Currently on leave
Canada Research Chair in Indigenous journalism, media, and public discourse
Candis Callison is Co-Director of the Centre for Climate Justice, and an Associate Professor in the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media, and in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies.
Her research and teaching are focused on changes to media practices, the rise and persistence of Indigenous journalism on digital platforms, journalism ethics, the role of Indigenous and environment-focused social movements in public discourse, and understanding how climate change becomes meaningful for diverse publics.
Candis is the co-author of Reckoning: Journalism’s Limits and Possibilities (Oxford University Press, 2020), which draws on five years of research with journalists in the U.S. and Canada at a variety of news organizations including startups, legacy media, and freelancers. Candis’ first book, How Climate Change Comes to Matter: The Communal Life of Facts (Duke University Press, 2014) used ethnographic methods and a comparative lens to bring together the work of science journalists, scientists, and three distinct social groups that are outside environmental movement and policy frameworks in an American context.
An alumna of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Candis holds a Ph.D. in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society, and a Master of Science in Comparative Media Studies. She was the speaker at MIT’s 2018 Investiture of Doctoral Hoods.
In 2019, Candis became a member of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was a visiting professor at Princeton University in 2018-2019 as the Pathy Distinguished Visitor in Canadian Studies. While at Princeton, she co-convened the International Symposium on Climate Change and Indigenous Communities. Candis was a Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Fellow from 2019-2021.
Candis is Tahltan (Tałtan), an Indigenous people located in what is now Northwestern British Columbia. She is a regular contributor on the podcast, Media Indigena. Candis also regularly speaks to news media and podcasters about issues related to Indigenous concerns and social movements, climate change, and journalism ethics.
Candis is a founding board member of Tu’dese’cho Wholistic Indigenous Leadership Development Society (T-WILD), the first Tałtan non-government organization, created to provide Tałtan people with land-based learning, leadership development, and cultural programming. In 2020, as part of T-WILD, Candis was a contributor to Our Ancestors’ Trail Exhibition at UBC.
Candis sits on the board of The Narwhal, an award-winning non-profit journalism organization supported by its members. In 2020, Candis was the recipient of the Bill Good Award from the Jack Webster Foundation, which “honours a B.C. individual or organization that makes a significant contribution to journalism in the province, or addresses a community’s needs and benefits via journalism.”
Prior to her academic work, Candis produced, wrote, and reported for television, the Internet, and radio in Canada (CBC, CTV) and the United States (Lycos, Tech TV). Candis was the original host and co-creator of First Story, the first news and current affairs series on Indigenous issues to be broadcast nationally in Canada on CTV; it was later syndicated to APTN. For her early concurrent work in media convergence, Candis was profiled in the 2003 book, Technology with Curves: Women Reshaping the Digital Landscape. Her independently produced film, Traditional Renaissance was included in UBC Museum of Anthropology’s 2003-04 exhibition on Tałtan culture, “Mehodihi: Our Great Ancestors Lived that Way.”
At UBC, Candis has taught Representation and Indigenous Cultural Politics (FNIS 220), Feminist and Postcolonial Critique and Journalism in a Digital Age (JRNL 400), Media Ethics and Leadership (JRNL 533), Science and Environment Journalism (JRNL 539P), Anthropology of Science and Technology (JRNL 520F/ANTH 495), and New Media and Society (JRNL 100). JRNL 100 is the J-school’s first undergraduate course taught as part of UBC Coordinated Arts Program’s Media Studies Stream and the Bachelor of Media Studies Program. Candis was the Chair of the Bachelor of Media Studies Program in 2017-18.
Candis is currently wrapping up a multi-year research project on Arctic Journalism that uses multiple research methods to examine changing professional norms, practices and standards for Canadian Arctic journalists working in an era of environmental change and global audiences. Since the project launched in 2014, research assistants have jointly conducted ethnographic research, completed a portion of their required Master of Journalism summer internships in the three northern Canadian territories, and provided live reporting and media analysis during the COP21 meetings in Paris.
Other ongoing longer term research projects include an investigation into how social networking technologies are being used by Indigenous individuals and communities in Canada for social engagement, self-representation, and governance (See interview on CBC Radio’s Spark), and the Social Media Advanced Research, Teaching and Training Lab (SMARTT Lab), an interdisciplinary lab at the J-school dedicated to understanding the interplay between social networks, the media and public discourse. The first project of the SMARTT Lab resulted in an analysis of the Twitter hashtag of the Idle No More movement in Canada.