Media Literacy Week - Day 3

On November 8th, Indigenous Youth Radio premiered their rebooted radio show with new host Chantal McGregor. Chantal works at Council Fire Native as the Youth-Drop-In Wellness Navigator and discussed Media Literacy Week and Treaty Recognition Week for this series of the show, as they are on the same week. Treaty Recognition Week is always the first week of November, so for this year it was on November 5th to 11th, and this is the second annual Treaty Recognition Week for the province of Ontario. This celebration is meant to honour the importance of treaties and helping people learn more about treaty rights and treaty relationships.

Promoting greater awareness of treaties is one of efforts by the Ontario government to facilitate healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It is meant to be the government's commitment to work with Indigenous partners and rebuilding relationships based on trust and respect with First Nations, Métis and Inuit. The Treaties Recognition Week Act was introduced last year and passed with support of all parties on May 30th, 2016.

Chantal shared with us some highlights in the news that celebrate Treaty Recognition Week, such as media coverage from CTV News. She also defined to us what a treaty is for those that don’t know, stating they are legally binding agreements that set out the rights, responsibilities, and relationships of First Nations and the federal and provincial governments. These agreements were meant to be made to allow the government to utilize the land with the exchange of protection of the livestyle and livelihood of Indigenous people. Ontario is covered by over 40 treaties and other agreements, which include land purchases signed between 1781 and 1930.

In addition, Chantal talked about Media Literacy Week, and what it means to the Indigenous community. For example, because of our connected world, we are allowed to recognize treaties in a way we wouldn’t have been able to prior to the internet. In this way, the internet has helped Indigenous people by recognizing the responsibilities the government has toward the Indigenous people, when historically they have been ignored.

Additionally, the internet has helped evolve the way in which Indigenous communities pass on knowledge. Indigenous culture is historically about the oral tradition, passing down wisdom from generations through storytelling from elders. But with the advent of technology information, Indigenous cultures can perpetuate their traditions through tutorials online on how to create traditional clothing, traditional dance like jingle dress dancing, and sacred drumming. For this show, we were able to showcase one Indigenous artist throughout the show, Big River Cree, through easy access from Youtube.

Because of Media Literacy, it has helped Indigenous communities perpetuate their culture where historically government has systematically tried to wipe it out. Now things are changing, as the government tries to make amends by celebrating the legitimacy of treaties and spreading knowledge of culture throughout the province.



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