The Canadian media really should consider creating a special award for Indigenous peoples. We deserve it. We make it so much easier for reporters and producers of the news to fill their pages and newscasts, real and digital.
We are the gift that just keeps giving, journalistically speaking. If it weren’t for us, the wheels on them media machines might fall right off.
The news media owe us because we’re a genuine draw. A real attraction for readers of all races, religions, creeds, and genders. We’re eyeball magnets.
For some reason, we suit a constantly shifting, changing and archaic financial model. To media dinosaurs, we’re money in the bank. And that spells R-E-L-I-E-F.
Pikangikum, Attawapiskat. Keystone XL pipeline. Mackenzie Valley pipeline. Northern Gateway pipeline. Plan Nord. Ring of Fire. Assembly of First Nations elections. Chief Theresa Spence and her hunger strike. Idle No More. Shawn Atleo. NWT devolution. Global warming. Polar bear survival. Phoenix Sinclair. Missing and Murdered Indigenous women. Picton Inquiry. Brazeau.
And that’s just off the top of my head. Not too shabby after only 150 years or so as Canada’s Number One in the category of human rights abuses. It took awhile for the media to tweak to us. But we’re patient peoples. We knew you’d catch up. Way to go!
The Canadian media owes us a big one if only for spicing up the “holiday doldrums”. Usually, when parliament recesses for holidays, Ottawa becomes a ghost town. The Press Gallery on the Hill becomes an echo chamber. Reporters stare at phones and email screens as though trying to will signs of life into them. Not this year though. No sirree-bob.
That’s due to us. Yep. Thanks to us. Indians, Métis and Inuit. With a lot of help from the Red Square and Red Feather folks in Québec, and everyone else who linked hands in those shopping malls and round dances. Dozens of reporters and producers who might’ve been doing endless weird weather stories to fill evening newscasts and column inches were watching those round dances instead.
That’s right. They were being productive. Creating nightly entertainment. Earning ad revenue. Paying the bills. Churning out sausages. Depositing salary cheques. In short, instead of moping around empty newsrooms with long, sad faces, and doing “dumb holiday stories”, reporters were out chasing real stuff. Playing outside for a change. Out there. On the streets.
Since the beginning of December 2012, a little more than two months ago, there has been headlines about Attawapiskat, the Pickton Inquiry report, protests against Keystone XL pipeline, the Truth and Reconciliation fight with the Federal Government, Shawn Atleo’s troubles at the Assembly of First Nations, the Harper Government’s violations of Aboriginal & treaty rights, Idle No More, Cree Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike.
Then… more about Shawn Atleo’s troubles at the AFN, a pair of much-ado-about-nada meetings with PM Harper & iffy GG, a judge tells the Federal Government to consider Métis as “Indian” under law, an international Idle No More “day of action”, and Brazeau over and out.
Again, just off the top of my head.
Apparently, Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan was replaced at some time during all this by a store’s window manikin. It looks so lifelike that we barely noticed.
So what if a few of us threw some of youse out of Spence’s tent on Victoria Island. And maybe these same people banned you from talking to anyone in Attawapiskat for a few days. Look, they also gagged their own people, Not nice in anybody’s book. But goys and gals, blame the individual – not the whole damned race.
We Indigenous types deserve a little appreciation from you for all the things we do to make your lives and work a lot more interesting. Doncha think? For a change?
Stoic No More