In The Field

Get the scoop on Indigenous customs and culture you need to know.

Indian Time

It’s not easy to explain what Indian Time is. It’s more complicated than assuming everything will be late (though, that’s often a safe bet).  Read more…

Aboriginal Customs and Protocols

Here’s the bottom-line on Aboriginal customs and protocols: if you’re ever unsure about your interpretation of an Aboriginal custom, or whether it’s appropriate to participate in, write about, or record, an Aboriginal ceremony, dance or song, ask your host. Read more…

Who Represents the Aboriginal Perspective

Recognize there are many different perspectives within Aboriginal communities. There’s no easy way to determine who is most “appropriate” to include in your story. Read more…

White Characters and the Question of Agency

The question of agency — or who has the power to act — is important, because good news stories are more than a compendium of facts. Skillful news reporters use the same storytelling techniques as fiction writers or movie directors: dramatic arc, heroes and villains, denouement. Believe it or not, race and culture also plays a role in our decisions on how to frame a story. Read more…

Storytakers

Journalists sometimes encounter frustrated, angry people who don’t want us around. After all, we often arrive on the scene during times of conflict and crisis, poking around, asking tough questions. It’s never easy to cope with the wrath of a grieving relative or someone who feels their privacy has been violated. But, we tell ourselves, it’s the nature of the beast. Read more…

Breaking News: Indians Are Funny!

What’s so funny about Indians? Actually, humour is an intrinsic part of life in Aboriginal communities. You’ll find your stories will improve if you employ humour in the field. Heck — go crazy! Maybe even include some humour in your story! Read more…