TORONTO, June 21, 2013 /CNW/ - The ground-breaking Northern Ontario
Initiative, a project by the Wawatay Native Communications Society and
Journalists for Human Rights, aiming to improve Aboriginal media
coverage in Canada, has won the Canadian Ethnic Media Association's
The Innovation Award is given to organizations that demonstrate
innovation and excellence in Canadian media coverage. The award will
be presented at CEMA's annual award ceremony on National Aboriginal
Day, June 21st, 2013, at the Velma Rogers Graham Theater in Toronto.
The Northern Ontario Initiative will create greater awareness of
Aboriginal issues in Ontario. The initiative will improve the quality
and quantity of news coverage focusing on Aboriginal issues, and will
develop positive relationships between the media and Aboriginal
communities in Thunder Bay. The Initiative will train 30 Aboriginal
people living in remote reserve communities, to produce and sell radio
and print news stories about their communities. The project will also
host a workshop series in Thunder Bay for Aboriginal people and
journalists, which will lead to improved media coverage of Aboriginal
issues in the city.
Madeline Ziniak, Chair of the CEMA Board said, "The jury looks for the
ways that the organization tells stories that contribute to positive
Canadian citizenry, fair and accurate storytelling and positive
Mike Metatawabin, Chairman of Wawatay's Board of Directors, and Rachel
Pulfer, Executive Director of Journalists for Human Rights will be
accepting the award on behalf of the organizations.
"When we entered into this partnership, we didn't anticipate to be
recognized by such a prestigious association," said Mike Metatawabin,
"Our goal at Wawatay is to support the communities in any way possible,
to further their interests and development. This recognition will be
very well appreciated by the communities."
"Journalists for Human Rights is delighted to be partnering with Wawatay
Native Communications Society and Aboriginal communities in Ontario on
this important initiative," said Rachel Pulfer. "We will work with
talented young Aboriginal journalists on skills that will enable them
to report on issues facing their communities to both Aboriginal and
mainstream audiences. This project will build bridges between
Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities, and open up a constructive
public conversation on common issues."
Established in 1974, Wawatay Native Communications Society serves the
communication needs of First Nations people and communities of
Nishnawbe Aski Nation. It does this through the distribution of a
weekly newspaper, daily radio programming, television production
services and a multimedia website that seeks to preserve and enhance
indigenous languages and cultures of Aboriginal people in northern
Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) is Canada's leading media development
organization. JHR helps journalists build their capacity to report
ethically and effectively on human rights and governance issues in
their communities. Since 2002, JHR has trained over 12,000 journalists
and their stories have reached over 50 million people.
The Northern Ontario Initiative has been made possible through funding
from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of
Ontario, and Accenture Canada.
SOURCE: jhr (Journalists for Human Rights)
For further information:
Claire Hastings, JHR's Director of Community Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org or t. 416 413 0240 ext. 206