RIIC - Helping journalists tell better Indigenous news stories.


Duncan McCue is the creator and curator of Reporting in Indigenous Communities. He pitched the idea — an online educational guide to assist journalists who report in Indigenous communities — to the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University, who offered a supportive environment for a year to make it happen. RIIC launched in Fall 2011. Duncan has been a reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) since 1998. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, his award-winning news and current affairs pieces are featured on CBC-TV’s flagship news show, The National. He’s also an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he teaches a ground-breaking course called Reporting in Indigenous Communities. Duncan has also taught journalism to Indigenous students at First Nations University and Capilano College. Duncan is Anishinaabe, a member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation in southern Ontario. He lives with his wife and two children in Vancouver, located in the traditional territory of the Coast Salish peoples. Check out this excerpt of Storytellers in Motion by Urban Rez Productions, which features the story of Duncan’s journey as a reporter: To learn more about Duncan and his work, follow him on Twitter (@duncanmccue) or please visit: http://www.cbc.ca/thenational/about/correspondents/duncanmccue http://knightgarage.stanford.edu/duncan-mccue http://www.journalism.ubc.ca/faculty/duncan_mccue


Kwakwaka’wakw artist Sonny Assu created the RIIC logo (http://sonnyassu.com). Of our logo, he writes: “This logo stems from my iDrums series, an on-going series of painted drums which feature emblazoned iPod iconography melded with a modern Northwest Coast aesthetic. The series explores how we use modern technology as totemic representation.” St’at’imc web designer Pat Alec designed the RIIC website (http://www.patalec.com). In addition to designing a mean website, he’s a kickboxer, so don’t say anything bad about our site or RIIC will send Pat to your house.

Photos on the RIIC site are the property of the photographers. Special thanks to Bert Crowfoot at bertcrowfootphotography.com, Don Bain at the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, and Jeff Bear at urbanrez.ca for providing the images on the front page.

Stanford’s Bill Lane Centre for the American West provided funding to build the site (http://west.stanford.edu).


Unless otherwise noted, all content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 Canada License. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/ca/) That means you are free to translate, transform, reprint, or otherwise reuse RIIC content, as long as: •    you are not using it for commercial purposes, and •    you attribute it to RIIC, preferably with a link back to the original content. For instance, under this license, you could: — translate the entire site into Inuktitut — redistribute the RIIC Guide to students in a college course — use our blog ramblings as lyrics in your special powwow hiphop remix. Of course, RIIC would love to hear of any interesting uses to which you’re putting our work. Feel free to get in touch.

Airline Highway by Lisa D at Steppenwolf Theatre Company

“In the beginning,” observes a dying character in Lisa D’Amour’s fascinating new Steppenwolf Theatre Company drama, “Airline Highway,” “there was sex.”

Miss Ruby, who is played by the remarkable actress Judith Roberts, and whose imminent demise is the reason for the memorial gathering of her fellow denizens of the gritty Hummingbird Motel, isn’t so much talking about copulation as she is a defining attribute of a place. That would be New Orleans, The Crescent City, The Big Easy, NOLA, the one town in the South with both license and absolution to conduct a continuous, Bourbon Street Bacchanal for drunken invaders whose tongues hang down low, all the way into their booze to go.

But at what price? And who’s paying?

For ‘Airline Highway,’ Lisa D’Amour knows New Orleans Chris Jones

When Lisa D’Amour wrote “Detroit” a play that premiered at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre in 2010 and went on to New York and London’s National Theatre and became a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize it seemed like she knew the Motor City uncommonly well.

When Lisa D’Amour wrote “Detroit” a play that premiered at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre in 2010 and went on to New York and London’s National Theatre and became a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize it seemed like she knew the Motor City uncommonly well. ( Chris Jones )

Get a wholesale nhl jerseys china few miles out of New Orleans and you might as well be in Atlanta, this play suggests. In fact, if one was to really boil down what “Airline Highway” is about, you could do worse than say it’s a play about the struggles of the eclectic members of the underclass of New Orleans to live their lives without abeyance to the confining economic and moral values of the homogenous New South.

