As stories about Indigenous people are rarely covered in mainstream medias, same images about them come back again and again. According to Steve Bonspiel, people tend to be dissociated from their lands and ressources they use. That is why, find a new way to reconcile those two things was the purpose of the Panel about Indigenous People in Mainstream Medias organized at Mc Gill University on March, 21st. Indeed, issues about Indigenous People are often marginalized in mainstream medias where they are portrayed as being primitive, violent and devious, or passive and submissive. Such depictions have become a comfortable frame of reference each time there is a question about Indigenous people, even though very few non-Natives have had the opportunity to meet a Native person in real life.
According to the panelists Steve Bonspiel – Editor at The Eastern Door – , Jessica Deer – Staff Reporter at The Eastern Door-, and Nakha Bertrand – Editor at Ricochet – Français– who attended the Conference, mainstream medias should share stories about Indigenous lives and stories about the community for people to know and understand better communities without judging or producing new stereotypes about the ”un-known”.
On the subject, the final report made by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in June 2015 admitted the lack of knowledges journalists had about Indigenous people implying a bad coverage of their real life. It stated:
The country’s large newspapers, TV and radio news shows often contain misinformation, sweeping generalizations and galling stereotypes about Natives and Native affairs. The result is that most Canadians have little real knowledge of the country’s Native peoples or the issues that affect them.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission found little change in Canadian media coverage in the two decades since, concluding that ” this historical pattern persists “.
As long as journalists won’t ask real questions to Indigenous people as well as give a real critical viewpoint about issues which Indigenous people face in their everyday life, we won’t be able to understand each other and move on. We need to give a voice to the voiceless !
On Monday July 4th the queer femme P.O.C. collective Re:Bodies held a poetry night at Coop l’Artère to raise funds for the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal, as well as for Pagsibol. CKUT spoke with Nakuset, director of the women’s shelter, about their work and the services that they provide, and excerpts from the poetry night follow this interview.
For more information about how to get involved with the Native Women’s Shelter, check out www.nwsm.info.
On Sunday February 14th of 2016, the 7th Annual Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women took place at metro St Laurent, and was organized by the Centre for Gender Advocacy. Valentines Day was thus reimagined across the city of Montreal as a day to honour the lives of lost loved ones, and also to celebrate anti-capitalist forms of love, invisible forms of love, and a solidarity of sisterhood.
This past Sunday was the 10th Annual Memorial March and Vigil for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Each year the event honours the missing and murdered women and girls, while drawing attention to systemic violence perpetuated by the state, police forces, and education systems against indigenous women and their communities. A demand has been made, but not met, for a public inquiry into the disappearances of these women, and last year the RCMP reported more than 1,000 indigenous women were homicide victims, while indigenous activists estimate this number is closer to 3000.
We are used to thinking about health care corresponding to Western medical treatment standards. What about all those Aboriginal communities in multi-ethnic Canada that do things the other way, how do they get treated by medical institutions? Very often other approaches to health treatment is perceived skeptically by mainstream medical institutions and there are no alternatives offered to patients wishing to be treated in other ways.
CKUT’s Kateryna Gordiychuk talked with James Carpenter, a traditional healer in Anishnawbe Health Center located in Toronto. The Anishnawbe Health Toronto is a network of medical institutions that promotes “the model of health care [which] is based on traditional practices and approaches and are reflected in the design of its programs and services”. The center’s values are built around the concept of “cultural sensitivity” and “cultural safety”, which helps the center to [honor and respect the hopes and dreams of those who first envisioned a healing center for the Aboriginal Community of Toronto”.
“Anishnawbe Health mission is to improve the health of Aboriginal population in mind, body, spirit [and] emotion, by providing traditional healing within a multidisciplinary healthcare model”.
~ James Carpenter
James provided CKUT with detailed explanations of why the center’s job is important and what kind of services it offers. He also remarked that Anishnawbe Health Toronto pays attention to a variety of social, family, economic and historic factors that influence the well-being of its patients, in addition to medical and biological symptoms present. In this way, the center recognizes the importance of cultural background of those that are treated and expresses cultural sensitivity towards the issues at hand.
Community members in the Grassy Narrows First Nation in northern Ontario undertook a “Walk to Protect Grassy Narrows Traditional Land Use Area from Destruction” last weekend. The event, organized in part by Band Councilor Randy Fobister along with grassroots community members, was a display of ongoing resistance to industrial logging in their Territory by people in Grassy Narrows.