A Dene woman in the Northwest Territories is working to amplify Indigenous voices and perspectives in media.
Tyra Moses, who is known for her photography work, recently launched Dené Media, a new platform for Indigenous photography, film, documentaries, and research through a Dene lens.
Moses said she wants to counter prejudiced and inaccurate representations of Dene in media.
“I find the Dene peoples [are] very hardworking, industrious, and strong, resilient nations that are able to survive in tough conditions,” she said. “I want this to be shown in media. And I want Indigenous youth, like my daughter, [to] have positive … community role models to look up to.”
Moses is currently studying anthropology and business management at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta. She began developing Dené Media this summer while she has been at home in Łíídlįį Kûę First Nation, but she said it’s something she’s been working toward for some time.
“While attending university and completing academic research into the Dene peoples, I found that there’s a lot of representation from non-Indigenous people,” she said. “I think it’s important that we start bringing back the Indigenous Dene histories to the people so they’re in control of their own histories and their own stories.”
Moses is currently creating all of the content for Dené Media. As the organization grows, she hopes to develop a quarterly e-magazine where people can contribute content on things like Dene history or land back. She also wants to provide training for youth so they can help tell Indigenous stories.
Moses said it’s also important to her that Dené Media’s research methodology is based on the Dene values of respect, sharing, and a connection to land, water, and all living things.
“We’re trying to find the best venue to approach and translate Dene laws into the modern day processes and ensuring that all our research is approached ethically and respectfully within Indigenous communities,” she said.
Inuit TV increasing Inuktut content
This is not the first media organization to be launched in the North in recent months that’s aiming to improve Indigenous representation.
In July, Nunatsiaq reported that a new Inuktut TV channel would be receiving $2.4 million in funding over three years from Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.
Inuit TV is the culmination of long-standing efforts by Nunavut broadcasters to create such a channel. There are plans for it to provide educational programming in a variety of Inuktut dialects across the circumpolar North.