Character Development Guide

In thinking about Indigenous characters, it’s important to first note the one dimensional, deficit based, mischaracterization of Indigenous folx throughout history. The colonial project required a clearly demarcated other to justify it’s gross injustices. This othering and negating of Indigenous humanity continues to this day through history texts, public discourses, media coverage and pop culture misrepresentation.

This is an opportunity for us to create characters that speak to multi-faceted intersecting Indigenous identities. Let’s have some fun with this process. Feel free to imagine characters through whatever medium is most accessible to you. Here is one potential jumping off point – Michelle has developed the following guide to support character development:

Sample Character Building Profile









Dating / Sexuality:

School Department/Program and Year of Study:

Favourite class:

Least favourite class:

Dream job:

In five years, where do they see themselves:




Favourite food:

Favourite music:

Favourite books/authors:

Favourite movies/YouTubes/Netflix shows:

Most-used emoji:

Favourite gif or meme:

Favourite Instagram or TikTok accounts:

Pet peeves:

Personal heroes:

Favourite quote:

Dream super power:

Here is an example of a character built by Kyle Desjarlais:

Name: Ohma

Pronouns: He/Him

Age: 17

Nation: Nish

Home: Toronto

Family: Mom, Dad, Cat, Lots of aunties and cousins

Friends: Jason, Nerm, Tony

Pets: Cat named: Stroganoff, Short name stogie.

Dating / Sexuality: Dated 4 girls,

School Department/Program and Year of Study: Oakwood collegiate

Favourite class: Science

Least favourite class: MATH

Dream job: Streamer, Wants the world to remember him.

In five years, where do they see themselves: Hopefully having a successful streaming career

Hobbies: Working out, Playing games, Woodworking, Perler bead art and avid photographer

Talents: Can bench with any item that has good structure, Hyperfast reaction times, Trickboarder.

Sports: Snowboarding, Eating competitions, Esports.

Favourite food: Pizza, Ramen, Protein packed mini bites, Fruit punch.

Favourite music: Phonk, Indie, Djent, Rock, Anything he feels the beat in with good lyrics he likes.

Favourite books/authors: Ernest Cline, Byran Lee O’malley, Hirohiko Araki, Tatsuki Fujimoto, Masashi Kishimoto

Favourite movies/YouTubes/Netflix shows: Stranger things, Kengan ashura, Alice in borderland, Back to the future, Mob psycho 100

Most-used emoji: Blushing

Favourite gif or meme: Wocky slush

Favourite Instagram or TikTok accounts: Itskingchris

Pet peeves: When he has to repeat himself

Personal heroes: Robin williams, Troy baker, Nolan north, Roger craig smith,

Favourite quote: “Just as happiness shines in the shadows of sorrow, Only in the darkest depths of fear does courage truly shine.”

Dream super power: Overdrive



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In Their Moccasins Copyright © by Sarena Johnson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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