Wawmeesh G. Hamilton and Nikki Wiart awarded CJF Aboriginal Journalism Fellowships

TORONTO, April 28, 2015 /CNW/ - The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) is pleased to announce Wawmeesh G. Hamilton and Nikki Wiart as the recipients of this year's Aboriginal Journalism Fellowships.

Established last year as a single fellowship opportunity, the award expanded this year to allow two Aboriginal journalists early in their careers the opportunity to explore issues of interest to First Nations, Métis or Inuit peoples while being hosted by CBC News for one month at its Aboriginal centre in Winnipeg (www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal). The award aims to foster better understanding of Aboriginal issues in Canada's major media and community outlets.

Hamilton, a student at the UBC Graduate School of Journalism, proposed investigating how elderly Aboriginal sex offenders are reintegrated into their communities. Wiart, a producer with Global News Edmonton, proposed investigating the long-term effects of foster care on Aboriginal children.

"They have very different styles and unique perspectives, but each has a powerful voice," says Melanie Paradis, a selection jury member. "Their proposal subjects are timely and bold: Wawmeesh because some of the darkest shadows in Aboriginal communities are those of sex abuse and Nikki because the generation of lost children extends beyond residential schools to the countless in the foster care system, shredding traditions and connections even further still in so many communities."

The story or series resulting from the fellowship experiences will be considered for publication or broadcast by CBC News. CJF provides a stipend of $3,000, all associated travel and accommodation costs, a per diem for meals and other reasonable expenses for each fellow.

"I was thrilled by the depth of this year's applications, from promising Aboriginal journalists and journalism students across the country," says Duncan McCue, chair of the jury and a correspondent with The National, CBC News. "One of the fellowship's key aspects is to offer a journalist the opportunity to take a deep dive into a story he or she feels is under-reported, and the jury was particularly impressed by the strong proposals we received to investigate topics that ranged from treatment of Aboriginal sex offenders to foster care."

The awards will be presented at the CJF Awards on June 3 in Toronto at The Fairmont Royal York. Follow #CJFawards on Twitter.

Jury
Co-chair
- Duncan McCue, correspondent, The National, CBC News, and a member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation in Ontario
Co-chair - Bob Lewis, board member, The Canadian Journalism Foundation
Nellie Cournoyea, chair and CEO, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC)
Jack Nagler, director of Journalistic Public Accountability and Engagement, CBC News
Melanie Paradis, senior communications advisor, Vale Canada
Paul Watson, reporter, Aboriginal and Arctic beat, Toronto Star

Thank you to CBC News, RBC Foundation, CN, Rosemary Speirs, a member of the CJF board, Trina McQueen, former CJF board member, and Isabel Bassett, former chair and CEO of TVO, for their generous support of these fellowships.

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About The Canadian Journalism Foundation
Established in 1990, The Canadian Journalism Foundation promotes excellence in journalism by celebrating outstanding journalistic achievement. Our signature events include an annual awards program featuring a must-attend industry gala where Canada's top newsmakers meet Canada's top news people. Through J-Talks, our popular speakers' series, we facilitate dialogue among journalists, business people, academics and students about the role of the media in Canadian society and the ongoing challenges for media in the digital era. The foundation also supports journalism websites J-Source.ca (English) and ProjetJ.ca (French) and fosters opportunities for journalism education, training and research.

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SOURCE Canadian Journalism Foundation

Image with caption: "Nikki Wiart will investigate the long-term effects of foster care on Aboriginal children as part of her CJF Aboriginal Journalism Fellowship. (CNW Group/Canadian Journalism Foundation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150428_C4112_PHOTO_EN_15821.jpg

Image with caption: "Wawmeesh G. Hamilton will explore how Aboriginal sex offenders are reintegrated into their communities as part of the CJF Aboriginal Journalism Fellowship. (CNW Group/Canadian Journalism Foundation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150428_C4112_PHOTO_EN_15822.jpg

For further information: Natalie Turvey, Executive Director, The Canadian Journalism Foundation, 595 Bay Street, Suite 401, Toronto, ON, M5G 2C2, Phone: 416-955-0394 ext. 501, E-mail: nturvey@cjf-fjc.ca

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