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Date of Award

Spring 6-9-2023

Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no restriction)

Work Type

Dissertation in Practice

Degree Name

Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD)


Educational Leadership


UWT-Muckleshoot Cohort Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Robin Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn, Ph.D

Second Advisor

Michelle R Montgomery, PhD

Third Advisor

Tleena Ives, MAOL


The term “Off the Rez” is used, in the title, to mean research that is not done on a reservation or in urban areas. This study aims to discover if social media can be used as an innovative option for non-Indigenous allies to conduct respectful research. The study research questions were, (1) can social media be used as a research tool, to witness Indigenous Knowledges? (2) Can social media be used as research, by non-Indigenous research allies, to have the least impact on Indigenous communities?

This research was conducted using social media, with selected Indigenous participants who were 18, identified as Indigenous, were social media content creators, and who displayed their Indigeneity in some way. During the data collection phase, five themes emerged (1) how to (do something), (2) teaching videos, (3) setting the record straight, (4) humor videos, and (5) instances of culture or Indigeneity. There were 30 Indigenous social media content creators who were observed, for the participant observation portion of this research. There were eleven (11) creators who took the survey, and one (1) Indigenous creator who partook in an interview and agreed to be part of and named as an example of the TikTokers observed in this study.

Through Participant observation, I was able to witness Indigenous knowledges. The results of the survey found that Indigenous social media content creators believe it either might be or is possible, for allies to lessen their impact on Tribal communities, by using social media.


To the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribal community, which includes the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, thank you for giving me the opportunity to live, work, and love among you. Thank you to all of you, for being where I call home, and where my heart is. Thank you to the families and people that specifically helped me in my educational journey.