Renée Lilley and Erin Blondeau are the recipients of this year’s CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellowships, established to amplify Indigenous voices and foster better comprehension of their issues.
The award provides two early-career Indigenous journalists with the opportunity to explore issues of interest while being hosted for one month at the CBC News Indigenous Unit in Winnipeg.
Lilley, a Red River Métis from Portage la Prairie, Man., and member of the Manitoba Métis Federation, is a reporter and producer with CBC Indigenous. She plans to explore the issue of who should officially represent the Métis nation on a national level –the Métis National Council or the Manitoba Métis Federation. This fellowship will serve as a follow-up to Lilley’s prior work with CBC News.
“Renée’s resume and portfolio were very impressive, but her pitch was the best part,” says jury member Karyn Pugliese, an executive editor at Canada’s National Observer. “Everyone has been grappling to understand the recent events unfolding in the Métis Nation’s governance bodies. Her stories will serve the Métis community by diving deep into the complicated issues that are causing fractures, asking for explanations, accountability and describing what the future may look like. This is everything good public service journalism should do.”
Blondeau, a Métis from the Métis Nation of British Columbia (MNBC) and the Cowichan Valley Métis Nation, is a writer and researcher at MNBC and communications coordinator with Indigenous Climate Action. She plans to work on a series expanding on a 2021 University of Toronto study that found higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in homes located near natural gas wells in British Columbia’s Peace River Region. In particular, the homes of Indigenous women were found to have the highest VOC levels. Blondeau plans to explore the scope of the issue, the people impacted and potential solutions.
“Erin Blondeau has an impressive resume,” says Lenard Monkman, a reporter with CBC Indigenous and a 2017 CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellow. “Her reporting will highlight pollutants in the Peace River Region and how they are impacting Indigenous communities. I look forward to seeing what she can accomplish with this opportunity.”
The story or series resulting from the fellowship experiences will be considered for publication or broadcast by CBC News.
The CJF provides each fellow a $4,000 training stipend along with a per-diem allowance for meals and other reasonable expenses.
The recipients will be recognized at the CJF Awards ceremony on June 7 at the Art Gallery of Ontario. For more information, see contact details below or visit the CJF Awards page.
The CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellowships jury members are:
- Duncan McCue (chair), host of Cross Country Checkup on CBC Radio;
- Karyn Pugliese, executive editor, Canada’s National Observer;
- Lenard Monkman, reporter with CBC Indigenous and recipient of a 2017 CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellowship;
- Maggie Wente, Indigenous rights lawyer at Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP;
- Meagan Fiddler, senior producer, CBC Indigenous; and
- Tanya Talaga, author, journalist and president and CEO of Makwa Creative.
Encouraging Indigenous voices and issues in the media
The CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellowships are offered to two Indigenous journalists with one to ten years of experience to explore an issue of interest, while being hosted for one month at the CBC News Indigenous Unit in Winnipeg. The award aims to foster better comprehension of Indigenous issues in Canada’s major media and community outlets.
Successful applicants will:
• Spend one month (June, September or October, 2022) with the CBC News Indigenous Unit in Winnipeg. This may be offered as a remote experience. (www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous).
• Have a training stipend of $4,000, all associated travel and accommodation, a per diem for meals and other reasonable expenses, provided by The Canadian Journalism Foundation.
• Write or produce an article/piece or series upon completion of their fellowship opportunity, which will be considered for publication or broadcast by CBC News.
The recipient will be selected by a jury. All arrangements for the award assignment will be made in consultation with award winners.
The judging panel is comprised of four to eight jurors who review all submitted entries through an online portal, rank the entries and then attend a meeting with their rankings to agree upon the recipients of the award. The recipients are announced in April or May, and are recognized at the annual CJF Awards virtual ceremony in June 2022.
For information, contact:
President and Executive Director
The Canadian Journalism Foundation