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  • Atina Dimitrova

Reporting Injustice Episode 5: How journalists cover missing and murdered indigenous women and girls

In today's episode, we talk to activists about missing and murdered indigenous women, girls and two spirit people and the reporters who are trying to shed light on this largely overlooked crisis.

After years of failed law enforcement investigations and inconclusive data on indigenous women and girls, it was an unprecedented measure to label the systemic violence as a genocide in a country that has a reputation for being peaceful. The report states that up to 4,000 indigenous women and girls have been murdered in Canada in the last 50 years, but adds the caveat that the exact number may never be known.

Years of strained government and community relations, and mistreatment of Inuit, metis, aboriginal and indigenous Canadians on various fronts such as forced education, the foster care system, lack of essential resources, and now neglecting a genocide… equals frustration and tension.

Yet, the US has just passed two bills that are meant to address violence against indigenous women and girls. So with federal governments in the US and Canada finally taking some initiative to address the genocide of indigenous women, what role do journalists play in reporting on this? This episode examines how coverage has been both positive and negative and what news organizations need to do in order to improve current depictions of indigenous people.

Our guest is radio producer Monica Braine who highlights how most coverage of indigenous people is stereotypical and surfaced. We also talk to Fochik Hashtali from Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women USA who explains what the failure of addressing the systemic violence of indigenous women has done to many communities. News & Public Affairs Director of KBCS Yuko Kodama agrees with Hashtali that reporting on topics like missing and murdered indigenous women must start with the people. Our episode also features Annita Lucchesi who is on the forefront of collecting accurate data and speaking to news media about missing and murdered indigenous women. She is a survivor of abuse and trafficking.

This is the last episode of The Knowhow Podcast's special five-part series: Reporting Injustice... A series where we look at some of the key stories in recent years that were turning points in how we saw some fundamental issues. We talk to the journalists who uncovered them about their struggle to bring these stories to public view. And we speak to experts who explain how these reports altered the way society perceived pressing matters of race, class and sexism. From Bill Cosby to Windrush, Grenfell to missing and murdered indigenous women, Reporting Injustice looks at the story behind the stories...

Presented by: Dr. Glenda Cooper and Dr. Lindsey Blumell

Produced by: Atina Dimitrova

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