Data journalism project on Indigenous land stewardship will be published by the Narwhal

Freelance journalist Jimmy Thomson has been awarded the storyLAB Data Journalism Grant, a new initiative presented by Humber College’s storyLAB and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

The results of Thomson’s reporting on Indigenous land stewardship will be published by the Narwhal, where he has previously researched stories surrounding land guardianship programs, northern entrepreneurship and more.

Who you gonna call? The guardians!

In remote areas across Canada — from the B.C. coast to Nunavut’s far north — Indigenous guardians are increasingly being relied on to monitor the land and water. “We’re protecting the land and water, and that really touches my heart,” says Roger Harris, a member of the Nuxalk Coastal Guardian Watchmen. “I want to protect that for my grandkids.” The Narwhal travelled to Bella Coola, B.C., to spend time with the Nuxalk Coastal Guardian Watchmen, as they met with the Arctic Bay guardians to share hot tips on everything from tracking data to supporting traditional ways of life out on the land.Don't miss out on reporting like this. Sign up to The Narwhal:

Posted by The Narwhal on Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Thomson’s multimedia project will use patrol data, interviews, video and photography “to tell the story of how this movement has grown, spreading up and down the coast from Haida Gwaii — where it became more visible a few decades ago — to deep within the inlets of the Central Coast,” he explained in the grant announcement.

“Jimmy’s project is timely, data-driven and utterly fascinating,” said David Weisz, director of the storyLAB and professor at Humber’s Faculty of Media & Creative Arts, “exactly the type of journalism we want to nurture through this grant.”

The inaugural grant callout for a data journalism project on Indigenous land rights was announced in Fall 2019.