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Widening the Story – Artifact 3

Same Tactics, New Regime:
Objectification and Dehumanization

News media has participated in spreading oppressive information that objectifies ᓂᑕᑦ ᐊᓂᔑᓂᓂᐊᐧᐠ (First Nations Peoples). News media continues to erase the voices of ᓂᑕᑦ ᐊᓂᔑᓂᓂᐊᐧᐠ (First Nations Peoples) in a number of ways:

The news presents misinformation and notions that pit people against one another, particularly justice-seeking groups.

The news uncritically repeats language that homogenizes and objectifies diverse First Nations. For example, the statement “our Indigenous people” homogenizes a diverse population and then claims ownership over the whole population.1(footnote)

The news reports in ways that eliminate the vital and distinctive presence of many First Nations in the present by positioning them in the past or as a singular dying race.

The news reports use language that diminishes and dehumanizes ᓂᑕᑦ ᐊᓂᔑᓂᓂᐊᐧᐠ (First Nations Peoples). The notion that agents of Indian Residential Schools cut off children's hair to remove lice erroneously depicts a lack of cleanliness as opposed to shedding light on the real objective: forced assimilation or coercive attempts to remove identity, culture, and tradition.

The news constantly seeks knowledge of experts and opportunists willing to speak for ᓂᑕᑦ ᐊᓂᔑᓂᓂᐊᐧᐠ (First Nations Peoples), including Indian Residential School survivors. This serves as a constant reminder that Canadians have not been listening to survivors and still only listen when knowledge is presented by “experts.”

  1. Jacob Barker, “Windsor-Essex Catholic Pastor Hopes Local Apology Will Reach Catholic Church’s Highest,”, Canadian Broadcast Corporation, June 3, 2021, (Source).