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Announcing The Narwhal’s 2024 Indigenous photojournalism fellowship

We are excited to offer a new photojournalism fellowship for First Nations, Inuit and Métis photographers based in so-called Ontario

The Narwhal frequently reports on stories that deeply impact the lives of Indigenous communities, especially as many of these communities grapple with the ongoing impacts of climate change, natural resource development and environmental racism.

We want to see more of these stories — and we want to ensure they’re told more often by Indigenous journalists. That’s why we’re launching The Narwhal’s Indigenous Photojournalism Fellowship.

If you wonder whether you’re the right fit for this fellowship or have questions before you fill out the application, email us at michelle@thenarwhal.ca. Tell us why you’re excited about it!

About the fellowship

This new 2024 fellowship offers one photographer based anywhere in so-called Ontario mentorship and the opportunity to produce visual content for The Narwhal. The fellow will receive hands-on training from editors at The Narwhal in photojournalism production, editorial planning, feature layout and design. This will include practical experience, including completing a portrait shoot and a series of photos for a Narwhal assignment.

The fellowship also provides recipients the opportunity to dive deep into a unique photojournalism project that does what The Narwhal does best: expresses our complex relationships with the natural world. Applicants will produce a photo essay or feature on an Ontario-based story of their own interest, which can be done on their own or in collaboration with a reporter.

The fellow will receive $7,000 to produce the portrait shoot, assigned story and original photo essay for publication on The Narwhal by the end of September 2024. They will be assigned an experienced photojournalist as a mentor who will also receive compensation for their time and support. The fellowship will begin in early June (exact start date will be negotiated with the successful candidate), and conclude in September.

The fellow will also receive professional advice from Room Up Front, a mentorship program for journalists who are Black, Indigenous and or people of colour that has worked with The Narwhal for several years. The fellow will be invited into the organization’s supportive community to help navigate their career and overcome challenges facing BIPOC photojournalists in the Canadian media landscape.

Who should apply?

We’d love to hear from any First Nations, Inuit or Métis photographer who has a story they’ve been hoping to share about the natural world. Applicants should be based in so-called Ontario for the fellowship requirements, and should expect to produce a photo essay in Ontario (through September 2024). 

This fellowship is open to Indigenous applicants, including those with little professional experience and was created to support your growth and development as a photojournalist. If you’re not based in Ontario but are keen to collaborate with The Narwhal feel free to email michelle@thenarwhal.ca

What we look for in an application

The successful application will have an idea for an original, impactful story about the natural world in Ontario. Key dates, a clear plan for any written component that will accompany photographs and a compelling reason why this story is a good fit for The Narwhal aren’t required but will help your application stand out.

Not sure what’s a good fit for The Narwhal? Sign up for our newsletter to get the inside track on what we report on and why. You can browse the archive of our newsletter here. Also be sure to check out our archive of previously published photo essays for examples of what we’ve done in the past, especially in Ontario

We want to make sure you’re paid fairly for your time, so we encourage photo essay pitches that will take no more than five days of shooting. Think tight, specific and manageable, rather than enormous, ambitious and sprawling. 

Applicants are welcome to submit pitches based on collaborations with The Narwhal’s Ontario-based reporters. For an overview of our staff reporters, please see our team on our about us page.

Funds from the fellowship are intended to cover the shooting, reporting and editing costs of your assignment. There is an additional budget for travel within Ontario, including to remote locations.

How to apply

Click here to apply directly through BambooHR. Applications are due April 15, 2024. The fellowship will begin in early June, based on the availability of the successful applicant.

About The Narwhal

The Narwhal is an award-winning online magazine that publishes in-depth journalism about the natural world. As a leader in non-profit journalism in Canada, The Narwhal is supported by more than 5,000 monthly members. 

The storytellers in any society hold tremendous power. At The Narwhal, we recognize that this power represents both a privilege and a responsibility and we aim to use this power for the public good. The Narwhal is committed to building a team that reflects the communities we serve and we recognize we have a lot of work to do in this area.  

A team that reflects the communities we work in enhances the relevance and substance of our journalism and is essential in fulfilling our mission to foster a deeper understanding of some of the most contentious issues of our time. The Narwhal endorses the calls to action on media diversity by Canadian Journalists of Colour and the Canadian Association of Black Journalists.

About Room Up Front

The goal of Room Up Front is to offer mentorship opportunities for Black, Indigenous and people of colour who are passionate about photojournalism and visual storytelling. BIPOC industry professionals along with allies will help guide those interested in pursuing their own goals and becoming established visual storytellers for their community and the Canadian media industry. People with diverse experiences and ways of seeing can only help strengthen our newsrooms and ensure the stories Canadians see are as diverse as the lives they lead.

We’ve got big plans for 2024
Seeking out climate solutions, big and small. Investigating the influence of oil and gas lobbyists. Holding leaders accountable for protecting the natural world.

The Narwhal’s reporting team is busy unearthing important environmental stories you won’t read about anywhere else in Canada. And we’ll publish it all without corporate backers, ads or a paywall.

How? Because of the support of a tiny fraction of readers like you who make our independent, investigative journalism free for all to read.

Will you join more than 6,000 members helping us pull off critical reporting this year?
We’ve got big plans for 2024
Seeking out climate solutions, big and small. Investigating the influence of oil and gas lobbyists. Holding leaders accountable for protecting the natural world.

The Narwhal’s reporting team is busy unearthing important environmental stories you won’t read about anywhere else in Canada. And we’ll publish it all without corporate backers, ads or a paywall.

How? Because of the support of a tiny fraction of readers like you who make our independent, investigative journalism free for all to read.

Will you join more than 6,000 members helping us pull off critical reporting this year?

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