Excerpt from “Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls” Calls for Justice.
Media and Social Influencers
6.1 We call upon all media, news corporations and outlets, and, in particular, government funded corporations and outlets; media unions, associations, and guilds; academic institutions teaching journalism or media courses; governments that fund such corporations, outlets, and academic institutions; and journalists, reporters, bloggers, film producers, writers, musicians, music producers, and, more generally, people working in the entertainment 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, this includes the following:
i. 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.
ii. 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.
iii. 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; and
• providing scholarships and grants aimed at Indigenous inclusion in media, film, and music industry-related fields of study.
iv. Take proactive steps to break down the stereotypes that hypersexualize and demean Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, and to end practices that perpetuate myths that Indigenous women are more sexually available and “less worthy” than non-Indigenous women because of their race or background.
Excerpt from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls for Justice.
Media and Reconciliation
84. We call upon the federal government to restore and increase funding to the CBC/Radio-Canada, to enable Canada’s national public broadcaster to support reconciliation, and be properly reflective of the diverse cultures, languages, and perspectives of Aboriginal peoples, including, but not limited to:
i. Increasing Aboriginal programming, including Aboriginal-language speakers.
ii. Increasing equitable access for Aboriginal peoples to jobs, leadership positions, and professional development opportunities within the organization.
iii. Continuing to provide dedicated news coverage and online public information resources on issues of concern to Aboriginal peoples and all Canadians, including the history and legacy of residential schools and the reconciliation process.
85. We call upon the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, as an independent non-profit broadcaster with programming by, for, and about Aboriginal peoples, to support reconciliation, including but not limited to:
i. Continuing to provide leadership in programming and organizational culture that reflects the diverse cultures, languages, and perspectives of Aboriginal peoples.
ii. Continuing to develop media initiatives that inform and educate the Canadian public, and connect Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
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.
The Indian Act:
The Indian Act was created by the government of Canada with a goal to control and assimilate Indigenous peoples into Canadian culture. Essentially, it is a set of legislative decisions and policies that govern every aspect of Indigenous people’s lives (i.e. health, education, land, governance, etc.).
Many legislative policies within the Indian Act are targeted at displacing Indigenous women from their inherent and rightful roles as matriarchs.
- Indian Act codified and enforced Indian Band Elections that made it illegal for Indigenous women to run for positions of Chief or Council as well as it was illegal for them to vote in these elections until 1951.
- Indigenous women were the last ethnic group in Canada to have the right to vote in federal, provincial, and municipal elections. This right was granted to them in 1960.
- Indigenous women who married non-Indigenous men lost their Indian Status which meant they no longer were a member of their Indian Band. This also meant that they could not live in their communities, receive Indian Band programs or services and general displacement from their traditional territory, culture, lands, family, language, etc.
- An amendment was made to the Indian Act in 1985 to overturn this decision, however, the legislation has not been inclusive and holistic so there are many Indigenous women who are still not included in this amendment as outlined in the Sharon McIvor Case.
- It is estimated that approximately 2 million Indigenous women since the Indian Act was created have been displaced across Canada
UBC First Nations and Indigenous Studies The Indian Act
Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. Indian Act and Elected Chief and Band Council System
Justice Laws Indian Band Council Procedure Regulations
Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls:
Native Women’s Association of Canada Fact Sheet: Violence Against Aboriginal Women
Newfoundland Labrador Violence Against Aboriginal Women Fact Sheet
Ending Violence Association of BC Researched to Death: BC Aboriginal Women and Violence
National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Executive Summary of the Final Report
Cindy Blackstock Cindy Blackstock, single mom to 163,000 kids
The Canadian Encyclopedia Sixties Scoop
UBC First Nations and Indigenous Studies Sixties Scoop
All About Canadian History The 60s Scoop: How did it happen?
The Canadian Encyclopedia Residential Schools
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Residential Schools
Indigenous Corporate Training Inc.
Provincial Health Services Authority
Chastity Davis Consulting
Canadian History Through the Lens of Indigenous Women – coming soon!
Montreal Indigenous Community NETWORK Indigenous Ally Toolkit