Grassy Narrows: Journalistic Features
Centennial College journalism grad Matt Wocks (now a video journalist with Breakfast Television – City Television, Edmonton) shares his observations from a week teaching photojournalism to First Nations students in Grassy Narrows, Ont.
This documentary is a sensitive and telling look at a proud community struggling to reconcile a history of educational and land abuse with optimism for Grassy’s next generation of indigenous children.
The greatest challenge I had to overcome to complete this photo book was choosing the pictures. It was not because there were too few pictures to choose from. In fact it was quite the opposite. There were a lot of beautiful photos captured by the students in Grassy Narrows over the course of our visit.
As I flip through the book, it is pretty clear to me that there is a lot of talent in these students. Perhaps even some budding photographers or photojournalists. This photo book showcases some of the best work produced by these students but we are proud of them all! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
The sign on the door says Grade 4. It’s been awhile since I was in one of these classroms. But everything around me feels familiar, even typical. There are a few rows of desks decorated with colourful name-tags and shiny metal water bottles. On the walls, number patterns and the rules of grammar communicate the building blocks of literacy and numeracy through a series of colourful posters. Seated at each desk are bright-eyed students, grinning from ear to ear. They’re clutching small digital cameras and excitedly thumb through buttons to reveal images to the friends around them. Their easy smiles reveal another picture: one of pride, empowerment and genuine interest in learning.
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