Four Canadian journalists recognized for championing Indigenous journalism

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) awarded this year’s Charles Bury Award to four Canadian journalists who have each broken new ground in their efforts to inspire change in how Canadian journalism covers Indigenous stories.

The four winners of this year’s award include Mohawk Journalist Tahieròn:iohte Dan David, longtime CBC Reporter and Anishinaabe Journalist Duncan McCue, Karyn Pugliese, a member of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation in Ontario, and current editor-in-chief of Canada’s National Observer, and Jody Porter, a former CBC reporter based in Thunder Bay, Ont. Porter’s award is being given posthumously.

“Each of these journalists has, in their own ways, been trailblazers,” said CAJ President Brent Jolly when presenting the awards at the Wall Centre in Vancouver.

The CAJ is a professional organization with more than 1300 members across Canada. The CAJ’s primary roles are public-interest advocacy work and professional development for its members.

“They are bold visionaries who have shown how relationships based on understanding are more productive than those based on prejudice. They have built networks; re-imagined and deconstructed colonial approaches to journalistic storytelling; challenged authority, called out double standards and systemic injustices; and, perhaps most important, created critical space for others to tell stories on Indigenous issues in the pursuit of a more just and equitable society,” said Jolly.

This award, formerly known as the President’s Award, was renamed in honour of veteran journalist and long-time CAJ board member Charles Bury, who died in February 2014. It recognizes both individuals and groups who have made outstanding contributions to Canadian journalism.

“Each of this year’s honourees personifies, in their own distinct ways, the values and commitments to address long overdue systemic, social, political, and cultural changes echoed in the calls to action of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” said Jolly.

But as we quickly approach a decade since those calls to action were issued, and generations of truth have been seared into our national consciousness, we must continue to devote time and resources to producing quality journalism that sparks cross-cultural understanding and fosters social change.”

Last year, the Charles Bury Award was presented to Victoria, B.C.-based Lawyer Sean Hern, who accepted the award on behalf of the many devoted Canadian lawyers who have generously provided pro-bono legal services to uphold journalists’ rights to report on matters of significant public interest.

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