Actions and Commitments

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

MacEwan – Communication Studies’ Journalism Program

April 16, 2024

Bachelor of Communication Studies Journalism Major

You want to be a professional news journalist. You are committed to investigating ideas and uncovering the truth. In this major, you prepare for the journalism industry, learning in-depth writing, research and reporting skills.

The major in journalism provides you with a set of integrative skills that include writing, research and reporting. Through option courses, you specialize in an area of interest: online digital storytelling, arts and culture reporting, feature writing, current affairs reporting or investigative reporting.

The Communication Studies’ Journalism Program’s Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

As part of our commitment to the TRC’s call to action, the Dept of Communication at MacEwan will be implementing an Indigenous course requirement (ICR) for students starting fall 2024. They need to take at least one ICR course before they can graduate from the program.

MacEwan’s Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

Teaching Greatness Strategic Vision 2030

Strategic Directions 6: Our place in O-day’min

MacEwan is located in the centre of the city, in the municipal ward of O-day’min. O-day’min represents the heart of Edmonton, amiskwaciwâskahikan.

Our approach to exceptional undergraduate learning isn’t by accident. It’s because of our place. These beliefs infuse the way we behave and the choices we make, and will be brought to further life as we pursue our key directions.

We will honour our place in O-day’min as we live our strategic directions and include the key elements of:

  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Indigeneity and Reconciliation
  • Sustainability
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Connections and Partnership

The Message from the President in MacEwan University’s Annual Report: 2017-2018 states:

“As a new president, I spent the first part of the 2017/18 year listening closely to faculty, staff and students…And they inspired me by embracing our institution’s role as Edmonton’s downtown university, and the commitment and responsibility that comes with it – to address issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and in meeting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) calls to action.” (pg. 2)

“…Our university will implement the calls to action of the TRC, emphasize the student experience, highlight our focus on being an inclusive institution, and acknowledge the role we can play as city builders.” (pg.2)

“…Canadian universities continue to make meaningful progress in answering the TRC’s calls to action. Over the past year, I began a journey of meeting with First Nations institutions across our province in an effort to form partnerships that benefit everyone. We will be finalizing a memorandum of understanding with Blue Quills University to strengthen our relationship and better coordinate program and course offerings. This type of partnership is a perfect example of how authentic and meaningful engagement with Indigenous peoples and communities demonstrates our commitment to reconciliation. The university also approved a Ceremonial Practices Policy, and on October 18, 2017, permanently raised the Treaty 6 and Métis flags at the City Centre Campus. We were honoured to have Grand Chief Willie Littlechild and a representative from Métis Nation of Alberta on hand. These are just a few of the many steps we believe are foundational in moving forward in reconciliation.” (pg.3) 

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: Limited

The Dept of Communication at MacEwan will be implementing an Indigenous course requirement (ICR) for students starting fall 2024. They need to take at least one ICR course before they can graduate from the program. See 2024-2025 Calendar.

These are the courses that count for ICR requirement

INDG 100 – Introduction to Indigenous Studies 

Seeks to introduce students to various aspects of Indigenous Studies: historical, sociological, oral, and literary. Students develop critical thinking and writing skills applicable across the university curriculum through intensive reading and analysis of specifically Indigenous writers and various texts/documents related to Indigenous Studies. Students analyze works by Indigenous writers from various literary genres, genres which may include literary, historical, anthropological, and sociological texts. Additional cultural opportunities are built into the course, such as opportunities to meet with elders, participate in ceremonies, and so on. These opportunities expand the contextualization of the texts studied and give students a unique sense of the connection between community, its texts and traditions, its history, and its current context. This course is offered as a dual-credit course with Amiskwaciy Academy.

INDG 200 – Indigenous Studies

Provides a detailed examination into the historical and contemporary issues and circumstances of Indigenous Peoples. Students will critically explore their positioning in relation to Indigenous-Canadian history with a focus on policy, legislation, governance, Treaties and authenticity. The course will be grounded through an Indigenous lens, providing Indigenous narratives on identity, Indigenous feminism, sustainability, and the dismantling of common myths and stereotypes surrounding Indigenous peoples. These narratives will deepen the student’s understanding of the impacts of historical policy, highlight Indigenous ways of being and resilience.”

