt compelled to share their own experiences with racism online, supporting one another to confront it. This was a heartbreaking, stressful and frustrating experience for Sekwanahcahk but it led to positive change and understanding! Her letter was read out by the Town Council and the Council agreed to attend anti-racism workshops.
Skw’akw’as, Terrance and Kassidy navigated record flooding in BC and all that comes with it to give a powerful and timely presentation about the Protecting our mental health while watching climate change on our phones. Witnessing the climate crisis play out on social media can have a massively damaging impact on mental health – especially when it fails to recognize the unequal impacts of climate change. They provided tips to take care of yourself when you need it most.
The one and only NOTORIOUS CREE joined us to share a bit about his experience of blowing up TikTok!! He talked about his youth, his journey to social media and what he hopes to use his platform for. We were SO excited to learn from Notorious Cree and he did not disappoint!! He also very generously shared his dancing and flute playing with us – what a gift!!
The extraordinarily talented Marlayna Pincott, a well-known creative in the fashion and film industry, joined us to give an inspirational talk about following your passion! Marlayna is passionate about mentoring and sharing her knowledge and experience with others, encouraging them to focus on self-love, awareness and trusting their intuition. We all felt extremely grateful to Maylayna for sharing this knowledge and passion with us.
Tenille K Campbell! Tenille is a Dene/Métis author and photographer and co-creator of tea&bannock, “a collective of Indigenous women photographers, discussing life, culture and inspiration.” Tenille hosted a powerful session about using social media as an agent for change. She shared her poetry, photography, inspiration and motivation to share these stories and images on social media. We were soooooo excited to learn from Tenille and she did not disappoint!!
TooSick, an emerging Indigenous recording artist from Calgary, Alberta, joined to share a powerful performance outlining the things he has overcome, his motivation to keep going, and his passion for community. He wants to inspire Indigenous youth and we can confirm he does just that!! TooSick’s energy and passion are infectious!!