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 youth 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 partners are CBC Vancouver and CBC Aboriginal. Our stories were featured in a week-long series of Indigenous youth stories in April 2014 on CBC Radio One’s The Early Edition and CBC Aboriginal online.

Our Team

Back row: GP, Katelyn, Prof Duncan McCue, Pauline, Elizabeth, Ola, David, Darryl Front row: Garrett, Zoe (with Nimshans), Emilie, Abeer, Chelsea, Ally

Back row: GP, Katelyn, Prof Duncan McCue, Pauline, Elizabeth, Ola, David, Darryl
Front row: Garrett, Zoe (with Nimshans), Emilie, Abeer, Chelsea, Ally

Reporters: Olajumoke Dapo-Ogunsola, David Geselbracht, Elizabeth Hames, Garrett Hinchey, Darryl Hol, Pauline Holdsworth, GP Mendoza, Chelsea Novak, Ally Quinney, Emilie Riva-Guerra, Zoe Tennant, Abeer Yusuf

Copy Editor: Elizabeth Hames, Pauline Holdsworth

Web Editor: Chantelle Bellrichard

Teaching Assistant: Katelyn Verstraten

Radio Producer/Professor: Kathryn Gretsinger

Senior Editor/Professor: Duncan McCue

Our Logo


The 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


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 Kwak’wala, Anishinaabemowin, and many others.

It’s also tough to find a literal translation for the English word “youth.”

For example, in Sḵwxwú7mesh, one might say “youth (under 25)” this way: “swatas leswilh tkwi wetl’ch’awánexw i kwi ts’iyichis.”

Bit of a mouthful for a non-Sḵwxwú7mesh speaker.

In Halq’eméylem, the word for young children is stl’ítl’eqelh. But that doesn’t capture 20-somethings.

Ultimately, we settled on smən’e:m.

smən’e:m translates literally to “children and other junior relatives” in the Hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language, which is spoken in six communities including Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Tsawwassen.

The word smən’e:m is used in addressing a group of younger relatives that might include children, nephews, nieces, and grandchildren. These are the relatives whom one might take responsibility for and lecture to. It’s a good reminder that, in the Salish worldview, all generations are connected.

haychka siem… kw’as hoy… chen kwen mantumi… miigwech… to all those who have shared advice and expertise in Aboriginal languages, including Jill Campbell, Khelsilem Rivers, and www.firstvoices.com.

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