Media partnership to tell story of Reconciliation all year long
As many in the city take part in Reconciliation Week, a unique media partnership will ensure the story of what reconciliation in our community looks like is told for more than just one week a year.
The City of Lethbridge is proud to partner with Global News Lethbridge and the Lethbridge Herald in a monthly update with experts from the community on what reconciliation looks like within our community.
"One of the main areas of concern we often hear is that while Reconciliation Week is a great opportunity to learn and talk more about Indigenous culture and history, it's only done for one week a year," says Charlene Bruised Head-Mountain Horse, Indigenous Relations Advisor. "By committing to sitting down with our media partners once a month to discuss reconciliation and the work that is taking place in our community, we hope to make the idea of reconciliation more of an everyday discussion."
The topic and focus of the monthly spot is determined by each media partner but City staff will work to coordinate experts and resources and provide any assistance to ensure the conversation is highlighted each month.
"Reconciliation efforts should not be highlighted for just one day, or one week of the year," says Liam Nixon, Newsroom Manager at Global News Lethbridge. "Our team recognizes the importance of these ongoing efforts and the incredible work being done by southern Alberta Indigenous Peoples and Communities and the City to move forward with the Reconciliation Implementation Plan. Global News Lethbridge acknowledges that we are located on the lands of the Blackfoot people of the Canadian Plains and recognizes that the City of Lethbridge is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III. As a trusted source of information and storytelling in our community, we take seriously our responsibility to produce stories that reflect Blackfoot and Métis culture, and we look forward to continuing those efforts as part of this new partnership."
The Lethbridge Herald has taken additional steps in ensuring Indigenous voices and stories are heard by adding a focused reporter to their team.
"There has been great progress made toward truth and reconciliation with Canada's Indigenous Peoples in the recent past, but there is still much more work yet to be done," says Lethbridge Herald, City Editor, Trevor Busch. "Communication is critical to the success of this relationship, and part of that effort as journalists is telling the stories that matter to our readership, while helping to break down some of the barriers that still exist within our society. Integral to that endeavour, in 2022 the Lethbridge Herald hired an Indigenous Affairs reporter, Ryan Clarke, who has been dedicated to telling the Indigenous story in southern Alberta. Establishing this partnership going forward is one way we can try to promote reconciliation in the community, and better highlight the stories that often end up 'below the fold'."
One of the guiding principles of the City's Reconciliation Implementation Plan, is to promote its support for reconciliation as a method of raising awareness for the community, endorse educational opportunities and create an understanding of the reconciliation process. This unique media partnership helps to amplify the voices and conversations of our community in order to create a shared understanding about what reconciliation means in Lethbridge.