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.