Series by Langara Journalism Student Published in The Tyee

Carly Wignes 

Langara journalism graduate Carly Wignes, winner of a Read-Mercer Fellowship Award and author of the "Treaty Troubles" series recently published in The Tyee. 

Vancouver, BC – A series of articles by a journalism scholarship winner has been published in the prestigious Canadian online magazine The Tyee.  

Carly Wignes was awarded the first Read-Mercer fellowship – a $10,000 grant – in March this year. The scholarship was created through an endowment to Langara in the estate of Michael Mercer, who passed away in 2010, to honour the memory of his wife Jeani Read, a renowned Vancouver journalist. The intention of the award is to support the winner while he or she produces a major work of journalism.

Supported by her scholarship, Wignes set out to create a series of articles that focused on how territorial disputes and treaty settlements affect First Nations communities. Her first piece, entitled “Treaty Troubles: Colonialism’s Deep Currents”, went live on December 11. She followed up with three more articles exploring treaty issues:

Wignes, who graduated from the Langara journalism accelerated program in 2012, has had an interest in First Nations since she took her first history class in high school. She pursued that interest at the University of Victoria, where she earned a Master's degree in political science. As as one of the first winners of the inaugural Read-Mercer fellowship for graduating Langara journalists, it was fitting that she chose as her area of research the relationship between BC First Nations and how those relationships can and do affect the potential for future treaties.

As part of the Read-Mercer award, Carly was mentored by veteran Tyee journalist Charles Campell. “I can’t think of a better way to start off my career than to meet all the people in the communities I hope to work with one day. I figured it would take years to get to here, but this is an excellent kickstart and I have every intention of honouring the memory of Michael and Jeani by doing the best that I can.”

The Read-Mercer fellowship awards were established to encourage students to continue their pursuit of journalistic excellence by providing graduates with mentorship to give them a strong start in their careers. It is also hoped that the scholarship will perpetuate the legacy of Jeani Read, whose iconoclastic and irreverent columns at The Province challenged the status quo throughout three decades.

“Langara is proud is to recognize Carly for her outstanding work and for the important contribution she has made to the ongoing cultural debates in this province,” said Nick Read, Langara journalism instructor and cousin to Jeani Read. 

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Annie Mullins
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