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MEDIA INDIGENA : Weekly Indigenous current affairs program

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Ep. 111: Are Kinder Morgan's pipeline benefit agreements a form of Indigenous consent or coercion?

1. Who will next lead the AFN? Two candidates say they’re set to run; a potential third is thinking about it. We’ll review the field of would-be leaders of the Assembly of First Nations. 2. Mutual benefit agreements: we look at what might drive First Nations to sign deals with the company behind the Kinder Morgan 'Trans Mountain' pipeline expansion. 3. Tiny houses: how big of a dent could they make in alleviating chronic over-crowding on reserve? Joining host Rick Harp at the roundtable...


Ep. 110: How 'Canada Reads' still shunts Indigenous authors to the bottom of the book pile

THIS WEEK // Big Steps: How some ancient footprints confirm (yet again) what Indigenous people keep telling scientists—how we’ve been here for a very, very long time. / A Whale of a Culture: We peek through a window into how Iñupiaq people continue to co-exist with, and connect to, the creatures whose world they share. / 'Take it to the Altar': A viral video vividly illustrates how 'Canada Reads' still shunts Indigenous authors to the bottom of the book pile. Back at the roundtable are...


Ep. 109: Is there a 'Standing Rock North' in the making in British Columbia?

THIS WEEK // A 'Nope' from the Pope: Why does His Holiness seem wholly against saying sorry for the crimes of Church-run residential schools? / Exoneration Examination: The Canadian government just cleared the name of six First Nations leaders wrongfully sentenced to death in 1864. But was it motivated by justice—or just politics? / Standing Rock North? We look at whether on-the-ground resistance to twinning Kinder Morgan's pipeline in BC has the potential to match what happened in North...


Ep. 108: Reading the larger lessons of Sherman Alexie's literary rise and fall

THIS WEEK / 'Sorry' for the racism: As National Geographic tries to atone for its problematic history with non-white people, we assess how much credit (and critique) they deserve. / 'Sorry' for the sexual harassment: As Native American writer Sherman Alexie continues his free-fall amid accusations of mistreating women, we’ll read into his story for larger lessons. / 'Sorry' (not sorry) for the journalism: A Canadian reporter faces potential jail-time for embedding himself inside an...


Ep. 107: Indigenous podcasters on Indigenous podcasting

This week, the sound of two Indigenous podcasters podcasting, as MEDIA INDIGENA host/producer Rick Harp sits down with Wayne K. Spear (, a self-described "writing machine" whose prolific nature extends to audio as well. A Six Nations (Haudenosaunee) gentleman from southern Ontario, Wayne's world also includes work in organizational development and executive coaching, often for Indigenous clientele. Now based in Toronto, Wayne was kind enough to recently host Rick at his...


Ep. 106: Students call university's bluff on Reconciliation and Indigenization

This week... 1. A fair share of the pot: why a push to tax cannabis on-reserve is itself a taxing debate. 2. Cottage clash: why can’t a First Nation get full market value for its lakefront properties from its non-indigenous tenants? 3. Irreconcilable differences: an Indigenous student council says its members are fed up with being little more than an 'economy' to the University of Saskatchewan. Joining host Rick Harp this week are Brock Pitawanakwat, assistant professor of Indigenous...


Ep. 105: How soon is too soon to teach kids about residential schools?

Once upon a trigger: Did a school board and the media over-react after a parent found a children’s book about residential schools upsetting? Dumb pun: a Thunder Bay newspaper says it’s sorry for running a headline that makes light of a potential hate crime. Bite your tongues: A B.C. politician criticizes the province for investing more money in Indigenous languages revitalization instead of more cops. Joining host Rick Harp are Kim TallBear, associate professor of Native Studies at the...


Ep. 104: Where will Tina Fontaine's family find justice?

This week: A tale of two trials. Late last week, a jury found the man accused of murdering 15-year old Tina Fontaine to be "not guilty." The decision dealt another blow to those still processing the acquittal of the man once charged with the murder of 22-year-old Colten Boushie. Our roundtable is among those still working to process these court decisions, trying to make sense of how the Canadian justice system was seemingly incapable of producing anything remotely resembling resolution for...


Ep. 103: Will First Nations Factor into the Battle over Bitumen?

War in the west: as Alberta battles British Columbia over pipeline expansion, we look at whether a new front could open up against First Nations / Revisiting the review of resource projects: the Liberals claim their new bill better includes Indigenous perspectives in the assessment of energy mega-projects. Does it go far enough? / What's in a nickname? The US president jeeringly calls her 'Pocahontas.' But do Senator Elizabeth Warren's claims to Indigeneity even remotely hold up? Back at...


Ep. 102: Injustice for Colten Boushie

It was a much-anticipated verdict in a much-discussed case: the 2016 shooting death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie, a member of the Red Pheasant First Nation in Saskatchewan. His accused killer: 56-year-old white farmer Gerald Stanley, charged with second-degree murder. A charge he was acquitted of last Friday evening, much to the shock, disgust, sadness and outrage of Indigenous people everywhere. This week on MEDIA INDIGENA, we discuss how we got to this point, the response, and where...


