Last month, families across the United States gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving.
While Thanksgiving today is seen by many as a chance to give thanks and gather with friends and family over a large feast, the holiday represents something much darker for Native American communities living in the United States today.
Many Native Americans view Thanksgiving as “a day of mourning,” symbolizing the erasure of their culture and identity beginning in the colonial era and persisting into the modern day. Certain Native Americans fast to honor the lives and identities lost to American culture as we know it.
In 1990, US President George H.W. Bush declared November as National Native American Heritage Month to celebrate the history and culture of the United States’ indigenous peoples. Many Native Americans and advocates use the month to take more ownership of their story by drawing greater attention to indigenous identity, traditions, and accomplishments embedded in the past and present.
This November, our partners at P&G launched #OurStoryMyVoice, an online campaign to bring more visibility to Native American culture through personal storytelling. TikTok creators were asked to use the platform to share their stories, in their own voices, of how they are taking ownership of their culture and how it’s portrayed on social media.
The result is a compelling series of videos that are an authentic representation of Native people today, which can combat historical stereotypes, where stories that aren’t often told are able to reach a wider audience.
The TikTok series builds on P&G’s commitment to inclusive representation in advertising and film, as well as in and outside the home, spearheaded by Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard in the effort to demand equity for all races, genders, and identities.
In a recent LinkedIn blog post, Pritchard discussed the importance of “inclusive representation in all ads,” emphasizing both the business and inclusion benefits of portraying all races and identities in advertising – while avoiding “stereotypes,” “objectification,” and “diminishing.” Similarly, #OurStoryMyVoice addresses the invisibility issue among the Native American community, encouraging accurate and honest representation of indigenous culture by all participants.
“When we asked tribal leaders what a company like P&G could do, several requested help addressing the ‘invisibility’ issue and to inspire younger members of the Native community,” said Shaun Howard, Founder of P&G Native American Network. “It was important for them that the community could tell their story in their voice.”
In videos like the ones included below, people in the U.S. and around the world are reminded that Native American heritage is very much alive – and it’s here to stay.
@lakotalightning – Rosebud Sioux Tribe
@lakotalightning Grateful for P&G’s Support. Share your story #OurStoryMyVoice @proctergambleUS ♬ Meditation ambient(843838) - coss
@brettstoise – Plains Tree Tribe
@brettstoise Proud and grateful to have the amazing support of @proctergamble on this one! #OurStoryMyVoice They’ve done amazing work themselves lifting and supporting our voices and it’s all up from here! #indigenous#nativetiktok#nativeamerican♬ original sound - Brett Mooswa
@itzeaglee – Ojibwe Tribe
@itzeaglee Proud to have the Support of P&G #OurStoryMyVoice @proctergamble ♬ original sound - Eagle Blackbird
@tiamiscihk – Cree and Salish Tribes
@tiamiscihk Grateful for @proctergambleUS support. When we open doors, we open doors for all indigenous people. #ourstorymyvoice♬ Piano sleep LoFi slow midnight(808930) - Gloveity
@notoriouscree – Tallcree First Nation
@notoriouscree Dance inspires me to live freely and with intention. Supported by P&G @proctergamble #ourstorymyvoice♬ original sound - James Jones