By exploring the ways in which Kenora's daily newspaper spoke to the deep-seated, endemic, systemic anti-native racism woven into the fabric of Canadian society since its inception as a political entity in the nineteenth century, this paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of the nature of Canada's colonial imagination as expressed in the popular press. Kenora, after all, can lay claim to near complete Canadian ordinariness. While the images discussed in this article speak to a single newspaper's yearlong coverage, with special emphasis on a charged yet discrete incident, there are grounds to suggest that the "Miner & News" depictions of aboriginals typified (and typify) Canadian newspaper representations of natives since Confederation. To begin with, as noted, scholars have identified the mainstream press as a central instrument in structuring and naturalizing colonialism. In short, then, one may argue that the "Miner & News," in addition to serving its business masters and the local reading audience with the "news," also contributed to the Canadian imperialism by promoting racist notions about the alleged inferiority of aboriginal peoples. Further, that the images reflect the racialized image patterning common in other colonial societies, as noted, and that the press has been found to serve a key role in the promotion and affirmation of colonialism in such societies, again as noted, shows that the "Bended Elbow" narrative qua news story also very much served to add yet another brick in the wall of the Canadian colonial project. The research presented and discussed here, albeit limited temporally and by geography, also fits neatly within historical molds of press treatment of natives in Canada, though more work needs to be done.

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University of Nebraska Press
American Indian Quarterly
Department of History

Anderson, M.C, & Robertson, C. (2007). The "Bended Elbow" News, Kenora 1974: How a Small-Town Newspaper Promoted Colonization. American Indian Quarterly, 31 (Summer)(3), 410–440.