morgan and castleden on the media and b.c. treaties

24Aug14

Vanessa Sloan Morgan and Heather Castleden, ‘Framing Indigenous–Settler Relations within British Columbia’s Modern Treaty Context: A Discourse Analysis of the Maa-nulth Treaty in Mainstream Media’, International Indigenous Policy Journal 5, 3 (2014).

Media plays an integral role in (re)producing our social construction of reality. When viewed in light of Canada’s colonial legacy, media’s power has undoubtedly been implicated in circumscribing Indigenous peoples and Indigenous–settler relations. Employing a discourse analysis of mainstream media covering the recent (2011) implementation of a comprehensive land claims agreement in British Columbia, this study investigates how media has framed contemporary Indigenous–settler relations within the Canadian state. Findings indicate that mainstream media predominantly relies on stereotypes of Indigenous peoples and tends to neglect historical and current political complexities, thereby perpetuating stagnant Indigenous–settler relations. Concluding with empirically derived recommendations, this article points to education reform to create more robust mainstream media able to address stagnated (re)constructions of Indigenous–settler relations.



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