By: Daniela Olariu

For the last three years, Ryerson’s Masters of Journalism students spent their second semester learning how they can be better journalists through reporting and producing series of stories about Indigenous Peoples, as one way to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The TRC challenged journalism students to learn more about the history, including the legacy of residential schools, treaties and the law surrounding Indigenous Peoples (Call to Action #86). For graduate students in the digital reporting class, that led to producing multi-platform stories on Indigenous issues in Toronto and across the land.

Emerging Voices is the 2018 multimedia project that tells the stories of Indigenous educators, students, doctors and chefs who are reconciling with and making their own contributions to campus life in Canada.

It was produced by students led by instructor Shenaz Kermalli in collaboration with the Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) Indigenous Reporters program.

There are stories on some tough issues – such as cultural appropriation (examining Willy Johnson, a white Canadian who carves Haida-influenced totem poles), the complexities of identity (Indigenous and Palestinian students share their experiences of decolonization and dispossession) and cooking with consciousness (how Indigenous chefs and culinary students are challenging Eurocentric gastronomy as the international standard.

MJ students began the series in 2016 with instructor Asmaa Malik, by examining various TRC Call to Action. Last year they produced a series called Indigenous Lands, Urban Stories.

For more information about Emerging Voices, please contact instructor Shenaz Kermalli at or @mskermalli