Hour-long CBC Radio special will showcase a Concordia Department of Journalism and Kahnawake Survival School collaboration
Stories produced by students in Concordia’s Department of Journalism and Kahnawake Survival School (KSS) in the Kahnawake Kanien’kehá:ka Territory will soon be featured on CBC Radio. A new hour-long special called “Using Our Voices” will air on Thanksgiving weekend.
After the stories were first broadcast in April on CBC Radio’s Let’s Go in Montreal, CBC Holiday Programming requested an hour-long show that could air network wide.
Montreal listeners can tune in on October 9 at noon.
“I was just so honoured that there is that kind of interest in the work we’ve been doing,” says Kristy Snell, Concordia’s journalist-in-residence. She spearheads the collaboration, which is based at the Department of Journalism’s Institute for Inclusive, Investigative and Innovative Journalism (I3J).
Along with the students’ stories, the show also includes several longer segments, narration and music, all tied to the theme of young people finding their voices.
One of these additional segments takes listeners to the KSS graduation ceremony, where students are celebrated with music and tradition as they face the future. Another includes elementary school students at Kateri School in the community, singing traditional songs.
“We had a few feature-type longer stories that we needed to create and most grew from KSS students’ ideas, which are great,” Snell says.
“There’s a lot of bits and pieces but I think it comes together really nicely. You get to hear the different ways students are having their say about what matters to them.”
‘It took a lot of encouragement and allowing students to make mistakes’
During the partnership over the last year, Concordia journalism students mentored KSS secondary five high school students in producing web and radio stories from their community.
The initiative included CBC Montreal, which not only gave the radio stories a home on its airwaves, but also published stories by students Wahsontanoron Jamie Diabo and Zye Rashontiiostha Mayo on its website.
Sarah K. Phillips, principal and teacher at KSS, says the collaboration inspired her students.
“It took a lot of encouragement and allowing students to make mistakes,” Phillips says. “With some hard work and the connections that Concordia made with our students, they came to realize that this is something they can do, and they can do it well.”
Phillips says building trust and relationships was key to the success of the collaboration.
“Trust was built between the students and Concordia,” Phillips says. “I am moved to tears every time I think about the work they did and how proud I am of their accomplishments.”
With the collaboration entering its second year this fall, and a new cohort of students participating, Snell says she’s proud of the impact the project has already had.
“I feel really fortunate that we’ve been able to do this,” she shares.
“Last year was sort of the pilot project; we were figuring things out and trying to determine what worked best, and while I am thrilled with the way things went, you can always find ways to improve the process and make it even better. I’m so happy that we get to do it again this year.”
Listen to the full CBC Radio show, which aired on October 5, 2023.
Find out more about Concordia’s Department of Journalism and the Institute for Inclusive, Investigative and Innovative Journalism.