ANTH 250 Intro. to Indigenous Peoples in Canada (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to Indigenous Peoples in Canada from an anthropological perspective. Topics covered may include oral traditions, culture areas, politics, economics, family, kinship, religion, and conflict between cultural groups.

INTD 122 Indigenous People and Justice in Canada

This course offers a critical evaluation of the cultural, historical, and contemporary experiences of Indigenous Peoples of Canada and their relationship with the justice system. It explores the impact of colonization on Indigenous overrepresentation in the criminal justice system, Indigenous approaches to justice, the role of Indigenous practitioners in the justice system, and culturally responsive intervention practices. 

INTD 250 Into to Indigenous Perspectives

Students engage with the philosophical foundations of Indigenous knowledge, worldviews, and its implications for professional engagement with Indigenous peoples and communities. Through the examination of both historical and contemporary policy, students critically reflect on their own positioning in relation to Indigenous peoples, the ongoing impact of colonialism, and ways to move forward that are in alignment with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action. Through self-exploration and introspection, students investigate how their personal values, beliefs and experiences may impact their future practice. Topics explore the importance of language, ceremony, and land in the Indigenous culture and how this can inform professional practice when working with children, youth, and families.

Other Options:

  • INTA 362 First Peoples and the Arts
  • ANTH 389 – Topics in Anthropology 
  • NEHI 101 Into. to nêhiyawêwin/Cree

Note: MacEwan does not offer one mandatory course that covers all the identified topics but 8 different courses from which students are required to take “ONE” course that may or may not cover the topics this Call to Action addresses.

1The history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools
Limited. INDG100, INDG200 and INTD122 are 3 of the 8 courses that address this topic
2The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Limited. Not explicitly identified.
3Treaties and Aboriginal rights
Limited. INTD122 addresses this topic directly
4Indigenous law
Limited. INTD122 addresses this topic directly
5Aboriginal–Crown Relations
Limited. Not explicitly identified. Assumed under INDG200 and INTD122

Land Acknowledgement

Located on the Indigenous Centre: Kihéw Waciston’s “Treaty 6 Territory Land Acknowledgment”:

MacEwan University welcomes Indigenous peoples from across the world as our students, faculty, staff and guests. We celebrate the rich cultural heritage of these peoples and the ancestral lands on which our university sits today. Acknowledging traditional territory is one part of recognizing and moving beyond colonization, and strengthening our relationships in a positive way. All university conferences and public events are opened with the following Treaty 6 territory land acknowledgment, presented here in syllabics, Cree and English.

ᓂᓂᓯᑕᐍᔨᐦᑌᓈᐣ ᐆᒪ ᐊᐢᑭᐩ ᑳᑖᑭᐢᑳᑕᒫᐦᐠ ᓂᑯᑤᓯᐠ ᑭᐦᒋᐊᓱᑕᒫᑐᐏᐣ ᑳᐃᑕᒥᐦᐠ ᐆᑕ ᐁᑮᐅᑕᐢᑲᓀᓯᒋᐠ ᒥᐦᒉᐟ ᐃᔨᓂᐘᐠᐆᑕ ᑮᒫᐘᒋᐦᐃᑐᐘᐠᑭᐦᒉᔨᐦᑐᐏᐣ ᐁᑿ ᑭᐢᑌᔨᒧᐏᐣ  ᓂᒥᔮᓈᓇᐠ ᐅᑖᒋᒧᐏᓂᐚᐘ,   ᐅᐲᑭᐢᑵᐏᓂᐚᐘᐅᓯᐦᒋᑫᐏᓂᐚᐘ ᐁᑿ ᐃᓯᐦᑖᐏᓂᐚᐤ ᐆᑭ ᑲᐦᑭᔭᐤᐃᔩᓂᐘᐠ

