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Panel examines media's role in reconciliation

A panel debate, hosted by Vancouver Island University, will explore the role of media in reconciliation between First Nations and non-indigenous peoples.

The event is part of the Ka Na Ta Dialogues series, launched by the Assembly of First Nations in October 2011 to bring together prominent Canadians to exchange ideas, reflect upon Canadian identity and explore potential ways to move toward better understanding between indigenous and non-indigenous cultures.

The forum, Seeing Each Other: The role of media and indigenous voices in reshaping relationships, has been included as part of Vancouver Island University’s Racism To Reconciliation process, inaugurated in 2013.

Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, Assembly of First Nations national chief and VIU chancellor, will moderate the discussion that will include a panel of guest speakers, including Wab Kinew, musician, broadcaster and educator; Judith Lavoie, freelance journalist; and and Duncan McCue, CBC National reporter and professor at UBC’s School of Journalism, who will share their views and personal perspective on media’s role in education and reconciliation.

“Historically, the media in Canada have either ignored indigenous peoples or often framed news coverage in ways that reinforce century-old colonial stereotypes of indigenous people as violent, inferior, and resistant to ‘progress,’” McCue said in an e-mail to the News Bulletin. “Of course, there are examples of reportage that paints a more balanced, truthful portrait of indigenous communities – and it’s my hope we’ll see more of this, as journalists become more aware of historical biases of the press.

“The media should be seeking to include more indigenous voices, and better reflect the complexity of indigenous realities in this country, and that will serve to better inform our audiences and promote dialogue between indigenous peoples and the rest of Canada.”

The event will be live-streamed to both auditorium and online audience members to participate in the discussion, ask questions and share their personal experiences.

“The goal of the Ka Na Ta Dialogues is to help all of us identify opportunities for innovation and true transformation in our shared relationship for a brighter future and I look forward to taking part in this important discussion,” Atleo said in a press release.

The event will be held Jan. 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the Shaw Auditorium of the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

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