Two CBC Ottawa investigations, one looking at a Kingston artist's claim to be Indigenous and another into the complex finances of a Catholic order that ran dozens of residential schools, have been nominated for national journalism awards.
Reporters Nicole Williams and Michelle Allan's investigation into Morris Blanchard — a celebrated Kingston artist who allegedly made false claims for years about being Indigenous and a Sixties Scoop survivor — has been nominated for a Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) award in the broadcast under five minutes category.
Their work stemmed from important previous investigations by CBC Ottawa into Queen's university, where multiple people connected to the school were also accused of falsifying their Indigenous identity.
Journalists Julie Ireton and Falice Chin have been nominated for the APTN/CAJ reconciliation award. Their investigation looked into a Catholic order, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, showing the complex corporate structure that makes it difficult for Indigenous people to receive reparations from the church.
Their investigation revealed an elaborate network of more than two dozen corporate holdings with at least $200 million in assets and cash, with a priority to take care of a dwindling number of aging priests in the face of looming liabilities.
In all, the CBC and Radio-Canada earned 20 CAJ nominations this year.
The awards ceremony will be returning this year after a hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be held in Montreal at the end of May.