Our featured influencer this month is mom, model and Bunibonibee Cree Nation creator Michelle Chubb of Winnipeg, Manitoba, whose ultimate goal when it comes to social media is to “prove to young Native kids … that they can dream big, and do it.” Read all about Michelle below, and watch for more influencer insights in the coming months! —Vita Daily
Hi Michelle! Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 25 and a new mother to my daughter Pisim, who is one year old. I started making TikToks in 2020 when I noticed non-Indigenous people spreading misinformation and speaking for us. So, I started making my own content and amplifying the problems we face. It’s history from there—I’ve been to places like Paris, New York City, Toronto and Vancouver. I’ve been able to model for Bonlook, Sephora Canada, Summersalt— and a runway for my friend Scott Wabano! I’m here to prove to the young Native kids that look up to me that they can dream big and do it!
How do you use your platform to impact those who follow you?
I use my platform to encourage other Indigenous people/youth to come out of their shells, while informing non-Indigenous people about us and the problems we face as a community. I stick with the values and goals I had in mind when I started my online journey, which is to amplify the Indigenous community while tackling the stereotypes that are projected onto us.
You recently walked in NYFW! Tell us about that experience.
Oh, wow, I still cannot believe I’ve been able to experience that! I’m just thinking about how I got here, how did I get this opportunity? It was so surreal: the atmosphere, the people, the energy. Its unbeatable. It was all chaos, but I loved it! When it was my turn up next, I remember feeling these chills that I felt before, which was when I gave my TED Talk speech—the feeling of your body wanting to jump out of your skin. When I started walking and turned the corner to the stage, all cameras and heads just turned and I felt this rush, and just went with it. I let the energy flow through my body; I felt powerful walking on that stage, but so nervous. Once we were done I realized how we were changing history; not many Native kids get to experience this. I was so proud of us all. It’s a feeling of, “You made it, and it’s only up from here.”
Any advice for those of us who are not part of the local Indigenous community, but wish to gain more knowledge/ understanding and be allies?
Look for cultural community centres around your area/city. Talk to elders. Attend powwows and ceremonies, when available. Research; all the research can go the long way. Stick up for Indigenous people and participate in Indigenous rights’ movements. Reconciliation is a word that gets a lot of press. What does it mean to you, and what do you think Canadians can do to advance it/get involved in the movement? Reconciliation means listening and actually doing the work that has been discussed. It means being involved with changing the Indigenous community for the positive.
How has motherhood changed your life/perspective?
It changed a lot, from my skin to the way I think about life. I think motherhood is sacred and very special to experience; I’m excited for the next generation.
What are some of your personal favourite environmentally friendly hacks?
To only take what’s needed.
Follow Michelle on Instagram.