Actions and Commitments

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

Western University – Faculty of Information & Media Studies

May 31, 2024

The Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS), dedicated to the advancement of knowledge about media, communications and information technologies, is a vibrant, expanding Faculty comprising more than 45 full-time faculty members and 22 non-academic staff. FIMS offers strong programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels and is linked to the public and private sectors and to community organizations, in an academic environment characterized by interdisciplinarity, collaboration, creative inquiry, and critical thinking.

Today, we live and breathe media, minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour. News, television, social media, celebrity culture, music, and more. Our philosophy is: if you’re going to consume it, you need to understand it. In MIT, your studies will focus on modern communication and information technologies, and how they influence your life in ways that you may not even recognize.

Critical media studies requires you to study the subject in-depth, analysing and critiquing what you find. From newspapers, radio and television, to the Internet and mobile technologies, media, communication technologies and information tools impact our daily lives in countless ways. We use them to socialize with others, to seek out or share information and entertainment and to participate in social and cultural debates. But what are media, exactly? How do media institutions, technologies, and content inform the development of society and culture and influence our activities and behaviours? 

In turn, how do users shape media? What role does the economic structure of media institutions play in shaping our relationship with them? In what ways does the organization and presentation of information influence our understanding of the world and our place in it? How are user-generated forms of media such as social networking sites, blogs, and collaborative informational sources like Wikipedia changing the modern media environment?

Western’s Faculty of Information and Media Studies’ Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

Their faculty’s programs do not offer a statement on Indigenous peoples or the TRC. However the broader university community does have an equity/diversity statement found within the University of Western’s adherence to the J School Action plan:

This week, School of Journalism faculty members unanimously voted to approve an action plan to address the concerns students have raised in recent weeks. We are committed to collaborating on new and ongoing initiatives that will put equity, inclusion and support for students at the heart of what we do and how we communicate with one another. (March 17, 2021)

Specifically, we commit to:

  • Supporting the establishment of a permanent student equity task force at the School of Journalism. The elected four-member student group will include both undergraduate and graduate students. Members, who will receive an honorarium, will collaborate with students and faculty on initiatives to address critical equity concerns inside and outside the classroom.
  • Re-examining and re-designing our curriculum to incorporate critical content that draws from experiences of historically marginalized communities, including but not limited to Queer, Indigenous and Black communities, as well as faith communities who may be historically marginalized. This includes the potential development of new courses that will expand the conversation on representation and equity”

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: No. Not explicitly referenced

Optional Course

MIT 3939F-001 (Fall 2023)   Indigenous Perspectives in the Media

While the Truth and Reconciliation Commission identifies the media as intrinsic to Indigenous reconciliation, the media remains a site through which the legacy of settler colonialism circulates, perpetuating damaging representations and restricting access to alternative narratives. This course explores the systemic effects of this legacy and identifies potential medial solutions.

Faculty of Journalism Commitment to Call to Action # 86: 0 out of 5 = 0%

1The history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools
No. No explicit reference
2The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
No. No explicit reference
3Treaties and Aboriginal rights
No. No explicit reference
4Indigenous law
No. No explicit reference
5Aboriginal–Crown Relations
No. No explicit reference

Land Acknowledgement

Located on the Western University Home Page

Western University is located in Dish With One Spoon Treaty Territory, the ancestral territory of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Chonnonton Nations.

All content has been submitted to the respective faculty for validation to ensure accuracy and currency as of the time of posting. The Western University – Faculty of Information & Media Studies DID NOT RESPOND to any of the multiple Indigenous Watchdog inquiries.

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