By now, the mainstream media has made Attawapiskat a household name. But will the media eventually forget about the remote First Nation reserve in Northern Ontario as they have so many Aboriginal communities in the past, or will this one be different?

By now, the mainstream media has made Attawapiskat a household name. But will the media eventually forget about the remote First Nation reserve in Northern Ontario as they have so many Aboriginal communities in the past, or will this one be different?

Duncan McCue, a professor at the University of British Columbia School of Journalism and founder of the online guide for Reporting in Indigenous Communities, told Martha Troian of the Indian Country Today that he believes the media coverage on Attawapiskat will pass.

As Troian writes:

McCue sees Attawapiskat’s situation as just one example of how the media tends to cover aboriginal issues. It begs the question of whether mainstream media is adequately and consistently covering aboriginal issues rather than employing a boom-and-bust approach—running to cover stories of conflict, corruption, trauma and the like, he said.

McCue addressed some of the reasons behind this reactionary kind of reporting to J-Source recently, and again last week in this rare feel-good article.

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But despite this, Leo Friday, the deputy grand chief of the Mushkegowuk Tribal Council, is happy for the media attention the community is getting, because government officials “won’t listen until the whole world heard about what is happening,” Friday said.

The article notes that “deplorable conditions have been well documented for decades.” So why focus so much attention on Attawpiskat now? Will it help?

Read the entire article here