Christine Genier, the host of CBC’s Yukon Morning show, resigned from her position last week after speaking on-air about the suppression of Black and Indigenous voices at the public broadcaster. (Mark Kelly/CBC website)

Yukon Morning hosts resigns over suppression of Black, Indigenous voices at CBC

Christine Genier resigned after making a statement on-air the morning of June 8

Christine Genier, the host of CBC’s Yukon Morning show, resigned from her position last week after speaking on-air about the suppression of Black and Indigenous voices at the public broadcaster.

“To be on Tagish Chän territory, Wolf Clan territory, and not to be able to speak the truth is difficult,” Genier, a Ta’an Kwäch’än citizen, said shortly after 8:20 a.m. on June 8.

“It contradicts and conflicts with the journalistic standards and practices of the CBC. This is painful and makes the job difficult and makes it ineffective.”

“This is a dangerous thing that I am doing career-wise and job-wise and I know it — and I make this choice,” she said later on, after stating her name, clan, nations and matriarchs in Southern Tutchone.

“Everything needs to change now. We are out of time.”

In a Facebook note posted June 12, Genier wrote that she resigned about 15 minutes after making her statement on-air.

CBC “immediately” reached out to her, she wrote, “and I have since been in conversation with a couple of levels of management.”

Genier referred the News to the Facebook note, as well as another one she posted June 16, when reached for comment.

“Throughout this week, I unpacked the unconscious and conscious biases and systemic racism of the mainstream media in Canada, and my experience within the CBC, as well as the media’s complicit nature in the continued oppression of Black and Indigenous Voices our country,” the June 12 note reads in part. “I spoke about the Journalistic Standards and Practices, how written through the colonial lens, perpetuates the systemic racism and blocks our ability to bring the stories and language and culture to the programming.”

In the June 16 note, Genier wrote that she was “really very tired today.”

“I have been working long days having important conversations long overdue,” she said.

While Genier’s statement was posted to the news section of the CBC’s website on June 15, no clips from June 8 have been added to Yukon Morning’s “on demand” page, which features 211 clips dating back to Oct. 29, 2019 as well as clips from June 9 to 12.

CBC North managing director Janice Stein and managing editor Mervin Brass directed the News’ requests for comment to CBC communications staff.

In an interview June 15, Chuck Thompson, CBC’s head of public affairs, said the broadcaster was “sorry to see (Genier) go because she’s an important voice, a wonderful storyteller.”

“I’ll just leave it this way, we’ve left the door open and we very much want to continue the conversation,” he said.

Thompson said the CBC has already started “looking” at its journalistic standards and practices “to ensure there is clarity as to how those principles are interpreted,” and will be “talking to a range of staff from across the country within news, current affairs and local services.”

He noted that the CBC is already holding weekly town-hall calls with employees that he described as an “open forum,” where employees can ask questions of executives. The broadcaster also has objectives to hire, retain and promote more Indigenous people, visible minorities and people with disabilities.

“I can tell you that, CBC is committed to reflecting the diversity of this country, both in our stories and in our workforce, and while we are making progress and have made progress, we absolutely recognize that much more needs to be done, and especially at senior levels of the organization,” he said.

Thompson did not directly answer questions about whether the CBC believes it has a problem with systemic racism.

“Well, I think if our employees feel that way, then we have to address that, and if they feel that, if that’s what they’re thinking, then we have to take responsibility for that, we have to be accountable for that and we have to act on that,” he said.

“… We need to look in the mirror and then address whatever needs to be addressed and make sure we can work on it — address it as quickly as possible but not so quickly that we get it wrong.”

In her June 12 note, Genier wrote that she believed the CBC was “one of our most important institutions.”

“That is why I am doing this. I wanted to be a part of the change from the inside as well,” she wrote.

“I’ve heard many times over the analogy that it takes a long time to steer a ship. I understand that. I’m telling you… it is the Titanic, and I’m the guy in the crow’s nest screaming ‘ICEBERG STRAIGHT AHEAD!’”

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

CBCMedia industryracism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

A bobcat is used to help clear snow in downtown Whitehorse on Nov. 4. According to Environment Canada, the Yukon has experienced record-breaking precipitation this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon will have “delayed spring” after heavy winter snowfall

After record levels of precipitation, cold spring will delay melt

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted online. (Black Press file)
Yukon youth being extorted online

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted on… Continue reading

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

A Housing First building on Fifth Avenue and Wood Street will be taken over by the Council of Yukon First Nations and John Howard Society later this month. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
CYFN, John Howard Society take over downtown Housing First residence

The organizations have pledged culturally appropriate service for its many Indigenous residents

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. Politicians return for the spring sitting of the assembly March 4. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Analysis: What to expect in spring sitting of the legislature

They’re back on March 4, but election speculation is looming large

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

Most Read