IHANKTONWAN DAKOTA ARTIST DAVID BERNIE LAUNCHES INDIGEMOJIS, THE FIRST-EVER NATIVE AMERICAN AND FIRST NATIONS-THEMED EMOJI STICKER APP
Available today on iOS, North American Indigenous communities now have over 1,100 high-quality emoji stickers to indigenize their conversations with distinctive cultural expressions through images.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – August 15, 2016 – #INDIGEMOJIS – Ihanktonwan Dakota Artist David Bernie announced today the launch of “Indigemojis,” a premier emoji and animated GIF sticker iOS app for sharing visually-striking Indigenous-themed images and GIFs via messaging and email.
Using proprietary designs that depict culturally, politically, and socially significant indigenous imagery and language, the app gives Native American and First Nations communities a way to connect, bond, and revitalize through shared and distinctly Indigenous expressions of identities, cultures, histories, and contemporary issues.
Express it with Indigemojis
The Indigemojis app is organized into fourteen categories that communicate uniquely Native American and First Nations cultural and social expressions. Beginning August 15, 2016, the app will be available for free on iOS with a future release on Android. With the free package users will be able to share 30 stickers to friends and family and can enjoy the full experience with an in-app purchase of 14+ sets that include over 1,100 high-quality stickers for $1.99. Future releases will include substantial sets of animated GIFs and additional stickers.
Once downloaded, users can choose from “Smoke Signals,” which feature popular sayings and slang in Indigenous communities, along with categories such as “Pow Wow,” “Village,” and “Food,” to communicate important cultural and spiritual activities and places. Users can express their state of mind via the Indigenous characters “Frybread Francis,” “Bobbi Bear,” and “Commod Can,” that were created from the most commonly used emoticons for a distinctly Native perspective.
Empower it with Indigemojis
Indigemojis also features categories that encourage and support dialogue of political issues within Indian Country. “Activism” includes important events that have shaped Indigenous cultures and communities in the United States and Canada and signs to assert Native American and First Nations’ rights. “Women Warriors” acknowledges and honors Indigenous women with contemporary professions and includes feminist expressions, while “Indian Love” includes icons and gestures to express relationships between partners and friends, celebrating Indigenous bonds of affection of all types, including LGTBQ and two-spirit relations.
Wear it with Indigemojis
With the release of the app, Indigemojis will enable users to express themselves through fashion and prints with the release of clothing, accessories, and art. The initial collection includes a variety of styles of emoji-inspired clothing featuring graphics from the app such as Women Warriors, Frybread Francis, Indian Love, and much more. These items will be made available on the online store at www.indigemojis.com.
The Indigemojis Origins
There are 566 sovereign, federally recognized tribes in the United States and 634 sovereign, federally recognized First Nations communities in Canada and although there are a multitude of differences, there is a pan-tribal, shared experience that unites Native American and First Nations peoples. Indigenous peoples have a rich intellectual tradition and communication and expression has spanned a multiplicity of oral and visual styles and forms. Although Indians are problematically perceived as static, relegated to the past, and denied modernity, Natives have always adapted and manipulated forms of technology to creatively assert their identities, cultures, and traditions.
Indigenous peoples are dramatically underrepresented in popular culture and media, and are forced to contend with erasure and stereotyping that deeply affects contemporaneous communities. Self-determination in Indigenous representations is paramount to accurately highlight dynamic voices and experiences.
“Contrary to the stereotypical “stoic warrior” image, humor is one of the most defining aspects of Indigenous cultures. Laughter forms strong community bonds and allows us to address things like poverty, dispossession, oppression, and how despite colonialism, we’re still here and our cultures are vibrant,” says David Bernie, designer and artist. “So while there are variations between us, these qualities are a common dialogue that I wanted to privilege. I created Indigemojis from within, for the community, as the contemporary digital form of those expressions.”
The Indigemojis app can be downloaded from the Apple Store.
For further information, please contact Indigemojis at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.