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Bringing Six Nations into a new decade

Bringing Six Nations into a new decade

When landing with both feet in a fresh new decade it’s always nice to take a look back and see how far you’ve come. In a previous issue, we called the 2010s the Decade of Indigenous Truth. Due in part to the blessing of social media Indigenous stories often came front and centre in national

When landing with both feet in a fresh new decade it’s always nice to take a look back and see how far you’ve come.

In a previous issue, we called the 2010s the Decade of Indigenous Truth. Due in part to the blessing of social media Indigenous stories often came front and centre in national indigenous news.

For the first time in history, indigenous stories were being told by indigenous people in mainstream media with cultural context offered so non-indigenous Canadians can understand.

But along with the blessing, so often comes a curse. I’ve been watching the show “Once Upon A Time” over the holidays and in it they have a saying, “Magic always comes with a price.” This is very true when it comes to social media and indigenous news.

On the one had it’s very nice to be able to connect with indigenous people around the world about our common struggles. To empower one another with perspective and insight gained by being on the front lines of standing up to empirical powers trying to crush indigenous title to our traditional homelands.

On the other hand, those same support systems all too often become a confusing echo chamber where frustration with oppressive systems becomes prejudice and hatred towards individuals.

In fact, if you look at the media coverage in Canada on indigenous issues once again the mainstream is beginning to caricature our stories and get it wrong. What was once the broken Indian at the end of the trail is now being framed homogenous image of a broken aggrieved protester holding a flag or sign.

Is that how they are beginning to see us?

While telling the stories of our common struggle is critical to create change. It is important

That is why TRT is dedicated to bringing forward the stories of the diversity that makes Six Nations such an ace community. We are so much more than broken Indians.

We are dieticians promoting indigenous food systems to bring sustainability to our communities. We are advocates bringing proper funding to First Nations children on reserves.

We are mothers reclaiming our bodies in pregnancy and delivering our babies in a traditional way. We are fathers overcoming the machismo culture of the 80s and 90s who are embracing our LGBTQ+ sons and daughters. We are grandparents who are finding new careers and value in the sunset season of our lives as language teachers and indigenous knowledge keepers.

Our indigenous women are more than likely victims. Our indigenous men are more than likely addicts. Our indigenous children are more than likely orphans.

As indigenous media, and especially at TRT where our editorial team is predominantly indigenous and female, it is up to us to bring forward your stories and help to tell them so that people begin to know that Six Nations is so much more than our history, and so much more than what the mainstream media thinks we are.

We are looking forward to making the 2020s another great decade in bringing forward the truth of our stories.

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Nahnda Garlow

Nahnda Garlow

Nahnda Garlow is Onondaga under the wing of the Beaver Clan of Six Nations. Nahnda has been a journalist with the Two Row Times since it's founding in 2013. She is a self-proclaimed "rez girl" who brings to the Two Row Times years of experience as a Haudenosaunee cultural interpreter, traditional dancer and beadwork aficionado. Nahnda is a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association.

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