Local film and communications grads inspire young Blackfoot – StrathmoreNow.com

A local filmmaker and his communications cousin are paving the way for other Indigenous youth at Mount Royal University (MRU).

Trevor Solway and Kelsey No Runner (Solway), both MRU alumni, have created a scholarship for young Blackfoot students to ease the burden of attending film and communications programs, which can sometimes be costly for students who need to buy expensive items like camera gear. , flash and memory cards.

Called the Emerging Blackfoot Communicators Fund, individuals can donate to the fund, which will provide materials to students in the journalism and digital media program.

The fund is open to Blackfoot Confederacy students including Siksika, Piikani, Kainai and Amskapi Piikani who are enrolled in journalism and digital media.

Solway talked about what it was like when he and his cousin went to school

“We are both graduates and she works more in the world of communication and journalism now. I pursued film, but we both noticed that there is a lack of Indigenous content creators at all levels who work in journalism, public relations or filmmaking,” he said. he declares.

“Going to school and getting certified for these positions and jobs is very expensive and very difficult, so we decided to start the Blackfoot Emerging Communicators Fund.”

Solway continued, “It’s a high cost to do this work, and that’s one of the barriers we want to remove. For me personally, I could have been one of those reserve kids who fell through the cracks.

“When I was at MRU I was very broke and didn’t have a lot of money so I relied a lot on my cousin. We shared equipment for the first two years. I rode in his dorm and I borrowed his camera or even things like SD cards and was going to quickly do some homework, run back and give it back to him,” he said.

The fund provides student kits worth approximately $2,000 each. They hope to raise around $10,000 for the fund. Solway and his cousin used their own money to put together the first kit.

“There’s a lot of talent and a lot of young aboriginal people out there who want to tell stories for a living, and we’re certainly not short of talent and stories. We are just missing an opportunity,” he said.

The scholarship created by the MRU Foundation is the first of its kind at the school.

“I think it will encourage more students not only to take this program, but also to graduate and pursue a career afterwards. There is a need for Indigenous content creators because we need authentic storytelling, accurate storytelling and accurate reporting when it comes to reporting on Indigenous issues,” he said. he explains.

He also noted that there should be a more diverse number of voices in terms of covering all aspects of the news cycle.

“I think indigenous people have a lot to offer journalism, film and the world,” he said.

“Because the Indigenous community is such an important thing and for me personally, I wouldn’t have graduated from Mount Royal and done the things I did after graduation in my career if it wasn’t for someone. one like Kelsey or some of the other mentors I had growing up who supported me at the right time when I needed it,” Solway said.

“That’s what we want to do with the scholarship. To provide that support and to offer that help when these students need it most,” he said.

A link to the Emerging Blackfoot Communicators Fund can be found here https://foundation.mru.ca/emerging-blackfoot-communicators-fund

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Gladys T. Hensley