Media and Reconciliation (84-86): Current Problems

Media Transgressions

April 23, 2021


La Presse violates Inuit children and youth privacy

Makivik Corporation – In 2015, a La Presse newspaper publication published “senselessly documented details surrounding the deaths of Indigenous children and youth from across Quebec, going as far as to publish the portraits of the deceased as well as the circumstances of their death. 144 Inuit are included in the database, titled «LE DRAME IGNORÉ DES ENFANTS AUTOCHTONES », which translates to “THE IGNORED DRAMA OF ABORIGINAL CHILDREN”. Makivik leadership find this kind of exploitation shocking and concerning. Though the database has since been removed, the damage has already been done. Further actions need to be taken to ensure this type of reporting doesn’t continue as it does nothing more than bring pain to the families.

This highlights the discriminatory approach and lens that southern media has when it looks at Nunavik and other Indigenous communities,” said Makivik President Pita Aatami. The sudden resurfacing of the database sharing sensitive and questionable content raises some serious privacy and consent issues. The publication of this information without the families’ knowledge also means that they are being forced to re-live past traumas.

Among the actions Makivik will take in the coming days are filing of complaints to La Presse, le Conseil de presse and the Coroner in Chief. We will also examine a possible class-action for the parents.

September 3, 2020

AB, BC, Fed. Govt., MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT

Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers

TVO – An updated edition of “Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers” by Carmen Robertson, a Scots-Lakota professor who currently holds a Canada Research Chair in North American Indigenous Visual and Material Culture at Carleton University. Her research centres on contemporary Indigenous arts and on constructions of Indigeneity in popular culture. The new edition will be published by University of Manitoba Press.

Robertson sees positive developments in how mainstream media portrays Indigenous issues and people although she believes the Indigenous lens is still clouded by a failure to understand the Indigenous world view – especially the Indigenous relationship to the land that does not recognize the concept of individual property. The new edition will be updated and include new material on Idle No More and well as a discussion on genocide the not so startling conclusion of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.