Article Title

Framing Indigenous–Settler Relations within British Columbia's Modern Treaty Context: A Discourse Analysis of the Maa-nulth Treaty in Mainstream Media


Media plays an integral role in (re)producing our social construction of reality. When viewed in light of Canada’s colonial legacy, media’s power has undoubtedly been implicated in circumscribing Indigenous peoples and Indigenous–settler relations. Employing a discourse analysis of mainstream media covering the recent (2011) implementation of a comprehensive land claims agreement in British Columbia, this study investigates how media has framed contemporary Indigenous–settler relations within the Canadian state. Findings indicate that mainstream media predominantly relies on stereotypes of Indigenous peoples and tends to neglect historical and current political complexities, thereby perpetuating stagnant Indigenous–settler relations. Concluding with empirically derived recommendations, this article points to education reform to create more robust mainstream media able to address stagnated (re)constructions of Indigenous–settler relations.


The authors gratefully acknowledge Huu-ay-aht First Nations for their contributions to the design of this article. We also thank Ella Bennett and Paul Sylvestre at the HEC Lab and Julia Russell at the University of Northern British Columbia for their tireless comments to earlier editions. To Anne Godlewska, Jane McMillan, and one anonymous reviewer, thank you for your thoughtful reviews.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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