NEWSLETTER: June 19 – Indigenous People’s Day



June 19th, 2021


This week’s highlights

  • Join us for our ‘Indigenous youth in the media’ webinar on June 24
  • Their stories in their words: Read articles by JHR Indigenous Reporting Fellows!
  • Meet the trainers from the Indigenous Reporters Program
  • Read the first story from JHR’s new Indigenous Media Collaborative



Join us for our 


webinar on June 24!


Indigenous youth are leaders in their communities and have vibrant, powerful voices, but too often they are overlooked or framed only as victims.

In this time of renewed attention on injustices perpetrated on Indigenous youth and children — past and present — join us to discuss how stories about and involving First Nations, Métis, and Inuit youth should be covered.

Anishinaabe storyteller and podcaster Ryan McMahon moderates a discussion on what the news media needs to do better with panelists Riley Yesno and Kelsie Kilawna.

When: June 24, 2021, 3pm (ET)

Sign up for the webinar here.


Articles by JHR Indigenous Reporting Fellows


One of the keys to better representation of Indigenous peoples in Canadian media is simply passing the mic to them. When Indigenous journalists tell their stories in their own words, they have the opportunity to convey their values and aspirations, to challenge inaccurate, harmful stereotypes, and to teach the rest of us about their rich and varied culture.

As part of JHR’s Indigenous Reporters Program, emerging Indigenous journalists are awarded internships and bursaries to help further their careers. In doing so, they are empowered to correct the skewed image of Indigenous peoples, including the youth, that has long been portrayed by Canadian mainstream media. In honour of Indigenous People’s Day on Monday, make the below selection of their stories part of your reading list this weekend.


‘How First Nations are using radio in the fight against COVID-19’ by Crystal Hardy Zongwe Binesikwe
Published by on March 1, 2021

In this article, nurse practitioner Crystal describes their COVID-19 pivot: When the lockdown cut off in-person contact with their patients in the Matawa First Nations communities, they decided to deliver essential public health information through their then side gig, a community radio show. “I saw an opportunity to combine my nursing knowledge with my love of broadcasting to help fight COVID-19,” writes Crystal. Read their story here.


‘Iroquois lacrosse team aims to make Olympic competition under its own flag’ by Laurent Beausoleil
Published by The Canadian Press on March 13, 2021

Laurent Beausoleil unpacks the Haudenosaunee roots of lacrosse (including the disenfranchisement of its people from the sport) as he speaks to Randy Staats, the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse star who is advocating for his team to represent the confederacy at the World Games – and eventually the Olympics. Read it here.


‘A Daycare Worker’s Difficult Decision’ by Jenessa Joy Klukas
Published by The Tyee on April 29, 2021

Jenessa Joy Klukas was on the brink of burnout from her career as a daycare teacher when the pandemic hit. Suddenly, her workload dramatically decreased, giving her the time to dwell on the state of child care in BC. Read her pandemic-time reflections on her former career here.


‘I paint for healing’: Indigenous art in the time of COVID-19’ by Jolene Banning
Published by on March 8, 2021

In this article, Jolene Banning describes how Indigenous artists found innovative ways to stay connected, hone their skills, and make a living during the pandemic. Read it here.


from JHR’s Indigenous Reporters Program

We asked the JHR Indigenous Reporters Program’s current cohort of trainers to reflect on why it’s essential to support Indigenous youth in telling their own stories. Here’s what they had to say:








“I see this as warriors and wisdom coming together”
— Brandi Morin reports on Fairy Creek for
Ricochet and JHR’s new Indigenous Media Collaborative


JHR’s new Indigenous Media Collaborative, which is part of the Solutions Journalism program, is producing a series of solutions journalism and human rights stories about land claims, Indigenous sovereignty and #LandBack.

Collaborative members are working together to report on the ways in which Indigenous peoples are fighting for sovereignty and land reclamation, and on what we can learn from different communities’ solutions and successes.

The first story is Brandi Morin’s Ricochet piece, ‘At Fairy Creek, Indigenous-settler allyships are complicated — but they’re working’, in which she unpacks the powerful potential of the new relationships forming between Indigenous land defenders and settler activists in Fairy Creek as they rally together to save the ancient forest from logging. Read the story, with breathtaking photographs by Ora Cogan and Brandi herself, here.

Other members of the Collaborative include Oscar Baker III, as well as journalists from The Eastern Door (Steve Bonspiel, Callie Giaccone, Laurence Dubreuil, Marisela Amador), Cabin Radio (Meaghan Brackenbury) and IndigiNews (Emilee Gilpin). More stories are expected in Fall 2021.

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