D’Amour’s characters be they Tanya (the moving Kate Buddeke), Sissy Na Na (a sassy K. Todd Freeman) or Krista (a hardened Caroline Neff) don’t want to die like they are in Atlanta. For New Orleans is one of the very few places on the planet where funerals are defiantly upbeat, where the coming of death is an occasion for the kind of beat it back party D’Amour and the huge Steppenwolf cast stage here, in the parking lot of the Hummingbird (the eye poppingly exterior set is by Scott Pask). Sans chain affiliation but with an illustrious history, the decayed Hummingbird is a grind joint that serves as a home and also something to defend from the kudzu of Costco, slated to soon start dispensing excessive numbers of rolls of paper towels across the street.

“Airline Highway,” which is directed at Steppenwolf by Joe Mantello with kindness, restraint and sudden bursts of energy, is arguing that nobody should ever mop up the dirty Hummingbird and the rich nectar that resides therein.

D’Amour spent formative years in New Orleans and she obviously feels huge affection for the individuals who toil in its bars, strip clubs and music joints, who work Jazz fest but never attend, and the sex workers who service the nervous, escapist tourists. “Airline Highway” is a romantic treatment of the town’s colorful loners and outliers and the spontaneous families that spring up among those let down by real relatives. It is also a frequently poetic piece of writing, paying explicit homage to Lanford Wilson’s “Hot ‘L’ Baltimore” the occasion of a legendary Steppenwolf production of the past and it is a fine match for an ensemble oriented group of distinguished Chicago actors (the big crew also includes the authentic likes of Jacqueline Williams, Robert Breuler and Scott Jaeck) who imbue these characters with spunk, spirit and vulnerability. That far and it’s a long way traveled so very good.

There’s work to do, though, prior to the upcoming Broadway engagement, likely with most of this cast along for the trip. One can see why D’Amour would not want to make this an explicitly post Katrina play designed to induce guilt, but the abandonment of New Orleans by the rest of America in its hour of need still hangs heavy in the air, and yet you’re never sure what D’Amour and Mantello really want to say about that. One cannot avoid such history. routes, but my very occasional experiences therein have usually included unease. With all its colors and gaiety (the exuberant costumes are by David Zinn and the lights, more color than shadow, are by Japhy Weideman), “Airline Highway” sometimes verges on an unintentional Disney fication of the dispossessed. It is about a defiant party, for sure, but it needs more edge, more grit. Places like the Hummingbird can be dangerous homes for everyone, and more of an undercurrent of fear would raise the stakes beyond the current medium hum. We expect the theater to take the part of the underdog, the outsider, the Sideshow carnival; this play, and this production, needs also to remind us that evena grand culture, when cornered, can bite.

D’Amour needed an outsider to spark her drama, and she uses Bait Boy (Stephen Louis Grush, using about 50 percent of his formidable chops). This guy moved to away to Atlanta (where else?) and now returns, sans nickname, with his new wife’s teenage daughter (Carolyn Braver), who is doing a school project on such communities. This feels unlikely you can buy Bait Boy’s return to old haunts, but it’s harder to believe he’d bring a clean cut teen with an iPad to cramp his style with his old squeezes. Still. Such plays need someone to spark everyone’s stories you just want more gloves to come off. There is a lot of cross spoken dialogue here, which adds to the milieu. But we also need smaller scenes to emerge on the asphalt, and more of them.

