AJA calls for refocus of news coverage

of Wet’suwet’en and arrests

The Native American Journalists Association condemns the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for standing in the way of news gathering and storytelling by arresting journalists on Wet’suwet’en Yintah.  

We are also deeply concerned that the news attention on Indigenous people occupying and using their traditional unceded territory only sees heightened media attention when there are police raids and arrests. 

NAJA recognizes the right of sovereign Indigenous nations to invite journalists to their unceded territories and to embed for fair, accurate, truthful storytelling and news gathering for public consumption. 

We also understand that Indigenous journalists have a responsibility to report for all nations and can be invited to sovereign territories by leadership or designated communications representatives for story gathering and journalistic purposes. 

In recent days we saw more media attention dedicated to the arrests of non-Indigenous journalists than the sovereignty story they are there to tell.  

The story should never be centered on journalists when covering Indigenous news. We recommend hiring Indigenous journalists, producers and senior leaders. Learn more about reporting for Indigenous communities through NAJA newsroom training by contacting: contact@naja.com. 

About the Native American Journalists Association 

NAJA is the first-ever journalism association by and for Indigenous journalists and our critical allies. Founded in 1983 by Indigenous journalists based in the USA and Canada. We serve more than 900 members at Indigenous, independent and mainstream news outlets, freelance and well as students or academics reporting for Indigenous communities. 

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