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A training guide for reporters and media when writing or reporting about Native Americans or their culture.

Published in: News & Politics
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  1. 1. Media Orientation: Cultural Sensitivity & Accuracy Training Angelo Baca & Alastair Lee Bitsóí Utah Diné Bikéyah Cultural Resources Coordinator & Communications Director
  2. 2. Journalism and Storytelling: Which is which? • What matters in telling your story? How can you view the context of story differently? What impacts does your storytelling have?
  3. 3. Correcting an organizational misperception • To clarify, UDB is not a tribe • Tribes have a federal process of recognition often including treaties • UDB is an Indigenous-led, non-profit entity
  4. 4. Issues of Representation and Self- Representation • Representation: from inside vs. outside views • What does that “look” like? • How can you tell the difference? • Why is it important to be able to tell what kinds of representations matter?
  5. 5. Issues of Representation and Self- Representation • Narratives and visual images directly influence perceptions of the public and each other • Our preference is self- representation because no one does a better job or knows our stories like the Native communities themselves!
  6. 6. Media Orientation Guide • Common mistakes/issues: incorrect spelling on tribes, names, clans, etc. • Engage and write about the five Tribes of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition and our ancestral ties. • Don’t use terms such as “Indian,” “ruin,” or “myth” • Engage with Native American peoples, including the importance of reciprocity, respect, cultural knowledge, and awareness of issues.
  7. 7. Media Orientation Guide Any storytellers: press, scholars, filmmakers, artists, etc mandatory for reporters before Bears Ears Gathering Other Press and Reporting Outlets (over 40 reporters): • Salt Lake City Tribune • National Geographic • Reuters • Voice of America • Al Jazeera • CNN • Center for Investigative Reporting • Indian Country Today • LA Times • NY Times • NBC Universal, etc.
  8. 8. Example of poor reporting • The issue was calling Candace Bear not by her official title as a Chairwoman for the Skull Valley Band of Goshute in the cutline of Deseret News article
  9. 9. Example of good reporting • SL Tribune – features story on traditional oral stories to Bears Ears
  10. 10. “The President Stole Your Land” • These lands are Indigenous lands: Can you really steal “protected land” already stolen?
  11. 11. “The President Stole Your Land” • Changing the narrative – How? • Why is that important here? • What can be learned and applied? • Let’s break this down: • ”The President” implies that the leader of this nation is doing something wrong and illegal. However, our experience with Presidents in Indigenous communities is that they usually do something wrong and illegal regularly. • Why this President and not others? Is there implication that some Presidents are better than others? By whose and what metric do we measure that?
  12. 12. Largest Protected “Land Grab”? • 1777: co-option of lands by the 13 Colonies (new founding of the United States) • Louisiana Purchase (1803) land deal between the United States and France, U.S. acquired approximately 827,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River for $15 million. • The California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California. The news of gold brought approximately 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad.
  13. 13. Patagonia Blog: Media Course Corrections- November 2018
  14. 14. 2,000 Year Old Tattoo Needle in Bears Ears: March 2019 – SLC Tribune • Utah Diné Bikéyah staff quotes used in article • Ahjani Yepa: “proof that this was a practice that was lost and possibly can be reclaimed” • Angelo Baca: “It’s really about putting traditional knowledge and Western knowledge on equal, respectful ground.”
  15. 15. Social Media Presence & Using Memes: HB 93 Defeated & Elevating Native Women
  16. 16. Collaboration is the Key • IF you don’t know, ask • Owning your ignorance • Basic Education: not everyone has it • Tribal sovereignty vs. federal policy: getting it right • We are NOT special interest groups: we have Treaties still legally binding • Learning – improving: how to work with each other • More generous you are, the more generous we will be • The best is yet to come for our stories, representations, and shared collaborations!