Tanya Talaga

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Tanya Talaga
NationalityAnishinaabe, Canadian
Occupation
  • Journalist
  • Author

Tanya Talaga is a Canadian journalist and author of Anishinaabe and Polish descent. She worked as a journalist at the Toronto Star for over twenty years, covering health, education, local issues, and investigations. She is now a regular columnist with the Globe and Mail.[1] Her 2017 book Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death and Hard Truths in a Northern City was met with acclaim, winning the 2018 RBC Taylor Prize for non-fiction and the 2017 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.[2][3] Talaga is the first woman of Anishinaabe descent to be named a CBC Massey Lecturer. She holds honorary doctorates from Lakehead University and from Ryerson University.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Talaga is of mixed heritage, describing her ancestry as being one-fourth Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) and half Polish.[4][5] Her maternal grandmother is a member of Fort William First Nation and her great-grandmother, Liz Gauthier, was a residential school survivor.[6] She was raised in Toronto and spent summers with her mother's family in Raith, Ontario, a small community one hour northwest of Thunder Bay. When she was twenty years old, she learned that a sister had been given up for adoption and that three of her mother's siblings had also grown up in the foster care system. She notes that these experiences influenced her later work on the impacts of residential schools and intergenerational trauma.[7]

Talaga studied history and political science at the University of Toronto. She wrote and edited the university's student newspaper The Varsity and volunteered on The Strand, a publication of Victoria College.[8]

Career[edit]

Talaga was hired by the Toronto Star in 1995 as an intern. She worked as a general city reporter for 14 years, covering several beats, before transferring in 2009 to the Queen's Park Bureau.[8] She also wrote as the indigenous issues columnist.[9]

Her first book, Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death and Hard Truths in a Northern City, was released in 2017 to critical acclaim and shortlisted for numerous awards in both 2017 and 2018.[10] The book examines the deaths of seven First Nations youths in Thunder Bay, Ontario,[6] and began when Talaga was assigned to write a story about why more First Nations people were not voting in the 2011 federal election, only to find that many people were reluctant to cooperate with her story because the deaths were not its focus.[11]

Talaga delivered the 2018 Massey Lectures, entitled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward.[12][13] Based on her 2018 Massey Lectures Talaga released her second book, All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward, which shares the name with the lecture series.[14]

In 2020, All Our Relations was nominated for the British Academy’s Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding.

Talaga's first podcast, the seven episode Seven Truths, which tells contemporary stories through the lens of the Anishinaabe Seven Grandfather Teachings, was released by Audible on November 26, 2020.

Talaga also owns the production company Makwa Creative Inc. Her documentary film Spirit to Soar premiered at the 2021 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival,[15] where it won the Audience Award in the mid-length film category.[16]

Awards[edit]

Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death and Hard Truths in a Northern City

Fellowships

  • Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy (2017–2018)[22]

Journalism

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Tanya Talaga". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  2. ^ "Tanya Talaga wins $30K 2018 RBC Taylor Prize for Seven Fallen Feathers". CBC Books, February 26, 2018.
  3. ^ a b “Tanya Talaga wins $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen prize for Seven Fallen Feathers”. The Globe and Mail, May 9, 2018.
  4. ^ "Tanya Talaga talks about her Indigenous heritage and why holding the first Massey lecture in Thunder Bay was so important". thestar.com. November 11, 2018. Retrieved June 28, 2021. My dad’s Polish, but my mom’s mom is Ojibwe
  5. ^ "Tanya Talaga". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved June 28, 2021. Talaga’s mother’s family is from Fort William First Nation and her father was Polish-Canadian.
  6. ^ a b "Tanya Talaga's first book honours seven Indigenous students who disappeared in Thunder Bay". Quill and Quire. July 31, 2017. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  7. ^ "Tanya Talaga talks about her Indigenous heritage and why holding the first Massey lecture in Thunder Bay was so important". thestar.com. November 11, 2018. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  8. ^ a b "20th Annual Kesterton Lecture with Tanya Talaga". School of Journalism and Communication. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  9. ^ "Tanya Talaga".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Tanya Talaga wins RBC Taylor Prize for Seven Fallen Feathers: "I'm writing the history of now"". Maclean's. February 26, 2018. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  11. ^ "Interview with Tanya Talaga". United Church Observer, February 2018.
  12. ^ "Toronto Star investigative journalist Tanya Talaga to deliver 2018 CBC Massey Lectures". House of Anansi Press. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  13. ^ "The 2018 CBC Massey Lectures: All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward". CBC Radio. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  14. ^ "Excerpt: Tanya Talaga's 'All Our Relations: Finding a Path Forward'". TVO.org. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  15. ^ "Tanya Talaga explores racism in Thunder Bay and her own Indigenous roots in Spirit To Soar". As It Happens, May 3, 2021.
  16. ^ Jillian Morgan, "Hot Docs ’21: “Zo reken”, “Ostrov – Lost Island” take awards". RealScreen, May 10, 2021.
  17. ^ DeMara, Bruce (February 26, 2018). "The Star's Tanya Talaga wins RBC Taylor Prize for Seven Fallen Feathers". Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  18. ^ "Tanya Talaga, Carol Off among finalists for Shaughnessy Cohen Prize". Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  19. ^ "First Nation Communities Read". Southern Ontario Library Service. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  20. ^ "Carol Off, Tanya Talaga longlisted for 2018 B.C. National Non-fiction Award". Quill and Quire. November 2, 2017. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  21. ^ Dundas, Deborah (January 10, 2018). "The Star's Tanya Talaga shortlisted for RBC Taylor prize for non-fiction". Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  22. ^ a b NetNewsLedger (March 21, 2019). "NetNewsLedger – Record Turnout at 13th Annual Diversity Thunder Bay Breakfast". NetNewsLedger. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  23. ^ Wallace, Kenyon (August 4, 2017). "How the Star's Tanya Talaga approaches her coverage of Indigenous affairs". Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved February 27, 2018.