APTN wins Michener Award for series on First Nations child-welfare system

OTTAWA — The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network is the winner of the 2020 Michener Award for a series on the child-welfare system.

The award, which was founded in 1970 by then-governor general Roland Michener to honour excellence in public service journalism, was announced at a virtual ceremony on Thursday.

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Called Death by Neglect, the APTN series delves into a First Nations child-welfare system in which three sisters took their own lives.

The Michener Awards Foundation says in a news release that the work of Kenneth Jackson and Cullen Crozier brought profound and swift changes.

It says that within weeks of APTN’s broadcasts, several investigations were launched into individual cases, several families were reunited, new funding was announced for on-reserve child welfare and a pandemic moratorium was imposed on Ontario young people aging out of care.

The other finalists were CBC News for Inside Rideau Hall, the Globe and Mail for Silenced, Montreal Gazette for coverage on the conditions at a seniors’ home in the suburb of Dorval, La Press for their coverage on the sexual exploitation of children on the internet, and the Winnipeg Free Press for A Stain on Our Game.

The Michener Award submissions are judged by an expert panel of journalists who have worked in media outlets and in academia across the country.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 16, 2021.

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