By Jena Lynde-Smith

It is a journalist’s job to be the voice for those who aren’t being heard.

This is what Lauren Stokes, second-year journalism student, said she is sure of. Stokes was recently published by Now Toronto, an independent Toronto-based magazine specializing in alternative news. Her story investigates the belief that the bricks of the Parliament buildings contain sand taken from an Indigenous burial site.

Stokes said she was inspired to write on this topic in a women and gender studies course she took at Carleton in her first year. Her tutorial was led by an Indigenous teaching assistant who spoke about this widespread belief held by various aboriginal communities. She said she

Photo taken by David Kawai

found the topic riveting, and proceeded to pursue the subject as her feature story for her fundamentals of reporting class. She became personally immersed by her findings and continued to research the subject over the summer.

Finding sources to speak to about such a sensitive subject was difficult but important, she said.

“Speaking to people about such a dark and morbid topic was a lot at times, but hearing their stories moved me so much that I wanted to learn more and be able to share them.”

Stokes said she found her experience writing and researching very rewarding and plans to continue exploring issues surrounding Indigenous peoples.

“I think that the mainstream media would be really letting down Indigenous communities by not talking about issues that are so important,” she said. “Good journalism isn’t supposed to always be comfortable. Sometimes good journalism isn’t easy, but just because it’s not easy to talk about, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be talking about it.”

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Friday, August 30, 2019 in ,
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