Re/locating the Mushuau Innu of Utshimassits in the Canadian press, 1993-2002
LE3 .A278 2003
Master of Arts
This thesis explores the re/presentation of the Mushuau Innu of Utshimassits (Davis Inlet) within mainstream Canadian English newspapers from 1993 to 2002. Qualitative and quantitative methods of content analysis are used to examine two daily papers: The 'Globe and Mail' and the 'Telegram '. Using an analysis influenced by the language and ideas of Foucault, this research illustrates that newspapers act as both a tool of colonization and a point of resistance by opening discursive spaces where alternate narratives may be presented, yet at the same time be restricted by the identical mechanisms of power that form these spaces. Through an extensive examination of the mainstream news coverage of the Mushuau Innu, this research demonstrates how the intersection of text and images, the reliance on subjective adjectives, the re/construction and expunging of history, and unbalanced sourcing contribute to the negative re/presentation of the Innu. Media re/presentations of women within the community are especially distorted by framing techniques used within news accounts, particularly in reference to issues of substance use. Although the attention placed upon the community opens up a discursive spaces in which the plight of the community can be discussed, I contend that, within mainstream news accounts, the Mushuau Innu are limited to negative racialized roles that fail to challenge mainstream patriarchal and ethnocentric ideologies.
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