Abstract

Using media coverage of the withdrawal of OxyContin in Canada in 2011 and 2012 as an example, this article describes a systematic analysis of how news media depict First Nations peoples in Canada. Stark differences can be seen in how First Nations and non-First Nations individuals and communities are represented. In First Nations communities, problematic substance use is discussed without considering the context of pain management, broad generalizations are made, and language of hopelessness and victimization is employed. An analysis of the differences in language, tone, sources of information, and what is left unsaid, makes visible the ways in which misinformation about First Nations peoples and communities is constructed and perpetuated in media discourses.

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful for research funding to support this work provided by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

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