Letter to the editor: Balanced coverage needed

Becoming familiar with aboriginal history, culture and traditions will surely go a long way in helping to bridge the disconnect.


I spent 50 years in the newspaper business as a reporter, editor, and publisher at weeklies and dailies in all four western provinces.

Throughout my career I witnessed up close the disconnect between aboriginal people and the non-native society.

Becoming familiar with aboriginal history, culture and traditions will surely go a long way in helping to bridge the disconnect.

There has been mistrust, anger, suspicion, frustration and fear from both sides toward the other. Positive steps are being taken to narrow the gap but much more needs to be done.

For too long the aboriginal community has been stereotyped by negative stories carried in newspapers, TV, and social media. The stories often focus on protests, confrontations, alcohol and drug abuse, financial scandals, fires, gun violence, murders, thefts, assaults, and missing persons on First Nations reserves.

Other disturbing stories include poverty, unemployment, poor drinking water, delapidated housing, terrible roads, lack of educational opportunities, truancy, child runaways, etc.

But it hasn’t all been negative. There are many aboriginal success stories. Among them: pow wows, rodeo cowboys, accomplished athletes, entrepreneurs, business ventures, artists, lawyers, judges, journalists, musicians, craft makers, politicans, etc.

To improve the relationship between aboriginal people and non-natives, attitudes need to change.

Perry Bellgarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, called in June 2015 for people to make room in your hearts and minds and your spirits. Rid yourself of those racial stereotypes of Indians and indigenous people being dumb and lazy and drunk on welfare. Rid yourself of those things, so new things can come in.

Chief Bellegarde made the statement in response to the final report and recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The challenge is ours to take.


Clay Stacey

Kelowna, B.C.

Just Posted

MVP of the Week: Finding inspiration on the ice

Samantha Wiley met legends of the women’s game and played in the Global Girl’s Game on March 11

Halibut quota down 15 per cent in B.C. with more restrictions coming

Recreational fishers on the North Coast face challenges to avoid another early halibut closure

Lax Kw’alaams takes the federal and provincial governments to court

The civil suit opposes the Oil Moratorium Act and the establishment of the Great Bear Rainforest

Prince Rupert Tribesmen win 2018 Junior All Native Basketball Tournament

The Tribesmen remained undefeated throughout the tournament

Prince Rupert’s cherry trees chopped

Contractors went to work on the cherry blossoms next to the DFO buildings on March 23

Heart of Our City: Nicholls and dimes

Accountant Bill Nicholls helps Rupert organizations get back on track

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canadian cities hold March for our Lives events in wake of Florida shooting

Hundreds of people support the massive March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C.

Health officials called after acid spill near B.C.-Alberta border leaks into creek

Tanker truck crashed south of Dawson Creek, spilling 17,000 litres of hydrochloric acid

Embattled band Hedley plays last show in B.C. before hiatus

About 3,000 tickets had sold for final performance at Kelowna’s Prospera Place

Trudeau to exonerate B.C. First Nations chiefs hanged in 1860s

Prime Minister to absolve Tsilhqot’in chiefs in relation to deaths of 14 construction workers

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

Most Read