Duncan McCue

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Duncan McCue is Anishinaubae (Ojibway), from Ontario, a member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation.[1] and an award-winning Canadian television and radio journalist for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.[2] A longtime reporter for CBC Television's The National,[3] as of August 2016 he is the host of CBC Radio One's radio call-in show Cross Country Checkup and the first Indigenous person to host a mainstream show at the public broadcaster.[4] He lives in Toronto.[5]

Early life[edit]

Education was highly valued in the McCue home. McCue's father helped launch a Native Studies program at Trent University in Ontario. After the Cree of James Bay signed the Canada's first Modern Day Treaty, allowing the Cree to assume control of their education system the McCue family relocated to James Bay and McCue's father took over implementing the education system. McCue grew up in a traditional and culturally strong milieu where hunting and trapping were central to life. Cree was the main language.[6]

At 17, McCue graduated high school with top marks. Feeling confused about his identity, McCue's father suggested he take a year off school to hunt, trap and fish with an elder named Robbie Matthew Sr.. Living on the land for 5 months helped McCue settle questions about his identity. He also learned about the plants and animal, and traditional methods of Cree teaching, which he calls 'learning experientially.' McCue would later write a book about that time in his life called the Shoe Boy.[7]

McCue left the community to attend university and earned a degree in English at University of King’s College in Halifax. His first introduction to journalism came working on the school newspaper at King's. After graduating, he attended law school at the University of British Columbia First Nations law program. While in school he worked part-time at several different television jobs, including the CBC. In 1998 after he was called to the bar, McCue launched a career as television news reporter at CBC.[8]


From 1998 to 2016 McCue worked as a national reporter for CBC radio and television in Vancouver, frequently filing for the national.

During this time McCue also worked as an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. He also taught aboriginal Canadians at First Nations University and Capilano College.

McCue has won numerous journalism awards, including a Jack Webster Award for Best Feature,[9] an RTNDA Award for Best Long Feature and two regional RTNDA Diversity Awards for his coverage of aboriginal issues. McCue was part of the CBC Aboriginal team's investigation into missing and murdered Indigenous women which won the Hillman Award for Investigative Journalism and the 2016 Canadian Association of Journalist's Don McGillivray Award.[10] in 2017 he won an Indspire award for public service.[11]

In 2010-11, he was awarded a John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University in California. The fellow ship allowed McCue to create an online education guide to help journalists who report in Indigenous communities.[12] He continues to be the curator of Reporting in Indigenous Communities.

Beginning August 7, 2016 Duncan McCue became the new host of Cross Country Checkup, replacing Rex Murphy, making McCue the first Indigenous person to host a mainstream show at the public broadcaster. Checkup is a national open-line radio program. It plays weekly on Sunday afternoons, and covers a broad range of topics. According to the CBC, the show has more than a half million listeners and on average, 5,000 to 10,000 people attempt to call in each week.[13]

In 2016 he was appointed Rogers visiting journalist at the Ryerson School of Journalism at the Faculty of Communication & Design (FCAD) where he worked with instructors in the School of Journalism to develop new approaches and curriculum students learning to report on indigenous stories and issues.[14]