Saulteaux First Nation youth advocate invited to participate in national TikTok program – battlefordsNOW

An inspired young man from Saulteaux First Nation with a passion for creating positive change has been invited to take part in a TikTok program to create new Indigenous content.
Keyhew Preston-Gopher, 25, is thrilled with the opportunity to be in the TikTok Accelerator for Indigenous Creators program, after being welcomed to take part this past summer.
A total of 40 Indigenous creators received customized, hands-on online training to help advance their presence on TikTok. Preston-Gopher also had a chance to network with other Indigenous content creators through the program that was co-developed by the National Screen Institute and TikTok Canada.
“I started creating content for TikTok in hopes to reach a larger demographic of people,” he said. “I posted my first message of hope and mindset development on TikTok less than a year ago, and it really took off. So it was really amazing to receive messages from my followers about how my content has [resulted in] a positive outcome in their lives. That has been motivating enough for me to keep pushing forward to create content.”
The youth and mental health advocate has been on TikTok for only about a year and already has 8,646 followers and 58.8 likes.
Preston-Gopher’s TikTok link can be found here.
“I was kind of looking for an idea where I could reach a larger demographic of people and TikTok for me has been that platform to reach more individuals who would love to hear that positive message of hope,” he said.
His videos focus on reaching out to all youth, especially Indigenous youth, with messages of positive affirmation to help them overcome challenges in their life.
“A big part of my content focus is personal development, and mindset development,” Preston-Gopher said. “Part of my main focus is to push forward the positive message of hope and confidence for our youth and our Two-Spirit brothers and sisters across Turtle Island.”
Preston-Gopher has a large following that extends right across the world who view his posts and are inspired by his messages of hope.
In addition to TikTok, he is also active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, with links available
Preston-Gopher, who also works with Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs Inc. (BATC), goes into the community to speak to Indigenous youth on many occasions.
He first became involved as a youth advocate on social media platforms through his work with BATC, first offering personal development coaching, and now focusing on wellness coaching.
“I wanted to be a part of the change and the implementation of creating a safe space for our youth, in terms of the truth leading to reconciliation,” Preston-Gopher said.
He also hopes to help end the stigma surrounding mental health, and support Indigenous youth dealing with the impact of intergenerational trauma.
“I found my passion was helping my people along their life-time journey of healing, growing, connecting and prospering on all levels of our past understanding.”
Preston-Gopher said through working with BATC he felt he want to do more advocacy to reach more youth. As a result, he started working on attaining a Life and Wellness Coaching Certification, to become certified internationally. In the process, Preston-Gopher started his own life and wellness coaching and consulting business. He gives motivational talks and workshops that support mental health, and personal development, which also help promote Indigenous traditions and knowledge.
Preston-Gopher, who is also Two Spirit, hopes to be a positive influencer for youth on many levels.
He said he has personally struggled with mental health issues during his life and hopes he can share his experiences to inspire other youth not to give up on themselves.
“I hope to spark up a much-needed conversation surrounding mental health and to share my stories and inspire the future generation,” Preston-Gopher said. “There was a point in my life when the resilient warrior in me was silenced. I felt alone, struggling mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I thought no one wanted to hear what I had to say. That’s the reality of what our Indigenous youth face.”
He said it took the realization of the impact of the struggles of intergenerational trauma, how it has affected his family, and how that will affect the next generation in all aspects of their lives to encourage him to speak out.
“With my voice, I found my passion, and my passion was to speak up for those of my people who were silenced, those of my people who never made it home from residential school,” he said.
Preston-Gopher said his story will resonate with all Indigenous youth because: “I come from a place they came from. I’ve been through the struggles they’ve been through.”
“I wanted to show them that there is hope out there in terms of walking that journey of healing,” he said.
Next, Preston-Gopher plans to take part as a speaker to address youth at English River First Nation on Nov. 25, as part of the community’s National Addictions Awareness Week events.
“I’m truly grateful that I get this opportunity to go to many Indigenous communities across Canada to share my story in hopes that it can inspire the next generation of our youth and children to follow their dreams,” he said.
On Twitter: @battlefordsnow
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