ᑳᑮ ᐃᓯᓈᑲᑌᔨᐦᑖᐦᑭᐠ ᐆᒪ ᐊᐢᑭᐩᑮᐢᑕᓇᐤ ᑕᑮᑲᓇᐍᔨᐦᑕᒫᐦᐠ ᐁᑿ ᑕᒪᓈᒋᐦᑖᔮᐦᐠ ᑭᑳᐑᓇᐤ ᐊᐢᑭᐩ   ᑳᓂᐢᑕᐍᔨᐦᑕᒫᐦᐠ ᐅᑕᐢᑮᐘᐦᐠᐯᔭᑿᐣ ᒦᓇᓂᑭᐢᑌᔨᒥᓈᓇᐠ ᓂᐢᑕᒥᔨᒫᑲᓇᐠ ᐁᑿ ᒦᓇ ᐊᐚᓯᓴᐠ ᐆᑕ  ᑳᑮᓇᔨᓀᒋᐠᐊᓯᒋ ᐃᐢᑵᐘᐠ ᑳᐘᓂᐦᐁᒋᐠᑳᒥᓴᐏᓈᒋᐦᐁᒋᐠᓈᐯᐘᐠ ᐑᐢᑕᐚᐤᐁᑿ ᒦᓇ ᑲᐦᑭᔭᐤ  ᐊᔨᓯᔨᓂᐘᐠ ᑳᒫᒪᐏᓈᑕᐏᐦᐁᐦᐃᓱᒋᐠ  ᑖᐱᑕᐤ ᐁᑭᐢᑭᓱᒥᑐᔭᐦᐠ ᑲᐦᑭᔭᐤ ᐁᑖᑯᐱᓱᔭᐦᐠ ᑭᐦᒋᐊᓱᑕᒫᑐᐏᐣ ᐁᑿ  ᑿᔭᐢᐠᑲᓈᑲᑌᔨᒥᑐᔭᐦᐠ

ninisitawêyihtênân ôma askiy kâ-tâkiskâtamâhk, nikotwâsik kihci-asotamâtowin kâ-itamihk ôta ê-kî-otaskanêsicik mihcêt iyiniwak, ôta kî-mâwacihitowak. kihcêyihtowin êkwa kistêyimowin nimiyânânak otâcimowiniwâwa, opîkiskwêwiniwâwa, osihcikêwiniwâwa êkwa isihtâwiniwâw ôki kahkiyaw iyîniwak.

kâ-kî-isi-nâkatêyihtâhkik ôma askiy, kîstanaw ta-kî-kanawêyihtamâhk êkwa ta-manâcihtâyâhk kikâwînaw askiy. kâ-nistawêyihtamâhk otaskîwahk, pêyakwan mîna nikistêyimânânak nistamiyimâkanak êkwa mîna awâsisak ôta kâ-kî-nahinêcik, asici  iskwêwak kâ-wanihêcik, kâ-misawinâcihêcik, nâpêwak wîstawâw, êkwa mîna kahkiyaw ayisiyiniwak kâ-mâmawi-nâtawihêhisocik. tâpitaw ê-kiskisomitoyahk kahkiyaw ê-tâkopisoyahk kihci-asotamâtowin êkwa kwayask ka-nâkatêyimitoyahk.

We acknowledge that the land on which we gather in Treaty Six Territory is the traditional gathering place for many Indigenous people. We honour and respect the history, languages, ceremonies and culture of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit who call this territory home.

The First People’s connection to the land teaches us about our inherent responsibility to protect and respect Mother Earth. With this acknowledgement, we honour the ancestors and children who have been buried here, missing and murdered Indigenous women and men, and the process of ongoing collective healing for all human beings. We are reminded that we are all treaty people and of the responsibility we have to one another.”

All content has been submitted to the respective faculty for validation to ensure accuracy and currency as of the time of posting. MacEwan – Communication Studies’ Journalism Program reviewed and approved the document.

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