About

  • Jimmy snaps pictures of a sweat lodge in the backyard of Tsleil-Waututh spiritual leader Rueben Jimmy snaps pictures of a sweat lodge in the backyard of Tsleil-Waututh spiritual leader Rueben
  • Stephanie speaking with elder and spirit dancer Jeff Point Stephanie speaking with elder and spirit dancer Jeff Point
  • Rachel talks with elder and spirit dancer Jeff Point at Tamihi Creek Rachel talks with elder and spirit dancer Jeff Point at Tamihi Creek
  • Aurora on the Canoe with the Billy family Aurora on the Canoe with the Billy family
  • Meghan on the canoe with the Billy family and her audio recorder Meghan on the canoe with the Billy family and her audio recorder
  • Carlos interviewing Tony Jacobs, member of the Tsawwassen First nation's legislative assembly Carlos interviewing Tony Jacobs, member of the Tsawwassen First nation's legislative assembly
  • Emma talking with former Sumas chief Lester Ned just outside of Abbotsford Emma talking with former Sumas chief Lester Ned just outside of Abbotsford
  • Katelyn records wind sounds where Sumas Lake used to be before it was drained Katelyn records wind sounds where Sumas Lake used to be before it was drained
  • Julio Amaya explains the significance of drumming to Sebastian Julio Amaya explains the significance of drumming to Sebastian
  • Russell Wallace of Native Education Centre tells Umbreen about Nisga'a totem pole Wils Sayt Bakhwhlagat or the "place where people gather" Russell Wallace of Native Education Centre tells Umbreen about Nisga'a totem pole Wils Sayt Bakhwhlagat or the "place where people gather"
  • Allison interviewing former chief of Tsleil-Waututh, Leonard George Allison interviewing former chief of Tsleil-Waututh, Leonard George
  • Joel interviews Tsawwassen First Nation member Steven Stark Joel interviews Tsawwassen First Nation member Steven Stark
  • Teachings at the house posts in Sty-Wet-Tan Hall- Debra Martel, Associate Director at the UBC First Nations House of Learning, with RIIC students Teachings at the house posts in Sty-Wet-Tan Hall- Debra Martel, Associate Director at the UBC First Nations House of Learning, with RIIC students
  • RIIC students visit UBC Museum of Anthropology for some stories and inspiration RIIC students visit UBC Museum of Anthropology for some stories and inspiration
  • The class listens to council member Carleen Thomas during a trip to the Tsleil waututh Nation The class listens to council member Carleen Thomas during a trip to the Tsleil waututh Nation
  • Carleen Thomas and Andrew Van Eden present the class with a gift, a book on Tsleil Waututh history Carleen Thomas and Andrew Van Eden present the class with a gift, a book on Tsleil Waututh history
     
From the UBC Graduate School of Journalism: Reporting in Indigenous Communities, the only journalism course in Canada to focus exclusively on Aboriginal news stories. Under the guidance of award-winning CBC-TV journalist Duncan McCue, twelve students produced reports on water in Indigenous communities across the Lower Mainland.Our community partners include the Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, Tsawwassen First Nation, Sto:lo Tribal Council, Sto:lo Nation, and the Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council.

Our mainstream media partner is CBC Vancouver. Our stories will be the centrepiece of a week-long series of Indigenous water stories in April 2013 on CBC Radio One’s The Early Edition. Our stories will also be featured in a one-hour documentary on the national CBC Radio program, In the Field, on June 20, 2013.

OUR TEAM

(Back row) Carlos, Jimmy, Katelyn, Meghan, Rachel, Prof. Duncan McCue, Joel (Front row) Sebastian, Aurora, Emma, Allison, Stephanie, Umbreen

Reporters: Joel Barde, Rachel Bergen, Umbreen Butt, Allison Griner, Stephanie Kelly, Meghan Mast, Sebastian Salamanca, Emma Smith, Aurora Tejeida, Carlos Tello, Jimmy Thompson, Katelyn Verstraten,

Copy Editor: Allison Griner

Radio Producer: Kathryn Gretsinger

Web Editor: Daniel Mashev

Senior Editor/Professor: Duncan McCue

OUR LOGO

RIIC LogoThe logo for our Reporting in Indigenous Communities website is a Coast Salish-inspired design, in recognition that the University of British Columbia is located on the traditional territory of the Musqueam First Nation and to acknowledge the Coast Salish heritage of the First Nations we cover in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

The camera lens in the middle signifies our role as Journalists and Witnesses, and symbolizes a circle that, in many Aboriginal cultures, represents interconnectedness.

Attached to the lens, the logo has crescents and trigons — key design elements of Salish art. Salish artists often combine these symbols to represent a feather.

Our logo has four crescents which symbolize the Four Directions, in recognition that Indigenous people from many different Nations now call Vancouver and the Lower Mainland home. Likewise, our students at the UBC Graduate School of Journalism come from across Canada and around the world.

Lenkyn Ostapovich, of UBC Arts’ Instructional Support and Information Technology, designed our logo.

OUR TITLE

Tsuk Ekanam, in Chinook jargon, translates literally to “water stories.”

The roots of Chinook jargon lie in the huge diversity of Aboriginal languages on the West Coast. To make trade relationships possible, First Nations developed a common tongue. When settlers arrived in the 19th century, Chinook evolved to include European, Chinese, Japanese, even Hawaiian terms.

Many Chinook words remain in common use in Western Canada and the United States (tillicum, tyee, chuck, skookum), though most residents may not know where the words came from.

While we were eager to find a word from an Aboriginal language for our title, it’s a challenge in a place such as the Lower Mainland, where Coast Salish peoples traditionally speak several distinct languages (not to mention all the languages spoken by urban Aboriginal residents, such as Carrier, Kwak’wala, Anishinaabe, Cree and many others).

When it comes to “water,” it was particularly tough to find a common word amongst our partner communities.

The Sḵwxwú7mesh word for water is staḵw. Downriver and Upriver dialects of Halkomelem share the “same” word for water – qo or qa. To be more precise, Halkomelem is an Anglicization for the language. Upriver dialect is more properly called Halq’eméylem (spoken in over two dozen communities from Aitchelitz to Yale), Downriver dialect is more properly called Hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ (spoken in six communities including Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Tsawwassen).

So, we settled on “tsuk ekanam” – a phrase that, back in the day, would have been understood up and down the Fraser River.

Thank you… haychka siem… kw’as hoy… chen kwen mantumi… meegwich… to all those who have shared advice and expertise in Aboriginal languages, including Dr. Patricia Shaw, Khelsilem Rivers, firstvoices.com and Terry Glavin’s excellent book on Chinook, A Voice Great Within Us.

OUR TEXTBOOK

For additional information, check out Duncan’s online guide to Reporting in Indigenous Communities, a place where journalists and journalism students can learn useful ideas and practical methods for finding and developing news stories in Indigenous communities.

RIIC IN THE NEWS

Comments are closed.