Canadian Association of Journalists
Today, on the anniversary of Canada's apology to residential school survivors, the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) accepts and supports the calls to justice for media as issued in the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Women and Girls (MMIWG).
Canadian journalism has a legacy of perpetuating racist stereotypes, using insensitive language and overlooking patterns. Journalism is not a reconciliation free zone; we need to thoughtfully move forward and do better.
The Canadian Association of Journalists accepts the Inquiry's findings and accepts the term genocide.
In its Calls for Justice the Inquiry asks all those who work in the media industry to "take decolonizing approaches to their work and publications in order to educate all Canadians about Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people."
More specifically, the Inquiry included the following four actions:
1. To Ensure authentic and appropriate representation of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, inclusive of diverse Indigenous cultural backgrounds, in order to address negative and discriminatory stereotypes.
2. Support Indigenous people sharing their stories, from their perspectives, free of bias, discrimination, and false assumptions, and in a trauma-informed and culturally sensitive way.
3. Increase the number of Indigenous people in broadcasting, television, and radio, and in journalist, reporter, producer, and executive positions in the entertainment industry, including, and not limited to, by:
- Providing educational and training opportunities aimed at Indigenous inclusion.
- Providing scholarships and grants aimed at Indigenous inclusion in media, film, and music industry-related fields of study.
4. Take proactive steps to break down the stereotypes that hypersexualize and demean Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, and to end practices that per- perpetuate myths that Indigenous women are more sexually available and "less worthy" than non-Indigenous women because of their race or background.
The full report of the inquiry into MMIWG is available here:
Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca
Other helpful resources for reporters covering Indigenous peoples include:
The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission http://www.trc.ca.
Reporting in Indigenous Communities http://riic.ca.
The Mindset Guide for reporting on Mental health Chapter 8 https://sites.google.com/a/journalismforum.ca/mindset-mediaguide-ca/mindset-download.
Since the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations the Canadian Association of Journalists has supported Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) in recognizing exemplary journalism created by a First Nations, Métis or Inuit journalist with the Journalists for Human Rights / Canadian Association of Journalists Emerging Indigenous Journalist Award. As well the Canadian Association of Journalists and APTN worked together to create a fellowship for and Indigenous journalist and a reconciliation award for a non-indigenous journalist whose work broadens the understanding of the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canada.
If you are a journalist with questions about how to best meet the Inquiry's Calls to Justice for media please email with the subject line "MMIWG inquiry".
The Canadian Association of Journalists is a professional organization with more than 700 members across Canada. The Canadian Association of Journalists' primary roles are public-interest advocacy work and professional development for its members.