Editorial: Breaking the cycle of media censorship
Indigenous issues deserve more than one day of coverage a year.
Only within the last two years has The Medium begun publishing themed issues.
Our themed issues celebrate, highlight, and support under-represented and diverse voices on campus—many of whom are an integral and prominent part of our multi-cultural university. This week, we are celebrating Indigenous Voices. On September 30, 2022, we will acknowledge and study the violent legacy of the Canadian Residential School system during the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation because simply acknowledging the tragedy is not enough.
As privileged students attending the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), we sometimes fail to implement action by nullifying our advantages when it comes to giving platforms to marginalized groups.
As a news publication, we acknowledge our timing with printing this issue, and its ability to highlight the hardships faced by the Indigenous Peoples of Canada—despite falling short of showing the countless struggles Indigenous Peoples have faced in the past and present. The truth is, a singular day of reflection, or one news issue of acknowledgement, isn’t enough—the treatment of Indigenous communities should be a continuous conversation with consistent effort.
The Canadian news scene is in dire need of more coverage of Indigenous struggles, traditions, and art. The brutal mistreatment of Indigenous children, the lack of healthcare for Indigenous Peoples, the ghastly state of First Nations reserves, the suicide crisis faced by Indigenous communities, the absence of policies and Indigenous-identifying policy makers are issues we choose to only talk about when national holidays or headlines appear. But to the Indigenous community, these disparities aren’t breaking news; they are realities that emerge as part of their day-to-day. We must accept and acknowledge this truth before we start promising reconciliation.
We must give Indigenous communities a voice, so we can learn to listen. We recognize that it is vital for the Indigenous Peoples to tell their own stories. We cannot allow the humanity of the First Nations Peoples of Canada to be veiled by stereotypes, prejudices, false histories, and myths. Although we can start to raise awareness, only Indigenous voices can share with us their stories, disappearing languages, and suppressed traditions.
We hope this issue offers a small glimpse into the Indigenous voices on- and off-campus. No words or empty promises can achieve the forgiveness the government should seek. Frankly, we are tired of hearing politicians with a plan for reconciliation that they forget about soon after winning their election, but we, as citizens, can start by listening and learning. Silence is complacency. Through sitting back and hiding behind these corrupt systems, we feed into cycles of oppression.