All that said, very few playwrights have the acute sense of American place you find in D’Amour’s beautiful writing. Especially toward the end, “Airline Highway” is a worthy follow up to the similarly adroit “Detroit,” a Pulitzer Prize finalist about another cheap jerseys great city wholesale nhl jerseys ridden and then mostly cheap nfl jerseys abandoned by the country at large. These are both moralistic plays (with similar codas) suggesting we pay more attention to the beautiful urban gardens between sea and shining sea, very much dimmed by human tears.3.5 STARS

When: Through Feb. 8

Where: Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. Barrington Bolingbrook Buffalo Grove Burr Ridge ClarendonHills Deerfield Des Plaines Downers Grove Elmhurst Elmwood Park Evanston Franklin Park Glen Ellyn Glencoe Glenview Highland Park Hinsdale Joliet La Grange Lake Forest Lake Zurich Libertyville Lincolnshire Lincolnwood Morton Grove Mundelein Niles Norridge Northbrook Oak Brook Oak Park Orland Park Park Ridge Plainfield River Forest Schaumburg Skokie Tinley Park Tri Cities Vernon Hills WesternSprings Wheaton Wilmette Winnetka Ad Sections Local Ads CommunityContact usSports Breaking Bears Bulls Blackhawks Cubs White Sox College High School International Soccer Golf Video Steve RosenbloomDavid HaughBernie LincicomePaul SullivanPhilip HershTeddy GreensteinMatt BowenEd ShermanMike MulliganBears mailbagSmack blogPolitics National Elections Impasse at Capitol sets up Rauner vs. Madigan summer showdownFormer Speaker Hastert’s federal pension not in dangerWatchdog Maps Apps Series: Harsh treatment of disadvantaged kidsInvestigation: Red light camerasBusiness Breaking Blue Sky Jobs Work Top Workplaces Your Money Autos Real Estate Funny business Brand Extra Carolyn BigdaMelissa HarrisRex HuppkeGregory KarpGail MarksJarvisMary Ellen PodmolikPhil RosenthalJanet Kidd StewartRobert FederElite Street: Chicago luxury real estateMcDonald’s food you can’t get hereBlue Sky The Vault Originals Innovation hub Technology Live Events Calendar Special Series Photos About Blue Sky Advertise Brand extra June 23: The Future of Craft Beer in ChicagoJuly 15: Blue Sky Social at TechNexusOpinion Editorials Commentary Letters Tribune voices Blogs Steve ChapmanClarence PageScott StantisEric ZornPlan of ChicagoScott Stantis cartoonsEntertainment Breaking Movies Music Television Celebrities Museums Puzzles/Games Comics Events Brand extra Christopher BorrelliMark CaroLuis GomezSteve JohnsonRick KoganGreg KotNina MetzLaura MolzahnMichael PhillipsHoward ReichJohn von RheinLori WaxmanLatest movies reviewedStar sightings in ChicagoFood Dining Where to eat What to cook What to drink Columns Listings Kevin PangPhil Vettel2015 is Chicago’s year of ramenCan bitter be beautiful?Theater Loop Theater News Reviews Dance Funny Broadway Beyond Chicago Showcase video Life Style Travel Health Pets Animals Parenting Books Style Home Garden Horoscopes Lottery Brand Extra Ask AmyCandace JordanScott KleinbergJosh NoelHeidi StevensEllen WarrenPets animalsAdoptable animals blogPhoto Video Scene of crime Vintage photos Your photos Chicago by Chris Walker Take by Brian Cassella Filters by Anthony SouffleChicago photos in the newsFuneral rites for Cardinal Francis GeorgeAutos Car Reviews Fuel Efficient Car care New car deals Used car deals Sell Your Car JeanKnowsCars Car Quick Find a job Jobs Work List a job Top Workplaces Real estate Apartments Home Garden Elite Street Rent Apartment Sell Your Home ForSaleByOwner Brand Extra Place an ad Suburban ads Local ads Media Kit 435 Digital About our ads Tribune Store Buy a photo Buy back issue Local business Local ads Local listings Chicago deals Travel deals Site map Tour the site FAQ Live events Archives Digital Copy Accuracy Commenting Classified Advertising Digital Plus Newsletters Text alerts Ebooks Mobile apps Topics Community Giving Permissions Executive bios Tribune Tribune career Contact us Web site help Suburbs Corrections Manage account News Tips Submit letter Share with us CommunityArticles Connexes: