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ERIC Number: EJ913001
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0161-6463
Nationalism and Media Coverage of Indigenous People's Collective Action in Canada
Wilkes, Rima; Corrigall-Brown, Catherine; Ricard, Danielle
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, v34 n4 p41-59 2010
Over the past several decades indigenous people in Canada have mounted hundreds of collective action events such as marches, demonstrations, road blockades, and land occupations. What the general public knows about these events and their causes overwhelmingly comes from the mainstream mass media. For this reason, media coverage of these events plays an important role in shaping public opinion about the events and indigenous rights. The problem is that the media does not merely mirror events, but rather filter information through a process called "framing." Framing results from a system of reporting wherein reporters use a particular narrative structure, rely on officials as sources, and invoke public opinion in particular ways that, taken together, serve to marginalize collective actors and their issues. Coverage of indigenous peoples' collective action in Canada and the United States has been predominantly delegitimizing: stories overwhelmingly emphasize militancy and violence. However, past work on framing has tended to focus only on how challengers are portrayed in media coverage. By considering nationalism and how it may be embedded in the framing of these events, the research presented in this article shows that non-indigenous people are also being framed in media coverage. A growing body of literature has shown that the media is heavily involved in creating, promoting, and reflecting ideologies about citizenship and the nation. The authors consider the ways in which nationalism is reflected in coverage of multiple collective-action events in Canada. They find that when faced with collective action by indigenous peoples asserting group-based citizenship rights, the media respond by emphasizing individual citizenship responsibilities. (Contains 1 table and 65 notes.)
American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548. Tel: 310-825-7315; Fax: 310-206-7060; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada