How to be a Better Settler #13: Follow Indigenous news media, lose your bias

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If you want to learn more and have a greater, more well-rounded of Indigenous lives and issues, it makes sense to get the stories from Indigenous-led news outlets and programming.

Honestly, the most interesting news in Canada, to me, happens in the Indigenous world.

Whenever I’ve got cable or access to a TV, I watch APTN, the Aboriginal People’s Television Network. Locally I read the Wawatay News, which reports on stories in Northern Ontario. CBC Indigenous is always pretty interesting too, especially the Radio 1 show “Unreserved” with Rosanna Deerchild.

These stories are produced and reported, for the most part, by Indigenous journalists. Mainstream media tends to focus only on the “bad” news–residential schools, social chaos, and abuses of all kinds. These stories are important to learn, but I think it’s really important to know and learn that Indigenous people have full, rich lives beyond the chaotic headlines. And so many Indigenous people are using their experiences, knowledge and cultural heritage to propel their art and political engagement forward. And so many of these stories really deserve to be reported, and heard, within the broader Canadian community. And I don’t mean exclusively “triumph of the human spirit” type stories of people making a good life despite tragedy. I mean really fascinating, compelling, interesting people doing really fascinating, compelling, interesting things in their lives because Indigenous people, like the rest of us, lead fascinating, compelling, interesting lives that deserve reporting.

The realm of Indigenous news and storytelling creates so many narratives that challenge what settlers probably think they think they know about Indigenous people in Canada. This stuff is not hard to access–you just gotta make, like, the slightest smidge of an effort to engage with it. The only thing you’ll lose–I hope–is your bias.

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