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A local student has been named one of the recipients of this year’s Indigenous Reporter Scholarships. Funded by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, the RBC Foundation and the Donner Canadian Foundation, the scholarships are an integral part of Journalists for Human Rights’ (JHR) wider Indigenous Reporters Program which works to increase the quality and quantity of Indigenous stories and voices in Canadian media.

The scholarships are designed to support Indigenous students studying journalism or media and alleviate a portion of the financial burden associated with obtaining their degree or advanced diploma.

In a media release last week JHR executive director Rachel Pulfer stated her belief that the scholarship will increase opportunities for Indigenous people to pursue post-secondary studies in journalism.

“Journalists for Human Rights is thrilled to support emerging Indigenous journalism talent in this way,” stated Pulfer. “We look forward to their progress and are honoured to play a part in launching their careers as journalists and media practitioners.”

Two of the students who received scholarships are currently studying at Ryerson University.

“We’re so proud of these two student journalists, and we look forward to the contributions they will make as student journalists to bring stories about their communities and Indigenous Peoples to Canadian audiences,” stated Janice Neil, chair of the Ryerson School of Journalism.

Of the four scholarships awarded, one was provided to an Indigenous student — Shelby Lisk — studying at Loyalist College. The JHR and Loyalist College Emerging Indigenous Reporters Scholarship recognizes an outstanding Indigenous student at the College who is committed to truthful storytelling.

“We are proud to be part of JHR’s Emerging Indigenous Reporter Scholarship initiative,” stated Kathleen Bazkur, dean of the School of Media, Arts + Design and Continuing Education at Loyalist College. “In addition to financial support, the recipients receive valuable recognition for their storytelling abilities and encouragement as future journalists who will provide Indigenous perspectives.”

Since 2014, JHR’s Emerging Indigenous Reporter Scholarship Program has supported 27 Indigenous students who are completing post-secondary education in journalism or media. Scholars have hailed from universities and colleges across Canada. Scholars are ambitious, engaged in their community and tenaciously working towards having their voice and stories heard in the Canadian media and communications sector.

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