AJAs 2018 Finalists


Date Aired or Published February 16, 2018
Media outlet where first aired or published: APTN
Name of Program: APTN
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: HALIFAX, NS
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio): 23:50

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

Reconciliation has toppled statues. The Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia watched as Confederate monuments were removed in the United States. They watched the backlash from white nationalists that led to deadly violence, familiar with the racism and rhetoric in their own backyard. The Mi’kmaq had waged a decades-long battle to remove the controversial statue of Halifax founder Edward Cornwallis which had stirred up the sentiment that ‘you can’t erase history.’ ”Where’s our history, if you can’t erase history. All these street signs, they’re still names of colonizers.” – Rebecca Moore, Mi’kmaw activist. The APTN Investigates episode “History Decolonized” aired February 16, 2018 on the Aboriginal peoples Television Network. The 30-minute documentary followed Rebecca Moore, a young Mi’kmaw woman and activist who grew up in Halifax, a city very much rooted in its British military history with little attention to the unceded Mi’kmaq territory on which it’s grounded. The battle to remove the statue of Cornwallis goes back decades. There was no lack of media coverage. But the mainstream narratives carefully balanced Mi’kmaw views with those of staunch statue supporters. What was missing was the weight given to an in-depth understanding of Mi’kmaw history and perspectives. APTN video journalist Trina Roache spent countless hours at the Nova Scotia archives, combing through documents like the original council minutes from Governor Edward Cornwallis’ early meetings in the mid-1700s. "We tend to forget that there was a longer history here in this country. And it’s a legitimate history and has to be accepted and has to be acknowledged." – Roger Lewis, Mi’kmaw Ethnologist Through the use of graphics, visual storytelling, interviews and actuality, the documentary weaves the Mi’kmaw history of colonization with the contemporary issues around racism and reconciliation tied to commemoration across Turtle Island. It was a timely documentary about an ongoing debate. But as researcher, reporter, camera operator and editor, Roache was given an added challenge. On a tight schedule, with an airdate for the 30-minute documentary looming just two weeks away, “History Decolonized” was given a new ending. Halifax city council voted to remove the statue.

Resources of the newsroom (money and time) available to complete the story:

$5000 per episode and support of a producer, executive producer, graphics and camera person

Return to list of finalists