CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellowships

Banner showing photos and names of the 2023 CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellowships. The photos are shown in a grid of tall, narrow rectangles. To the left is Tanner Isaac, a young Indigenous man with short dark hair, wearing a blue button-down shirt. In the centre is a portrait of Sara Kanutski, a young Indigenous woman with brown hair in two braids and bangs. She is wearing a white bandanna on her head and a white shirt. The rightmost photo show Tchadas Leo, a smiling Indigenous man with short dark hair and a moustache and beard.

The 2023 CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellows

Sara Kanutski, Tchadas Leo and Tanner Isaac are the recipients of this year’s CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellowships, established to amplify Indigenous voices and foster better comprehension of Indigenous issues.

The award provides three early-career Indigenous journalists with the opportunity to explore issues of interest while being hosted for one month at the CBC Indigenous in Winnipeg.

Kanutski, a self-taught journalist and musician with deep roots in her community in Thunder Bay, Ont., has worked as a journalist and producer with CBC Thunder Bay. She plans to use her time at CBC Indigenous to expand her knowledge of residential schools and unmarked graves to create stories that explore how the growing awareness of the schools and graves are impacting both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

“Even though Sara is in the early stages of her career, her community focus, artistic personality and strong communications skills shine through in all that she does,” says jury member, author and journalist Tanya Talaga. “A strong writer with a keen social media eye, she is in a great position to really benefit from four weeks at CBC Indigenous, and I am delighted to see her earn the opportunity.”

Leo, a multimedia video reporter from Vancouver Island who grew up on the Xwemalhkwu reserve in Campbell River., impressed jurors with his on-camera presence and the variety of his reporting. “This young man has carved out a place at Victoria’s CHEK News, where he’s showing a real range and curiosity,” says jury chair Duncan McCue. “His on-camera material won me over. I feel he will thrive in the fellowship.”

Isaac, a student journalist from the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation community in West Listuguj, Que., brings a profound sense of community to his proposal to explore the stories of missing persons from Indigenous communities.

“Tanner submitted a really strong demo video that captured the essence of life on the rez and his connection to community,” says Meagan Fiddler, jury member and senior producer at CBC Indigenous. “He has shown strong initiative, and we are looking forward to working with him to hone his skills.”

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 13 at the Royal York Hotel. For tickets, tables and sponsorship opportunities, see contact information below or visit the CJF Awards page.

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, 2023) 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.

Judging Methodology

The judging panel consists 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 2023.

For information, contact:

Natalie Turvey

President and Executive Director

The Canadian Journalism Foundation



ISABEL BASSETT, Former Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation and former chair and CEO of TVO

Click the links to read about each fellowship experience.

Renée Lilley, Erin Blondeau


Riley Yesno, Shayla Sayer-Brabant

Sean Vanderklis, Karl Dockstader

Charnel Anderson
Logan Perley

Jasmine Kabatay
Ntawnis Piapot
Lenard Monkman
Julian Brave NoiseCat 
Stephanie Cram
Trevor Jang

Nikki Wiart
Wawmeesh G. Hamilton

Chantelle Bellrichard

The fellows will receive a training stipend of $4,000. All associated travel and accommodation, a per diem for meals and other reasonable expenses will also be provided by the CJF.