Center for World Indigenous Studies
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Mass Communication

Published: February 23, 2009, Author: JayTaber

Controlling the Message

The White House snub of Native American media recently at a Department of Interior event was significant both for what they said and what they did not. The explanation that the White House is more comfortable with the (white) traditional press pool was bad enough, but the fact that Interior handles Bureau of Indian Affairs monies as well as Minerals Management Service royalties compounds the offense.

While we understand that President Obama might not want to have Native American journalists asking questions about the ongoing embezzling of Indian trust funds by Interior and the energy companies it colludes with, denying American Indian media access to Cabinet level officials is de facto censorship.

As Indigenous peoples worldwide develop their own media to cover world affairs from their perspective, gaining access to audiences poses a major challenge. Having controlled the message since mass communication was invented, the inheritors of colonial power are not going to cede ground without a fight; apparently, President Obama has already chosen sides.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

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