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Tyee treaty series nominated for CAJ student excellence award

A Tyee series that breaks down B.C.'s complex treaty negotiations is a finalist for the Canadian Association of Journalist's 2012 Student Award of Excellence.

Carly Wignes' December 2012 series, "Treaty Troubles: Colonial Obstacles to Settling Claims in BC," is among four nominees for the award, which recognizes "excellence in the field of journalism at the student level." Wignes wrote the series as a student at Langara College. Charles Campbell, a long-time Tyee contributor, was the editor.

In the series, Wignes traces the roots of today's overlapping claims and stymied treaty negotiations to colonial control in British Columbia, examining alternative ways of viewing First Nations governance, kinship ties and land use allocation.

She draws upon interviews with First Nations people, anthropologists, treaty negotiators and other experts in an attempt to improve on standard media portrayals of the province's treaty process.

"It was a privilege to publish Carly's insightful series," said Tyee editor David Beers. "She clearly was well-trained at Langara and the project grew out of an innovative funding initiative with the college. We feel very fortunate that Langara selected The Tyee to partner on this, and we have had great response to the series."

The series was funded by Langara's Jeani Read-Michael Mercer Scholarship for Journalism, created in honour of late Province columnist Jeani Read by her husband, the late screenwriter Michael Mercer.

Other nominees in the Student Award of Excellence category include Fanshawe College students Amir Shah and Derrick DeBolster for a Rogers TV piece on Ontario voter apathy, Carleton University student Marc Ellison for a Toronto Star piece on girls in Uganda's war, and a group of University of King's College students for a municipal election project,

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