The Reconciliation and the Media conference took place at the University of Saskatchewan on October 4-5, 2016. It brought together a diverse group of journalists, news producers, journalism students, residential school survivors, Indigenous leaders, newspaper owners, news organizations and more.The conference was inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action released in June 2015. Particularly, calls 84, 85 and 86 call on the media to create much needed change in terms of how it reports on Indigenous people and news. Together Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities shared their thoughts and recommendations on how to foster reconciliation in the media and why it is so important.
It explored the intergenerational effects of residential schools on Indigenous communities in an effort to spread truth and understanding.
By bringing together two groups into a single community focused on reconciling a dark and complicated past, the conference was intended to initiate real and ongoing change across all facets of Canadian journalism.
Attendees, organizers and speakers included CBC Indigenous reporter Connie Walker, TRC Commissioner Marie Wilson, residential school survivor Eugene Arcand and many more. Together they helped create a space for growth and change by sharing their personal stories and convictions.
Students from the University of Regina’s School of Journalism also attended. In an effort to create a record of this important event, the students spoke with participants about their pasts, presents, and futures. The theme of reconciliation in the media was explored through the unique experiences of each individual.
These are their stories.