At 15 years old, Daniel Tapatai is well ahead of many of his peers hoping to break into the world of online content creation. He can already shoot, record, edit and publish video content.
The Baker Lake teen runs a YouTube channel and also works for Konek Productions.
His dream is to get a YouTube play button, a coveted acknowledgement awarded to content creators with at least 100,000 subscribers.
What may seem like a lofty dream, with fierce competition, is a goal that’s not necessarily unrealistic. It just depends on the right combination of work ethic, passion and luck.
Tapatai has a lot going for him, including a one-in-a-million setting: Baker Lake. There are a lot of YouTubers filming around big cities like Vancouver and Toronto, but very few in Nunavut. That sets content up here, apart.
He also has a unique Northern Indigenous youth perspective – a point of view in high demand. Governments and other organizations are falling over themselves trying to hire young people in Nunavut with social media savvy and digital skills. The opportunities are huge and attention is shifting north, fast.
That was part of my own drive to move back to the north: the opportunity to capture subjects in high demand that few others are getting.
Young people in Nunavut are interested in content creation like young people anywhere, but to really capitalize on that, they need support, infrastructure and encouragement.
The new 21st century library at Maani Ulujuk Ilinniarvik in Rankin Inlet is an example of northern institutions helping to grow these skills in youth. But many more are needed.
In the meantime, Tapatai deserves a follow, like and share on his social media channels, as do other northerners pursuing a career in the online world.