Two reporters with CBC Indigenous are finalists in the 2022 Canadian Association of Journalists awards, which recognize excellence in Canadian journalism with a focus on investigative work.
Brett Forester is nominated in the freedom of information journalism category for his story on the Trans Mountain pipeline company refusing to release records that would expose its dealings with private security and intelligence firms.
Forester is a member of the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation in southern Ontario, and is based in Ottawa. He joined CBC Indigenous last September after working at APTN News.
“Even CSIS, Canada’s top spy agency, regularly declassifies documents through the access-to-information system, but Trans Mountain, a Crown corporation, says its intelligence files are entirely exempt from disclosure,” he said.
“This nomination is a nod toward accountability, transparency and the public’s right to know what government agencies do in the shadows. These questions deserve answers.”
Emerging Indigenous journalist
CBC Indigenous reporter Jennifer Francis is also a finalist in the JHR/CAJ emerging Indigenous journalist category.
“This nomination means a lot to me because storytelling as a First Nations person has been part of my identity for as long as I can remember,” said Francis.
Francis is Saulteaux/Cree from the Kahkewistahaw First Nation in Saskatchewan, and was born and raised in Regina. She started working with CBC Saskatchewan as an Indigenous Communication Arts (INCA) intern in 2018 and continued to work with CBC while finishing her diploma at the First Nations University of Canada, and later, a bachelor of journalism degree at the University of Regina. She joined CBC Indigenous in September 2022.
“I have had the opportunity to grow and excel at reporting and I truly believe I have found my passion,” she said.
“My team is so supportive of me and it means so much to me that they nominated me for this award. As a minority journalist with a disability, I am so grateful for the recognition of my hard work and obstacles I faced to get where I am today.”
CBC Indigenous has a mandate to elevate First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives and experiences through informed and innovative storytelling. The team’s journalism is rooted in the heart of communities, shedding light on the realities, complexities and diversity of Indigenous life in Canada.
“These award nominations are yet another sign of the incredible journalism being produced by the Indigenous Unit across the country,” said David Hutton, senior managing director of CBC News central region (Manitoba/Saskatchewan).
“Brett’s work to push for information is essential accountability journalism. Jennifer has such talent in bringing important Saskatchewan stories to the country.”
Recipients in each category will be announced at the awards gala on April 15 in Vancouver, as part of the CAJ’s national conference.