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!

Apply to Judge

We welcome applications from people who bring different perspectives to the judging process—from established industry leaders to celebrated emerging talents. We are also committed to addressing systemic racism and structural biases in Canadian media by ensuring that our judging panels are reflective of Canada’s cultural diversity. Do you have any questions about the judging process? Email us at!

Portez-vous candidat(e) dès maintenant

Nous encourageons les candidatures de personnes qui apportent une perspective différente au processus d’évaluation—des chefs de file de l’industrie aux talents émergents reconnus. Nous nous engageons également à lutter contre le racisme systémique et les préjugés structurels au sein des médias canadiens en garantissant que nos panels de juges reflètent la diversité culturelle du Canada. Avez-vous des questions sur le processus de jugement? Écrivez-nous à!

NMAF’s Top Podcasts

Running out of things to do in lockdown? Why not give these great Canadian podcasts a listen! Here are the NMAF’s 2020 top finalists for Best Podcast. Make sure to stay tuned for our list of 2021 finalists to be revealed in May!

Hunting Warhead
CBC Podcasts & Verdens Gang

Uncover: The Village
CBC Podcasts

Canadaland Media

The Secret Life of Canada
CBC Podcasts

Born & Raised: Love
HuffPost Canada

L’ombre du doute

The Power of One
Maclean’s, with Frequency Podcast Network

Picbois Productions

Les pires moments de l’histoire

And don’t forget to check out the NMAF’s very own podcast, Mastering Reinvention!

Last Chance to Nominate Emerging Talents & Amazing Leaders!

The 6th annual Digital Publishing Awards are now closed for submission, save for two special awards—the Digital Publishing Leadership Award and the Emerging Excellence Award. 

The Digital Publishing Leadership Award recognizes and celebrates an individual who has made significant contributions to the industry. Writers, visual creators, designers, developers, publishers, and other digital publishing professionals are all eligible, as long as they have demonstrated leadership, inspiration, creativity, and achievement. Nominations should come from three or more colleagues (here are the full nomination requirements). Last year’s winner was Dmitry Beniaminov—check out his acceptance speech here. Prior to that, the award has gone to Kathy Vey, Brodie Fenlon, and Kenny Yum

Young professionals working in the digital field, who have demonstrated exceptional craft and promise, can be put forth for the Emerging Excellence Award. Nominations for this award should come from one or more colleagues or mentors. Previous winners include Jane Lytvynenko, Sofia Misenheimer, Elizabeth Melito, and Nael Shiab. 

March 2, 2021 is the nomination deadline for both awards. (It’s also the deadline for the NMA’s Outstanding Achievement award, and the NMA: B2B’s Leadership Award). Nominations can be emailed to

Want to keep in touch? Follow us on Twitter—that’s where we’ll be announcing the nominees this spring. 

Call for Entries: 6th Annual Digital Publishing Awards

Submissions for the 6th annual Digital Publishing Awards are now open! Canadian creators and publishers are eligible to submit digitally published content across 25 categories this year, including one new category—Best Virtual Event. Gold winners in individual creator categories will receive a $500 cash prize.

In a change for 2021, the National Media Awards Foundation encourages National Magazine Awards and National Magazine Awards: B2B participants, in addition to Digital Publishing Awards participants, to submit to their work to the following categories:

  • Best Virtual Event
  • Best Editorial Newsletter
  • Best Podcast: News and Politics
  • Best Podcast: Arts and Culture
  • Best Online Video: Short
  • Best Online Video: Feature
  • Best Online Video: Mini Doc.

For this cross-programming initiative, all entries will be evaluated by a single panel of judges, and winners will be announced across all three programs. For more information, please see our rules.

Freelancer Support Fund 

Our Freelancer Support Fund allows independent writers, designers, videographers, podcasters, photographers and illustrators to buy one entry and get one free. Please note that the Fund applies only to individual creator categories, which come with a cash prize of $500 for Gold winners.

Rules and Judging

Prior to submitting entries, please take a moment to review DPA Rules. Canadian digital publishers—including those that support established brands in consumer & B2B magazines, newspapers, broadcast and other journalism, as well as those that serve their audiences exclusively as digital brands—are eligible to participate in the DPAs.

Interested in reviewing judging procedures? Learn more about our DPA Judging Process here.

Submissions and Deadlines

The DPA submissions process is completely digital—visit our submissions portal to enter. To save on entry fees, get your entries in by the early bird deadline of January 22, 2021. The final deadline for submissions is January 29, 2021 at midnight EST.

The deadline to nominate someone for the Emerging Excellence Award or the Digital Publishing Leadership Award is March 2, 2021. (Submissions made from January 30 onward should be emailed to

To keep up with what’s going on, follow the Digital Publishing Awards on Twitter and Facebook.

Ready to Submit?

Click here to get started.