Indigenous electoral candidates in the Canadian media: The reproduction of the assimilationist politics of recognition

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University of New Brunswick


Research on media coverage of candidates in Canadian elections has generally focused on gendered, racialized, and LGBTQIA+ candidates. Past research has found that political reporting often frames politics as a masculine, white, and heterosexual domain when candidates who do not conform to these norms are seen as novel in politics. Despite all this research into different identity groups of electoral candidates, little research has been conducted on how the media portrays Indigenous candidates. This thesis builds on the existing literature surrounding how electoral candidates are covered in the news media in order to examine the types of coverage that Indigenous candidates receive. Ultimately, I find that the news media employs moral craftwork in a manner that tends to reduce Indigenous candidates to representatives of their Indigeneity and symbols of progress and inclusion. This thereby helps to reinforce the Canadian state's approach to Indigenous assimilation through recognition.