As of April 15, he has over 141,000 followers and millions of likes on his account, @indigenouszane. He started posting about Native American tribes in 2020 and started getting more followers last summer.
Switzer said he learned a lot during his research. For example, he didn’t know how many places in Ohio were named after Native American words. Words like Miami and Ohio are Native American words.
“I just feel like, especially in Ohio, they don’t appreciate or acknowledge our native history at all,” Switzer said.
He said it frustrates him that in school they don’t often talk about the natives who previously lived in Ohio. His school spoke mostly of the mounds built by the Hopewell and Adena tribes, which still exist today and are scattered throughout southern Ohio. According to the Ohio Historical Society, the Serpent Mound, which is in Adams County and is one of the largest of these mounds, was likely used for ceremonies and was built around 1000 AD.
The lack of discussion also appears in the research he does. It usually takes Switzer two hours to search for a video. More than once he said he didn’t get enough information on a topic so he couldn’t make a video.
One of Switzer’s most popular videos lists the names of states that were the origin of words in native languages: Tennessee, Texas, Iowa, Mississippi and Nebraska.
He said he was surprised by some of the comments on this video, which included comments from people who said they didn’t know this information and wished it had been taught in school.
“I didn’t expect to explode like that,” he said. “I just wanted to educate people.”
He says he hopes people will have a better understanding of Indigenous peoples and culture, whether the tribe is still around today or not.
“Just keep educating yourself to make sure we don’t forget these tribes and to make sure they don’t disappear over time,” he said. “It’s really important to me.”