Ep. 101: How Canadian Media Put Indigenous Victims on Trial

This week: Toodle-loo Wahoo! The majorly racist logo of a major league baseball team is knocked out of the park in Cleveland... sort of. Turfed by Trudeau: The PM's cross country road show gets awkward when so-called 'hecklers' are shown the heck out. Media victim-blaming: Recent headlines about a 15-year old girl seem to put her on trial as much as her accused killer. Joining host Rick Harp this week are Kim TallBear, associate professor of Native Studies at the University of Alberta,...


Ep. 100: Do Canadian court systems effectively exclude Indigenous people from juries?

This week: The trial of Gerald Stanley, the man accused in the shooting death of Colten Boushie. We’ll look at who gets to be on the jury, and who doesn’t. Raw numbers: A report leaked to the media reveals just how much governments shortchange First Nations child welfare services in Manitoba. And, the sound of silence: a political activist who would only speak Hawaiian in court finds a seriously unsympathetic ear in the judge. Joining host/producer Rick Harp are Ken Williams, an assistant...


Ep. 99: A deep dive into the Doctrine of Discovery (and how it's never gone away)

This week: the 'Change the Date' debate. We discuss what seems to have been the most controversial Australia Day yet. Plus, divine intervention? As the Chilean government turns up the heat, why would the Pope push the Mapuche to turn the other cheek? And: bison on the brink? It's an animal many still revere—now, a scientist raises fresh concerns about its future. Joining host Rick Harp this week are Kim TallBear, associate professor of Native Studies at the University of Alberta, and...


Ep. 98: Peering into the Playbook for White Denial of Indigenous Injury

This week.. Politician contrition: an Alberta MLA walks back some sweeping off-hand comments about Aboriginal voter behaviour in his riding; A flyer full of ire: anonymous posters at an Atlantic university proclaim Indigenous people to be the overwhelming "beneficiaries," not the "victims" of European culture. Debunking denial: We take a deep dive into the playbook of White 'Denialism.' Brock Pitawanakwat, an assistant professor of Indigenous studies at the University of Sudbury, and Kim...


Ep. 97: What to do about trolls like Senator Lynn Beyak?

This week: Beyak Booted—A Canadian senator’s website gets her kicked out of the Conservative Party for controversial content about Indigenous people. Speech impediment—Why would the Nova Scotia government push a school board to re-word its territorial acknowledgement? Under-'PrEP-ed'—Did Indigenous health advocates in BC drop the ball when it came to promoting a drug that helps prevent HIV? // At this week’s roundtable are Brock Pitawanakwat, an assistant professor of Indigenous studies at...


Ep. 96: Is Native Twitter More Than Just a Hashtag?

This week: #NativeTwitter—more than just a hashtag? Can its influence be felt off-line? Or is it simply a case of tweeting to the choir? Seal for sale—Facebook reverses its refusal of seal-skin-related items on its platform. Split-shooter—a British Columbia court rules that a U.S.-based Indigenous man can legally hunt in Canada because his people’s territory pre-dates the border. Back at the roundtable are Ken Williams, an assistant professor with the University of Alberta’s department of...


Ep. 95: An Indigenous Look Ahead to 2018

The second of our two-part look back and look ahead on the year almost behind us and the 12 months to come. What is, or what could be, their Indigenous significance? Back at our special four-member roundtable are Ken Williams, an assistant professor with the University of Alberta's department of drama, Kim TallBear, associate professor of Native Studies at the University of Alberta, and Brock Pitawanakwat, assistant professor of Indigenous studies at the University of Sudbury. // Our...


Ep. 94: An Indigenous Look Back at 2017

What made 2017 a year of Indigenous significance? What might be in store for 2018? This week's show assembles the fulsome foursome for this year-end exercise, one that will take two episodes to manage. Joining host Rick Harp for all this heavy lifting are Ken Williams, assistant professor with the University of Alberta’s department of drama, fellow U of A scholar Kim TallBear (associate professor of Native Studies), and Brock Pitawanakwat, assistant professor of Indigenous studies at the...


Ep. 93: Does political corruption get covered differently when Indigenous people are involved?

Vote vice: we scrutinize the story of a Saskatchewan First Nation politician accused of buying votes with drugs, and muse over how media framing of stories about Indigenous corruption compares to coverage of mainstream political shenanigans; Harm reduction on the rez: we explore the promise of a public health approach to drug addiction; 'Hawks hoax: will an online prank about the name of Washington’s football team score with its intended audience? Back at the table this week: Brock...


Ep. 92: Indigenous politician claims "First Nations don't believe in abortion"

Monumental fight: US President Trump announces he'll significantly shrink the boundaries of two protected areas in the state of Utah, despite their deep significance to multiple tribes. Urban plot: How Indigenous women in one California city hope to use a non-profit land trust to re-take territory, one piece at a time. Getting reproductive rights reductively wrong? A politician hoping to lead Saskatchewan’s governing party flat out claims “First Nations don’t believe in abortion.” Back at...


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