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Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

Lucky 13

BY Will Nicholls Jul 3, 2020

A lot of people think 13 is an unlucky number but here at the Nation we know better, at least this year. That’s because we took home 13 awards from the Quebec Community Newspapers Association for our efforts in 2019.

Now I’ve been asked to do something a little different this year instead of just patting everyone on the back and congratulating them as I usually do, so I’ll save that for a little ways down the road so to speak.

I have seen posts claiming the Nation is nothing more than a mouthpiece for Cree leadership. That demeans what we do here. If we were nothing more than that we would not consistently win awards for our work. There are many in print media who do not even see one award for years let alone that number we take home every year. 

This is a testament to our professionalism and the fact that we do not distort the facts in order to please people. We interview, research and fact check everything that goes in the Nation to the best of our abilities. If we are wrong, we fully admit to it and do our best to correct our errors. We do not print gossip or allegations of wrongdoing without verifiable facts to back them up. That is part of our mission statement and is in keeping with journalism ethics. 

The more than 200 awards we have earned during 26 years of publishing are a testament to the devotion to bring the news our readers in a responsible manner.

And yes, the owners and editorial board are proud of our work. We are gratified that so many people have made this possible because they believe in the Nation and that the Cree people need this publication and other Cree-operated media.

Now for the awards.

The Nation won best website overall. Amy German took home third place for Best Feature Story. Patrick Quinn won third place in the Best Business Story category. He did better in Best Investigative Reporting, taking second place. Quinn got another third place in Best Sports Story category but was beat out by the Nation’s Julie McIntosh who took first in the category. 

That wasn’t the only category to see two of the Nation’s writers battling it out. Best Arts & Entertainment Story saw copy editor and occasion Nation writer Martin Siberok win first while third place went to Andre Simoneau.

Yet another category had two Nation writers winning recognition. Ben Powless came second in the Best Business Column or Feature while Patrick Quinn came third.

Andre Simoneau won third place win for Best Agricultural Story – a category we don’t have many opportunities to compete.

After years of trying, Lyle Stewart, Martin Siberok, Will Nicholls and Dan Isaac got third place for the Best Headline Writing.

And finally, not to toot my own horn too loudly, but this year’s Bob Philips Award for Best Editorial was awarded to yours truly.

Thanks to the whole team here at the Nation for making this possible. It requires many people to do what we do. I congratulate you all for another successful year. Your dedication to the Nation and our readers makes me proud.

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Will Nicholls is a Cree from Mistissini. He started his career off in radio and is still one of the youngest radio DJ’s in Canadian history, having a regular show on CFS Moosonee at the age of 12. Will was one of the founding members of the Nation, and has been its only Editor-in-Chief.