Media Protocol for Journalists Covering National Family and Survivors Circle
The following information and guidelines are provided to assist journalists covering the National Family and Survivors Circle (NFSC) and the launch of the National Action Plan. We ask that these protocols are respected and adhered to for the safety of family members of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and girls, survivors of gender-based violence, 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, and others. Media relations staff are available to assist journalists with relevant information, media contacts, and arranging interviews.
The National Family and Survivors Circle will be present at the announcement of the National Action Plan, and invites the media to learn more about the work of the NFSC, and their role in guiding and contributing to the National Action Plan.
- The NFSC’s two co-chairs, Hilda Anderson-Pyrz and Denise Pictou Maloney are the spokespeople for the organization. Questions and comments should be directed at them.
- Journalists must respect the wishes of individual family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, 2SLGBTQQIA+, and survivors of gender-based violence who may prefer not to expand on their personal stories of loss and/or violence.
- If a spiritual leader asks that certain practices and ceremonies are not to be recorded or photographed by any means, this request must be respected. Failure to do so may result in the journalist being asked to leave immediately.
- Be mindful of how news coverage of missing and murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, survivors of gender-based violence, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people has been conducted in the past, ie. lack of coverage compared with non-Indigenous murders and disappearances, the tendency to focus on Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples’ criminality rather than their humanity, etc.
- Ensure coverage is conducted in a trauma-informed and culturally sensitive manner: confirm there is ongoing and informed consent from families and survivors who share stories, understand there may be cultural traditions and protocols to grief, and be transparent about the themes and framing of the story
- Minimize or eliminate graphic details to ensure families of missing and murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, survivors of gender-based violence, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people are not retraumatized
- As much as possible, include the perspectives and details provided by families of missing and murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, survivors of gender-based violence, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people
Use of Language
- Use the expanded terms rather than the acronym. Use “missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people” rather than MMIWG2S+.
- When describing the NFSC’s members or the individuals impacted by this issue, use the phrase “families of missing and murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, survivors of gender-based violence, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people”
- Those who have experienced gender-based violence and genocide are survivors, not victims.
- When referring to the First Nations, Inuit and Métis populations at the same time, CP Style recommends Indigenous Peoples.
- Use the individual’s preference for identity. Wherever possible, identify the First Nation with which an individual is affiliated.
- In rare instances, “Aboriginal” is used to reference the legal definition, however it is frowned upon when not used judiciously; “Indigenous” or “Indigenous Peoples” is preferred.
- Be aware of tendencies to group all Indigenous peoples’ interests and issues together.