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 !
CKUT News spoke with Jen from the Cotes-Des-Neiges Community Council regarding the Blue Bonnets public demonstration, which took place the morning of June 22nd. The demonstration raised awareness and increased engagement towards the development of a large social housing project, proposed for the now-empty lot near Namur Metro.
This piece was produced for CKUT by Claudia Edwards.
Click HERE to download the Mp3 of the panel.
In commemoration of the Montreal Massacre that happened on December 6th, 1989 in École Polytechnique, CKUT’s Off the Hour hosted a panel discussion to analyze the event once again and the impact it had on the feminist movement and gun control laws.
CKUT’s Rose Woolhouse, Kateryna Gordiychuk and Emily Enhorning had a chance to speak to Maureen Bradley, a filmmaker, who produced a short documentary in 1995 titled “Refraiming the Montreal Massacre”; Rose Marie Whalley, a community radio programmer and a board member at Center for Gender Advocacy; and Kevin Vowles, a Community Engagement Manager for the White Ribbon in Toronto, that empowers men and boys to take a stand against violence directed at women and girls.
The panel tried to unveil the social circumstances within which the crime against women occurred by addressing the issues of gender violence in general and the work done to prevent it in the aftermath of the event.
Although, the speakers said that the issue receives much more acknowledgement nowadays, they emphasized the persisting facts of violence against women and girls in modern society.
83% of all police-reported domestic assaults are against women. This pattern is consistent for every province and territory across Canada.(Canadianwomen.org)
A big part of discussion was dedicated to the media portrayal at the time of the massacre and how the news reporting consequently framed the public’s reaction to the crime. Maureen Bradley, one of the speakers, produced a documentary “Reframing the Montreal Massacre” two decades ago to address this issue.
The matter of violence against women is not an issue for feminists only, but it must be recognized and acted against by all societal structures. Kevin Vowles, one of the speakers, talked about his extensive educational work with White Ribbon, an organization that teaches boys and men to react to gender violence.
What I see when engaging men and boys is that they are willing to come forward, stand up, and say something when they see violence and rape culture happening. White Ribbon encourages men and boys to move away from harmful gender norms. When men and boys start truly getting in touch with their emotions (transcending toxic masculinity), moving away from straight anger, we can end violence against women.
– Kevin Vowles shared with CKUT after the panel discussion
Listen to an insightful discussion on the framework in which the Montreal Massacre occurred and its consequences. Rose Marie Whalley, one of the panelists, also provides a live account from the feminist demonstration held soon after the crime.
(Photo Credit : RAPSIM Website)
With a little over one month to go before the Canadian federal elections, the major political parties are making big promises to their electorate.The RAPSIM (“Rapsim”),a homeless advocacy group in Montreal, has struggled with several years of cuts to their federal funding. On September 10th ,the RAPSIM, along with several other organizations who work with drug users and people who suffers from mental illness (La rue des femmes, Dopamine …) went on a bus tour in three major areas impacted by these issues in the city : Berri (at Emilie Gamelin’ Square), in Hochelaga and in Atwater, at Cabot Square. The aim of the tour was to meet 3 candidates in the upcoming election: Simon Marchand, the Bloc Quebecois’ candidate in Hochelaga; Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet, NPD’ candidate in Hochelaga and Marc Garneau, liberal’ candidate in VilleMarie. CKUT’s was on the tour, and brings us this report in French.
The RAPSIM had three claims on this Bus Tour :
- The restoration of general and Community nature of the Homelessness Partnerships Strategy , a federal program providing assistance to thousands of people in Montreal and elsewhere in Quebec;
- A recurring increase federal support roaming $ 50 million in Quebec, starting in the 2016-2017 budget
- A federal reinvestment in social housing
All the candidates accepted these requests, and underlined the importance of this issue in the Federal Elections.