The Caribou

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The Caribou was a monthly publication begun in December 1980 under the direction of its editor, Ivan J. White, and Keith Pittman, a member of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians. The paper was published by the Federation from its offices at Flat Bay, Newfoundland. Billed as "The Voice of the Newfoundland Micmac," the paper included articles on such matters as land claims, the Canadian constitution and various government policies. Histories of many of the Bands, employment opportunities, and notices and reports of Band meetings and craft shows were included in the paper. (summary taken from the Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador, Volume 1, p. 352)

Reflections on The Caribou Newspaper
by Ivan White (Sr.) of Flat Bay, Newfoundland & Labrador, written December 2020:

In the 1980's I was enrolled in a specially designed media course, which included print and videography, at the Bay St. George Community College - now the College of the North Atlantic - where I participated in classes taught by Media Instructor Fred Campbell and Photography Instructor Gwen Lawson.

I then spent several weeks under the mentorship of Keith Pitman, editor of The Reporter, a local Bay St. George newspaper. It was there that the first edition of the Caribou came to life. I was responsible for every aspect of the production; content, layout and design and distribution of the paper from inception until it ceased publication.

Several months after we started with a full sized tabloid edition printed professionally, the FNI communications funding was cut and we had to revert to a newsletter style production. We did not stop however, we published independently out of the band council office in Flat Bay. The basement was renovated for office space and a darkroom added. The FNI purchased a Gestetner which was used to print the Caribou. When I prepared a story typesetting was done on a regular typewriter and also columinized by FNI secretary Darlene Bennett, who for some reason could read my handwriting which was little more than a scribble.

Later we received some training funds and hired trainees, Daphne Bennett, Valerie Bennett and Joanann Tobin to assist with typing, proofreading, printing and distribution. Once proofreading was complete I would then take the articles cut and paste them to the galley and add photos and ads. The page galley would then be scanned and printed on the Gestetner. Pages would be stapled, addressed, postmarked and sent to the local band communities for distribution to their membership.

One thing I remember about the news is that it never stops and there are no specific 'hours' to your workday.

This newspaper's description was sourced from Suzanne Ellison's Historical Directory of Newfoundland and Labrador Newspapers.

Issues on the DAI:
Dec. 15, 1980-Mar. 30, 1987. These have been digitized from microfilm reels held in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies.

Federation of Newfoundland Indians

View other Newfoundland and Labrador newspapers available on the DAI.

If you have a Newfoundland / Labrador question please contact the Centre for Newfoundland Studies.