In 2014, I worked with several First Nations to develop a media strategy focused on getting stories into the mainstream media about issues important to them. With many First Nations in Western Canada now facing compromised relationships with government and the natural resource industries, primarily caused by a lack of consultation before making key decisions, media relations is now more important than ever in getting First Nations stories, ideas and messages out there to the general public and to decision makers.
Over the past year, I’ve been working to help several First Nations develop their stories. Those stories went on to be published in the country’s national newspapers as well as in smaller, local publications and industry trade magazines. Blogs then went on to pick up those stories and spread the word online. And I used ghostwriting as a tool to write columns on behalf of several chiefs for the Huffington Post, a widely-read online publication.
For the Tahltan people’s effort to educate people around preserving the Sacred Headwaters from industry development, I got some big results including a story in the Canadian Mining Journal, Huffington Post, Mining.com and the Interior News. The story in Huff Post was tweeted by a Conservative MP and 10 bloggers picked up and wrote their own take on the story.
I also helped this website with blog content writing and social media management to grow awareness of the LNG Summits being held around the province of BC and to help educate First Nations about the growing LNG industry. The Summit itself received media attention from CKNW, The Globe and Mail and CBC Online, Huffington Post thanks to media relations efforts.
Media relations for First Nations is now an essential tool in improving government and industry relations and in having a say in decisions that affect their land, their water and their future.