Winner of the APTN/CAJ Aboriginal Investigative Journalism Fellowship, Jamuna Galay-Tamang talks about her experience working for 12 weeks with the APTN Investigates team in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

A year ago this month I was working at a small hospital in Bella Bella, B.C. anticipating a career change into journalism as I set out to begin school at UBC. I was eager to take a break from nursing, in part because I was burnt out by the social issues that I'd seen in some of Canada's remote communities and was uncertain of how things could possibly change. I never imagined that less than a year later I'd be in a respected newsroom working on a documentary that would draw from these experiences and attempt to bring insight into some of those health challenges.

The opportunity provided by CAJ & APTN to work on APTN's Investigates team gave me the freedom and resources to explore three areas that I feel deeply passionate about: water, health & social justice for Indigenous peoples. 

I came into the project with a clear idea of what I wanted to report on, but learned very quickly that this type of journalism was not the kind that could be planned out meticulously. With that I learned what it means to follow a story and allow it to unfold. That's what I find so captivating about investigative journalism, the slow unveiling of a story as curiosity leads a journalist down a path of breadcrumbs. 

The absolute highlight of my three months was travelling to a fly-in Ojibwe community with a videographer and conducting interviews over four days with community members, sometimes with the help of a translator. 

Working on this project has been expansive and uplifting. It makes me believe that anything is possible. A year ago I was working as a nurse, unsure of how I could make a difference but feeling certain that I wanted a voice and a platform to share some ideas. Through this fellowship, I was gifted with both. For that, I am so grateful. 

Connect with Jamuna on Twitter at @jamunagt. 

Jamuna Galay-Tamang with Matthew Strang & Kenneth Strang. Image courtesy of APTN.

Jamuna Galay-Tamang with youth & Josh Grummett. Image courtesy of APTN.

Jamuna Galay-Tamang with Sgt Chris Amell & Josh Grummett. Image courtesy of APTN.

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