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Calgary content creator recognized for sharing Inuit culture on TikTok

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An Inuk content creator is one of two Calgarians being recognized in TikTok's annual report for his viral videos on Indigenous culture.

TikTok's report highlights content and creators that have made a mark on the social media's platform in 2023, and includes a short list of Canadian accounts.

Braden Johnston made the list under the 'Culinary Chronicles' category for his trending #Foodtok videos, including one eating Maktaaq – whale skin and blubber – with his mother.

Johnston says making the list came as a huge surprise.

"I had no idea that it was going to end up snowballing until where it is now. I still have a hard time believing it," he says about his online growth.

Johnston is known by his TikTok handle of @Kadlun, which is his Inuinnaqtun name.

He's from Kugluktuk, formerly known as Coppermine, a small hamlet in western Nunavut, and now calls Calgary home.

"In Canada, and especially outside of Canada, a lot of people know what a Inuksuk is, but they don't really know too much about who the Inuit are. They don't know too much about our culture.

"I'm just trying to break some barriers and be that representation that I didn't have growing up."

Two years ago Braden began making videos with his mother, who is a knowledge keeper and traditional tattoo artist.

The pair have shared several videos on Inuit culture, including some about traditional foods, language and clothing.

"It's actually what brought us to be best friends, she absolutely loves it, it's really cute," he said. "She's a residential school survivor so it's awesome to see her thriving."

Johnston is celebrating four years alcohol and substance free this week and says it was his mother who encouraged him to share his sobriety journey on the platform as well.

"I'm just trying to hep provide the blueprint so that others can pick and choose whatever tools they might find through my journey," he says.

Johnston says he's built a strong and supportive community both on and offline and that's led him to become a public speaker.

Johnston also coproduces and hosts a Storyhive miniseries which shares the experiences of Indigenous storytellers and advocates.

"I'm just trying to push for education and learning and being your authentic self," he says.

@kadlun Inuit tattoos are a closed practice, they hold various meanings depending on the region. Some inuit are opening to sharing their meanings and others are not 🙌🏽 #inuk #inuit #tattoo #tattoos #ink #indigenous #native #fashion #art ♬ original sound - Braden

A Calgary couple is also being recognized on TikTok's report in the #ForYou Faves: Most Popular Videos of 2023.

Loizza and Ray, known as @Loizzaray on TikTok, have went viral for their alphabet dating videos.  

The idea is to go on a different dates prompted by a letter in the alphabet. For example, for the letter B, the couple went bowling.

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