Duncan McCue

Mike Jackson | Evan Adams | Michelle Bryant | Candis Callison | Ian Campbell | Bernard Casavant | Stacey Edzerza | Lenny Fisher | Dave Griffin | Trevor A. Joe | Tewanee Joseph | Rose Lesner | Duncan McCue | Carey Newman | Cherie Joy Rochelle Peal | Jason Rock | Lisa Sam

CBC Television Reporter

If you live in British Columbia and you watch television, there’s a good chance you could recognize Duncan McCue. He works as a television reporter for the CBC in Vancouver.
Duncan is Anishinaubae (Ojibway), from Ontario. He lives on the west coast with his wife, June, from Northern BC, and their daughter.

School and learning has always been very important in Duncan’s family. His father helped begin the Native Studies program at Trent University in Ontario, and when the James Bay Cree of Northern Quebec were the first in Canada to sign a “modern-day” treaty, under which they assumed jurisdiction of education, Duncan’s family moved to James Bay because his dad got to be in charge of the education part of that treaty. The Cree way of life was still very traditional – they were still hunting and trapping. Most kids spoke Cree first; they didn’t learn English or French until they went to school. Duncan learned a lot about living on the land from these people, and learned to be interested in politics from one teacher at his high school.

He decided to go to the East Coast for his first year of university to study classical Western philosophy. He got his degree in English, and spent as much time writing for the student newspaper as he did on his studies. He wrote a lot of stories about native issues, and this helped him decide to go to law school. He chose the University of British Columbia because of the First Nations law program. He worked part-time at several different television jobs, including the CBC. After he became a lawyer, CBC TV offered him a job as a television news reporter.

“I loved learning and I still do today. If there’s anything for the website that I could pass on it is that I love learning. I’ve often been frustrated in school because it seems that it frustrates those learning instincts. If there’s any advice I would pass on to kids it’s that if you love learning, stick with school because there are so many opportunities if you keep on learning. And learn from everywhere – from your elders and from your parents, because learning is a wonderful thing.”

Stepping Stones
How did you get to where you are now?Duncan McCue

High School, Honours
6 months living and working on the trapline with a Cree elder
BA in English, University of King’s College in Halifax
Volunteer college newspaper reporter
Law degree, UBC
Called to the bar
CBC Reporter

Thinking About School
“I’ve always felt that having an education means that you will never be able to be pushed around by anybody. You can never have somebody say ‘you can’t do this’ and ‘you can’t do that’, and have to accept it because they know what they’re talking about or because they have an education.
It’s like being a modern-day warrior. An education allows people to fight for themselves and to fight for their people. Having an education arms them to do that.”
– Duncan

Copyright 2012 First Nations Education Steering Committee and First Nations Schools Association