We have two main intentions with this issue on celebrating Indigenous voices: the first is to provide a platform for Indigenous writers to voice their opinions, thoughts, and feelings on matters that concern them and their communities; the second is to raise awareness on Indigenous issues, successes, and histories that are important to understanding and contextualizing the current political and social landscapes within Canada—particularly as they pertain to Indigenous Peoples.
The latter intent was easier to realize in sections where we could maintain a sense of objectivity in our reporting. For example, in Arts and Entertainment we could discuss the various projects and achievements of Indigenous artists, musicians, and creatives. In News, we could report on ongoing issues that pertain to the Indigenous communities of Canada. In Sports, we could discuss the various achievements of Indigenous athletes and the histories of Indigenous sports.
But most importantly, we could research and report on these topics with a sense of objectivity that would allow us to raise awareness of Indigenous voices without overshadowing those voices. In this week’s Arts and Entertainment, a writer praised the novel There There by the Indigenous author Tommy Orange. The article didn’t distract from the book or subvert its message, but since there was no way to publish an article from the author himself, the next best thing was to promote Orange ourselves.
When we originally pitched articles for the Opinion section, we implored Indigenous authors to sign up. We wanted people who were intimately familiar with the unique experiences of Indigenous life to write their opinions on matters that concerned them and their communities. In recognition of the long and enduring absence of Indigenous voices in mass media, we wanted to reserve this space for Indigenous opinions on Indigenous issues.
As days passed, all pitches remained unclaimed. We emailed our associates and spoke to classmates in hopes of finding an Indigenous writer who was willing to contribute, but as we approached the deadline for printing, our pitches remained unclaimed. It’s important to note that while each of us at The Medium is passionate about the causes we promote between our pages, we are a small publication with limited resources.
You might have noticed that there was a gap in our publication schedule last week—this was not our original intention. We were hoping to publish this issue on September 25. However, on the afternoon of September 23, our management team sat down and discussed the reality of our situation: publishing this week would mean publishing empty pages. We contemplated writing extra pieces ourselves, but later realized that rushing these pieces was not going to help us put out an issue that we were proud of. A quick reaction to our predicament would only lower the quality of our work, which was counterproductive to our goal for this issue.
Therefore, we made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone publication to this week. It was our decision to dedicate these pages to promoting the voices of Indigenous Peoples. As non-Indigenous people recognizing the historical absence of Indigenous voices on political and social matters in Canada, we did not see it as constructive to publish our own opinions on issues that we have not experienced. Instead, we thought these pages would be better served promoting Indigenous Peoples, artists, and activists in the Greater Toronto Area. We encourage you to go beyond these pages and continue to celebrate these voices.