Global Voices

Anishinaabe artist creates Turtle Island emoji to celebrate National Indigenous History Month in Canada

"Every nation, every language group, every clan, every individual indigenous person has a distinct story..."

A still from a GIF showing which hashtags unlock the Turtle Island emoji, designed by Chief Lady Bird. Via Twitter Canada.

Canadian Twitter users are able to use a specially designed emoji throughout the month of June to commemorate National Indigenous History Month. Created by Anishinaabe artist Chief Lady Bird, the emoji depicts a turtle, tree, and sun representing “Turtle Island,” which is the English name of the continent of North America as translated from a number of native languages.

Chief Lady Bird shared her thinking behind the design in a series of tweets. She said she first made sure to crowdsource ideas from other First Nations members on Twitter because of the challenges of finding imagery that encompasses the diversity of communities across the country.

The emoji can be “unlocked” by using the related hashtags #IndigenousHistoryMonth, #IndigenousPeoplesDay, #FirstNations, #Metis, #Métis, and #Inuit. It's the result of a partnership with Twitter Canada, one that Chief Lady Bird sees as a starting point for future collaborations:

Originally published in Global Voices.

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