Local Native-run business uses TikTok fame to educate about cultural appropriation
The art and lifestyle brand has gathered 28,000 TikTok followers making videos about cultural appropriation and “Native inspired” art.
SEATTLE-A local Native lifestyle brand has gone viral for its creative approach to explaining cultural appropriation. Native lifestyle brand and store, 8th Generation, recently reached over a million views on TikTok.
The brand regularly posts articles about cultural appropriation, Native identity and how to buy cultural art ethically.
“We’ve done some TikToks where we’ve just shown people like,‘ Hey, it’s a piece of Native art or jewelry, and we want you to wear it and you have to wear it. and you don’t have to be afraid to share the culture. if you buy it from real Indigenous artists, ’” said Colleen Echohawk, CEO of 8th Generation.
The brand specializes in authentic Indigenous arts and objects made by Indigenous artists. Echohawk said each artist is screened, and only arts and items made by Native artists are sold in the store.
“What we see at TikTok, people who are always looking at us… It’s a group of people who want to be educated about what they’re buying. They want to make ethical choices. We’re the perfect place if. you want to make an ethical choice and be a thoughtful consumer, ”Echohawk said.
The videos come at an important time for the local Indigenous art community. Last year, two artists in western Washington were accused of selling fake Native American art. Some of the fake pieces are sold at Pike Place Market.
“You can see the bios of our artists because that’s the way you can make sure the artist is asking you to ‘please support the Indigenous community.’ Support their business, support Indigenous entrepreneurship, ”Echohawk said.