In Celebration of Indigenous Creators

The National Media Awards Foundation showcased excellence in the content and creation of Canadian digital publications at the 2021 Digital Publishing Awards, hosted by Erica Lenti

For National Indigenous History Month, the NMAF would like to highlight the exceptional work of the Indigenous creators who received awards and nominations this year.

Best Feature Article

Teaching Indigenous Star Stories,” written by Kelly Boutlsalis, with art by Blue Hummingbird, and published by The Walrus, was the Gold winner for Best Feature Article. 

Kelly Boutsalis is a Mohawk journalist from Six Nations who writes about Indigenous peoples’ achievements as well as education, style, art, and mental health. Their work has appeared in Elle Canada, Chatelaine, Mashable, the Toronto Star, and more. 

Blu Hummingbird Beadwork specializes in weaving traditional beadwork techniques and teachings with modern imagery, materials, and aesthetics. Brit Ellis (aka Blu Hummingbird) is a Haudenosaunee Femme, beadwork and cosmetic tattoo artist living in Tkaronto. 

Best Digital Editorial Package & Best Arts & Culture Storytelling

60 years of Indigenous music game changers

60 Years of Indigenous Music Game Changers” (CBC Music) received Honourable Mention in the categories of Best Digital Editorial Package and Best Arts & Storytelling. The project was created to “Celebrate the artists who have broken boundaries, claimed space and given their communities a voice.” Rhiannon Johnson, Mer Young, and Mishiikenh Kwe were among the contributors to the project.

Rhiannon Johnson is an Anishinaabe journalist from Hiawatha First Nation based in Toronto. Rhiannon has been with the CBC Indigenous unit since 2017 focusing on Indigenous life and experiences throughout Ontario.

Long Beach, Hidalgo Otomi Mescalero-Chiricahua Apache artist Mer Young has created a body of artwork manifested in collages, drawings, paintings, and public artworks. Young’s artworks aim to inspire, celebrate and elevate repressed indigenous, first nations and native cultures and women of color.

Autumn Smith/Mishiikenh Kwe (Turtle Woman) is an Anishinaabe (Ojibwe/Odawa) artist from the Caribou Clan in Magnetawan First Nation.

Best News Coverage

In the Best News Coverage category, “Wet’suwet’en coverage,” published by The Narwhal, received an Honourable Mention. 

Stephanie Wood was a contributor to the story. Steph Kwetásel’wet Wood is a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh journalist living and writing in North Vancouver. In 2020, Steph was nominated for the Emerging Indigenous Journalist award by the Canadian Association of Journalists.

Best Online Video: Mini-Doc

Also worth noting is “Amachewespimawin: Shooting for the Cree way of life,” by CBC Saskatchewan, which received Honourable Mention for Best Online Video: Mini-Doc.

A warm congratulations to all of the creators!

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