Journalists Cullen Crozier, Brittany Guyot and Holly Moore won the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) Open Broadcast Feature award for their documentary “Broken Circle” in this year’s competition.
The APTN Investigates episode follows day school survivors Abraham Parenteau and George Munroe as they fight for recognition of the Duck Bay, Man. school which had been left off of any federal settlement agreement.
They travel back to the tiny community and relive the horrific abuse they say they suffered at the hands of the Roman Catholic school in the 1950s and is not included in any settlement.
“Just the fact that Abraham Parenteau and George Munroe were willing to go into detail about some of the most traumatic moments of their lives took great bravery on their part,” said reporter Cullen Crozier, “They didn’t hold anything back and the courage they showed in speaking out and seeking justice for the other survivors is something that will always stay with me,”
APTN identified more than 680 institutions that were rejected from both the Indian Residential Schools and Day Schools settlements. These were run by provinces, First Nations, private homes and religious orders. Many were not researched by the federal government, declared to have “insufficient information” and therefore were left off the list.
“We felt that given it was still federal policies that led to the formation of these institutions initially, regardless of who was responsible for the day to day operation, that these stories deserved to be told with the same amount of care and respect as Canada’s Indian residential school era,” said Crozier.
Since the documentary aired, Abraham Parenteau, George Munroe and many of the former students of the Duck Bay are in the process of launching a class action lawsuit against the federal government that will encompass survivors of institutions left out of federal settlement agreements.
Both Crozier and Moore are previous recipients of CAJ awards while this is a first time win for Guyot. She was last year’s winner of the CAJ/APTN Indigenous Investigative fellowship and is now a reporter with the team.