THUNDER BAY – NEWS – In a poignant tribute to a remarkable journalist, the late Jody Porter, an esteemed alumna of Centennial College, has been posthumously awarded the Premier’s Award in the Creative Arts and Design category. The prestigious recognition was bestowed upon Porter at the annual gala celebrating outstanding Ontario college graduates, held at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.
A Legacy of Distinguished Journalism
Jody Porter, a former senior reporter at CBC Thunder Bay, and an editor of Wawatay News was renowned for her unwavering commitment to reporting on social justice issues affecting Indigenous communities.
Her work shed light on critical matters, from First Nations enduring prolonged boil water advisories to the inquest into the tragic deaths of seven high school students from Nishnawbe Aski Nation.
Tragically, Porter passed away from ovarian cancer on July 19, 2022, at the age of 50.
Honouring a Decades-Long Career
The Premier’s Award is a testament to Jody Porter’s decades-long career in journalism, marked by numerous accolades, including the Debwewin Citation from the Anishinabek Nation for her exceptional reporting on First Nations issues. Porter’s journey in journalism began with her graduation from Centennial College’s print journalism program in 1993.
A Proud Moment for Centennial College
Dr. Craig Stephenson, President and CEO of Centennial College, expressed immense pride in Jody Porter’s recognition, stating, “At Centennial, we couldn’t be prouder of Jody Porter for her recognition as the winner of the Premier’s Award. Jody’s reporting on Indigenous issues has not only left an indelible mark on Canadian journalism, but it has shone a light on stories that must be told if we are to realize our shared commitment to truth and reconciliation.”
Impact on Truth and Reconciliation
Jody Porter’s impact extended beyond journalism. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada acknowledged her work, with her documentary on Chanie Wenjack, a young boy who perished while fleeing a residential school, catalyzing a series of events that inspired Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip to help share the Anishinaabe boy’s story.
The Premier’s Awards: Celebrating Excellence
The Premier’s Awards, launched in 1992, recognize outstanding achievements and significant economic and community contributions made by college graduates in Ontario. Each year, seven recipients are selected from nominations submitted by the province’s 24 public colleges. The awards are administered through a partnership between the province and Colleges Ontario.
About Centennial College
Founded in 1966, Centennial College is Ontario’s first public college, renowned for its exceptional teaching, innovative curriculum, and extensive network of partnerships. With five campuses and two satellite locations primarily situated in the eastern Greater Toronto Area, Centennial welcomes over 40,000 full-time and part-time students from more than 130 countries annually. The college offers a diverse range of diploma, certificate, and degree programs across various fields, including business, media, arts, community and consumer services, engineering technology, health care, and transportation.