New journalism award responds to TRC call to action

OTTAWA, Dec. 4, 2017 /CNW/ - Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and the Canadian Association of Journalists are pleased to announce a new award to recognize exemplary journalism that educates and informs Canadians about Indigenous experiences.

The APTN / CAJ Reconciliation Award will be part of the 2017 CAJ Awards, which will open for entries later this week. Submissions will be accepted from individual journalists, who may submit a portfolio of up to five pieces in any format, published or broadcast in Canada in 2017.

This award responds to part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Call to Action No. 85. In that call to action, APTN is encouraged to continue "to develop media initiatives that inform and educate the Canadian public, and connect Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians."

Recognizing the path of reconciliation is one that all Canadians should walk together and the work of informing and educating should not fall only to Indigenous peoples, this award will recognize the work of a non-Indigenous journalist. Someone whose work has broadened the understanding of the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples; work that digs beneath the surface of a news event and educates Canadians on the historical and ongoing challenges of the relationships between Canada's Indigenous peoples, the people in power and the people who've come to call Canada home.

"Non-Indigenous journalists also have a role in contributing to reconciliation, and some have been producing excellent work," APTN executive director of news and current affairs Karyn Pugliese said. "We want to recognize a journalist who has taken on the challenge of reaching beyond their own experiences to contribute to a greater understanding of how First Nations Métis and Inuit people are working through the challenges to remake their place in Canada."

The deadline for submissions is Jan. 15, 2018. All entries are submitted online, and details will soon be posted at Up to five finalists will be named in the spring of 2018, with the recipient announced at the CAJ conference in Toronto, scheduled for May 4-5, 2018.

"The CAJ is proud to partner with APTN on this new award," CAJ president Nick Taylor-Vaisey said. "APTN has become a valued partner, through this award, the Aboriginal Investigative Journalism Fellowship and ongoing contributions to our annual conferences. We are honoured to play a part in assisting APTN with this response to the TRC's calls to action."

The CAJ is Canada's largest national professional organization for journalists from all media, representing about 600 members across the country. The CAJ's primary roles are to provide public-interest advocacy and high-quality professional development for its members.

APTN launched in 1999 as the first national Aboriginal broadcaster in the world, creating a window into the remarkably diverse mosaic of Aboriginal Peoples. A respected non-profit, charitable broadcaster and the only one of its kind in North America. Sharing our stories of authenticity in English, French and a variety of Aboriginal languages, to approximately 11 million Canadian TV subscribers. With over 80% Canadian content, APTN connects with its audience through genuine, inspiring, and engaging entertainment through multiple platforms.

For further information:

Nick Taylor-Vaisey, CAJ president, 647-968-2393, [email protected];

Jacqueline Jubinville, APTN manager of communications, 204-947-9331, ext. 339, [email protected]

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