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Media and Reconciliation Conference

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Saskatoon

It was a high level day to get the conversation started with media on reconciliation – the Media and Reconciliation Conference in Saskatoon Oct. 4 and 5 was the first of it’s kind.

“The whole day combined, just blew my mind,” said John Lagimodiere, one of the organizers on a committee of five Indigenous journalists. Lagimodiere is the editor and publisher of Eagle Feather News and owner of ACS Aboriginal Consulting Services.

It was emotional – residential school survivor Eugene Arcand shared his story, reporters spoke about their concerns, frustrations and shared resources, and Marie Wilson, Commissioner for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission brought it all together, he said. There was also a panel making the financial case for better Indigenous coverage.

Throughout the day, people shared what they were learning on Twitter using #MediaReconciliation and J-Source kept those who couldn’t attend in the know by Live Blogging the event.

@TreatyOfficeSK: E. Arcand: "We don't ask for pity but r damaged goods. We work everyday to deal w deep secrets" #MediaReconciliation

@WarickSP: don't gloss over things. Tell the truth. Truth not always right in front of u. #MediaReconciliation

@connie_walker: telling different stories. Reflecting diversity. Will lead to understanding. #MediaReconciliation

@WarickSP: For better news coverage: Be humble. Don't be afraid of mistakes. If unsure, ask. #MediaReconciliation

@nelsonbirdctv have indigenous people in your newsrooms. connections, views to tell story #MediaReconciliation

“I’m so happy that the people who showed up did,” said David Kirton, a member of the organizing committee. He is the host of Saskatoon Afternoon and Meeting Ground on News Talk 650 CKOM.

He said there were representatives from the main media networks, including Postmedia, CTV and Global as well as owners of weekly newspapers.

“This has to be the first of many,” Kirton said of the conference.

Lagimodiere said he sees media gathering like this as a way of making change.

“People there were serious, they understood the message,” he said.

While driving home in a snowstorm, during the week after the event Lagimodiere was listening to the radio and he heard the station check in with One Arrow First Nation to give a sense of weather conditions in that area.

“It was like ‘yes!’ That’s my yes moment,” he said. “It’s started.”

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