Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 86: Media and Reconciliation (84-86)

Carleton University School of Journalism and Communication  

May 31, 2024

“The university’s journalism program was launched in October 1945, partly in response to the strong demand for instruction coming from soldiers who returned to Ottawa after the Second World War.” The School’s journalism students of today are trained in the latest digital technologies while still receiving the academic education that sets them apart from journalism graduates elsewhere.

That belief – that Carleton journalism students should not only have practical skills but also a broad and deep university education embracing the arts, humanities, social sciences and other spheres of knowledge – is one aspect that has not changed over the years. It’s why Canada’s original journalism school is known for preparing its thousands of graduates for careers in the news industry and a host of other fields that required research skills, public engagement and effective communication.

And as the world sped up and technology rapidly evolved, the Bachelor of Media Production and Design – introduced in the fall of 2018 – became the latest example of how Carleton’s School of Journalism and Communication continued to embrace change and adaptation in order to prepare new waves of graduates for careers in a digital world dominated by ever more social, mobile and dynamic means of spreading news, opinion and information.

The School of Journalism and Communication’s Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

Indigenous Journalism Initiatives

In recognition of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 86, which calls on journalists and journalism schools to better educate themselves on Indigenous Peoples and issues, Carleton University’s School of Journalism is taking exciting new steps toward including more Indigenous content in our curricula and creating innovative distance-learning journalism education tailored to the needs of Indigenous learners. 

Journalism in Indigenous Communities Certificate (JIICC)

Carleton’s School of Journalism and Communication is working to create a one-year Journalism in Indigenous Communities Certificate (JIICC), aimed at reaching remote Indigenous learners in the province of Ontario. The course will be taught primarily online, bolstered by in-person intensives at a central location. 

Carleton is working toward partnering with one or more of Ontario’s Indigenous Institutes to develop a braided learning experience, ensuring every learner has adequate social and cultural support for successful completion of the JIICC. 

The JIICC will offer a suite of Carleton University micro-credentials, which may include: 

  • Fundamental skills of reporting 
  • Writing for media 
  • Audio storytelling 
  • Visual storytelling 
  • Entrepreneurial journalism 

Indigenous pedagogy will be central to course design, with an emphasis on experiential learning. Instruction in the JIICC will be delivered by Indigenous journalists, hired by the School of Journalism and Communication, with teacher training support offered by Carleton’s Teaching and Learning Services. 

For students interested in pursuing journalism further or university admission, we anticipate the JIICC will be a pathway to advanced standing directly into the second year of the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa. 

Anishinaabe journalist and Carleton professor Duncan McCue is leading the development of the JIICC, with an anticipated launch in the summer of  2024. 

Call to Action # 86

We call upon Canadian journalism programs and media schools to require education for all students on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. 

Mandatory Course: Yes

Students will select from the following course options from Carleton’s School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies beginning in 2021-22 academic year. 

INDG 1011: Introduction to Indigenous-Settler Encounters (.5 credit)

Interdisciplinary and critical engagement with the term “encounter” between various Indigenous communities and settler populations. Topic areas vary by year: introduction to Indigeneity across multiple geographies, cultural and literary practices, gender and the state, race, racialization, racism, place and space, food sovereignty, and education.

Precludes additional credit for INDG 1000.
Lecture/groups, three hours a week.

Introduction to Indigenous Peoplehood Studies, and Contemporary Indigenous Studies

JOUR 2201 All students in the mandatory, second-year reporting course had two dedicated workshops on reporting in Indigenous communities.

INDG 1010: Indigenous Ways of Knowing

This course centers Indigenous Creation Stories in relation to systems of power. Discussing Indigenous worldviews, knowledge making, ways of living, ecological relationships, and inter-Indigenous relations and diplomacy. Course materials are rooted in self-situated and collective understandings of Indigenous peoples.

Optional courses:

JOUR 4503 Special Topic – Reporting in Indigenous Communities

This course will taught by Duncan McCue, the former CBC broadcaster, who joined Carleton on July 1 as a full-time, tenure-track faculty member. The Reporting in Indigenous Communities (RIIC) course replaces Journalism, Indigenous Peoples and Canada and will provide students with vital opportunities for experiential learning in Indigenous communities. JOUR 4503 [0.5 credit]


This course explores how colonialism and conflict altered peoples, cultures, and places in what came to be called Canada from pre-contact to the first age of industrialization. Course covers subjects including imperialism, Indigenous-settler relations, slavery, migration, and government, providing context for contemporary issues.

HIST1302: Rethinking Modern Canadian History

This course explores how major political, economic, legal, social, and cultural changes shaped modern-day Canada from the late 1800s to the present. It provides context for contemporary issues, including colonialism, redress, reconciliation, race relations, migration and urbanization, globalization, technology, and the environment.

School of Journalism’s Commitment to Call to Action # 86: 4 out of 5 = 80%

1The history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools
No. The courses that focus primarily on history are optional.
2The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Yes. Covered by INDG 1010
3Treaties and Aboriginal rights
Yes – see INDG 1010
4Indigenous law
Yes – see INDG 1010
5Aboriginal–Crown Relations
Yes – see INDG 1010

Land Acknowledgement

There was no land acknowledgement on the School of Journalism and Communication webpage. However, Carleton’s land acknowledgement webpage states:

Carleton University acknowledges the location of its campus on the traditional, unceded territories of the Algonquin nation. In doing so, Carleton acknowledges it has a responsibility to the Algonquin people and a responsibility to adhere to Algonquin cultural protocols.

All content has been submitted to the respective faculty for validation to ensure accuracy and currency as of the time of posting. The Carleton University School of Journalism and Communication reviewed and approved the document.

Managing Editor: Douglas Sinclair: Publisher, Indigenous Watchdog
Lead Researcher, Timothy Maton, Ph.D