Edmonton PR Firm Creates Indigenous Stickers for Instagram Stories
When you type @Gwincomms into the sticker search bar on Instagram, you now get a number of Indigenous words, designs and badges dancing across the screen.
The stickers, launched on Monday, were created by Edmonton public relations firm Gwin Communications. Stickers can be used in Instagram story feature to animate any picture or video. Stories are a quick way to share moments through photos or videos that stay on your profile for 24 hours and then disappear.
Founder Shani Gwin told CBC Edmonton AM Wednesday that she had known for a while that the app offered no Indigenous stickers for her stories.
“We work primarily with Indigenous communities, organizations, and initiatives, and we’ve found over time that there just aren’t any Indigenous stickers on Instagram,” said Gwin, herself Métis.
“So as we approached Indigenous History Month, we thought, ‘Well, why not create our own? We have graphic designers on staff. It seems like an easy thing we can do to help.
Edmonton AM6:44Indigenous stickers creation for Instagram
Now if a person types in words like Inuit, Métis, or even Tansi, the Cree word for “thank you,” they get the appropriate stickers.
The 25 stickers were created in April by intern Melaina Goos, who jumped at the chance.
“I think it’s so important for indigenous peoples to have representation and visibility on social media and to share their cultures and language,” she said.
“I’m just honored to be a part of this as a Métis woman and designer.”
Instagram has been in hot water with Indigenous communities after posts about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) disappeared in May.
The social media company apologized and attributed it to a technical glitch.
Gwin said that learning more about the extracted content and shadowbans – the practice of not showing posts in the online community thus getting no interaction – was more than concerning.
“This is definitely something that concerns us as a collective in our agency,” she said.
Gwin hopes to do more for the community in the online space.
“We hope we can do it in small steps. But it was something we knew we could do right away to make sure people felt represented on social media. [media],” she said.
Since the stickers launched, they have had over 300,000 searches on the app.
Members of the public have also reached out to her with new sticker ideas, she said.
“So far, those suggestions have been a Métis scarf, more Cree words, and Dene and Michif languages. Even a few references to native slang and humor, ”she said.
Gwin said they will incorporate these suggestions as they create more stickers.