Challenging stereotypes, celebrating stories
This week's special episode of Rewind
will look at how CBC Radio has covered issues about and of concern to aboriginal people. Host Michael Enright
will be joined be guest co-host Darrell Dennis
Dennis is an actor and writer who has hosted CBC Radio documentary series ReVision Quest
. He is a member of the Shuswap Nation of British Columbia.
The episode is part of a 12-part series celebrating the 75th anniversary of CBC. The series isn't meant to be a nostalgic look back at the good ol'days. Instead, it aims to provide a dynamic exploration of where CBC Radio came from, where it is now and where it will be going from here.
"The coverage of aboriginal issues on CBC Radio in many ways mirrors the attitudes and beliefs of Canadian society," Enright says.
Though aboriginals have sometimes been treated as exotic and other times as dysfunctional, CBC has always provided a comprehensive look at aboriginal issues, Dennis says.
"It's an exciting legacy and I'm proud to be a part of it."
And aboriginal programming on CBC is continuing to evolve, Dennis says.
"We pride ourselves on presenting our topics in a fair and balanced way," he adds of ReVision Quest.
Programming now has a sense of humour, worries less about political correctness and doesn't have as much finger pointing, he says.
"Our audience gets a free approach to aboriginal issues and hopefully get a new perspective on the problems facing our people today."
episode looks at key events and stories involving aboriginal people, including the Haida, Inuit, Dene, Metis and Cree, over the past 75 years. It also touches on the lives and contributions of prominent aboriginal people - in politics, sports and the arts.
Among the highlights of the episode are clips from a CBC correspondent's trip north to meet the Inuit in 1943, an interview with Farley Mowat, interviews from the 1940s about the Indian Act, interviews with Cree singer Buffy Ste. Marie and Blackfoot architect Douglas Cardinal, discussion around residential schools and the Mackenzie Valley pipeline, Elijah Harper's opposition to the Meech Lake accord, and the Oka Crisis as well as excerpts from several CBC programs dedicated to aboriginal issues.
Residential schools meant that native people lost their language. For early missionaries in Canada, learning native languages was essential if they hoped to win converts. But as residential schools started to take hold in the late 19th century, the churches began to discourage missionaries from speaking native languages. School administrators recognized that language was inextricably linked with culture. If native children were to be assimilated into white society, they must learn English. Of these children, the Department of Indian Affairs wrote in its 1895 report: "So long as he keeps his native tongue, so long will he remain a community apart." Listen to this piece is from 1970:
You can hear the entire episode on Rewind's website
You can also come back to the 75th anniversary site
and visit our special Rewind section
following each episode's broadcast for a chance to hear extended audio from the series, like the one above. Just revisit these preview blogs each week after Rewind
's broadcast to find the extra clips.
Posted on Oct 17, 2011 10:17:59 AM