Carly Wignes

Exploring First Nations.

Carly Wignes, Alumna

Carly Wignes pursued her interest in aboriginal issues throughout her post-secondary education. She earned a Master’s degree in political science from the University of Victoria in 2010, focusing on why some First Nations groups settle treaties through the BC treaty process while others do not. Wignes enrolled in Journalism at Langara so she could gain hands-on skills that would later apply to her career, and to work directly with the First Nations community so she could engage with and learn directly from the individuals participating in the treaty process.

Wignes graduated from the Langara journalism accelerated program, and was awarded the first annual Read-Mercer fellowship – a $10,000 grant – in March 2012, which supported her in creating her series of articles on how territorial disputes affect First Nations communities and treaty settlements.

“Langara's fellowship program provided a perfect platform for me to start a career. I was able to meet First Nations community members and leaders as well as expert journalists. The experience gave me the skills I needed to secure the position I have now."

The series was published in the prestigious Canadian online magazine The Tyee in 2012. Her first piece, “Treaty Troubles: Colonialism’s Deep Currents,” went live on December 11. She followed up with three more articles exploring treaty issues:

            Treaty Troubles: More than a Century in the Making 

            Treaty Troubles: The Yale Eye End of 17-Year ‘Marathon” 

            Beyond Treaty Troubles: Examples of Successful Story Sharing  

As part of the Read-Mercer fellowship, Wignes was mentored by veteran Tyee journalist Charles Campbell.  The series was nominated for awards from the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Western Magazine Awards Foundation.

“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,” says Nick Read, Langara journalism instructor and cousin to Jeani Read, after whom the award is named. Today, Carly works as a communications coordinator for a cruise association based out of Vancouver.

"I love it. It's a job for which I'm easily motivated because I'm constantly learning new things. I use so many of the skills at work that I picked up at Langara, so I really credit the Journalism program with helping me to get such a good job.”

Carly Wignes, Jeani Read / Michael Mercer Journalism Fellowship Winner

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Posted on: June 9, 2014