Where are First Nations voices and issues?
A post about UBC’s ‘Reporting in Indigenous Communities’ course had the Big Issue editor combing J-Source for related articles – and finding surprisingly few. Beyond the odd book review and student documentary, posts that debate the issues are hard to find. The same seems to be true looking beyond J-Source. Indigenous journalism is well covered in Australia, Latin American and U.S., but what about Canada? A Google search reveals the odd award and tip sheet, and there are a few decent blogs. Jenifer Norwell started ‘First Nations in B.C. Politics’ while a j-student at Thompson Rivers, and Karyn Puglies has a blog dedicated to ‘unspinning’ journalists on First Nations issues. You would expect more, though, given that First Nations people are not only the subject of many Canadian news stories, but are also the producers of a great variety of newspapers and radio stations, not to mention a national television network.[node:ad]
All of this leads to one conclusion: J-Source needs more First Nations voices, and more discussion and debate about First Nations-related issues in journalism. If you are the person who can lead us off, step forward please!
Patricia W. Elliott is a magazine journalist and assistant professor at the School of Journalism, University of Regina. You can visit her at patriciaelliott.ca.