Debwewin Citation recipient shows the heart of Anishinaabe through his lens

ANISHINABEK NATION HEAD OFFICE (June 20, 2023) – Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe announced today that Ed Regan is to be honoured with the 2023 Debwewin Citation for excellence in storytelling.

Regan has won cinematography and editing awards, along with two Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival awards in 2019 for the Anishinabek Nation’s short film: “Live, Love, Laugh”.  The doc won overall Best of Shorts Northern Flicks and the Open Category. “Live, Love, Laugh is a candid film about a First Nation woman named Dawn Cameron and the stigma and discrimination she has faced since her diagnosis of HIV almost 25 years ago.

“The Anishinabek Nation is grateful for the passion, talent, and humility that Mr. Regan has shared with us in helping to bring our stories to others for almost two decades in a safe and meaningful way,” states Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe. “We are happy to honour him with a Debwewin Citation in storytelling excellence.”

Based in the city of North Bay, Ontario, Regan Pictures has an impressive portfolio that spans various sectors and has emerged as a prominent figure in the world of photography and cinematography. His commitment to continuous growth and innovation has garnered him a reputation as a trusted creative partner.

“Having worked closely with Ed Regan on several projects in the span of my career, I have observed his growth from his experiences with Anishinaabe people,” says Marci Becking, Anishinabek Nation Communications Department Director and Anishinabek News Editor. “He approaches each person with sensitivity, empathy, and kindness felt by those in their most vulnerable state in front of the lens, creating a safe environment to share their story, yielding the most beautiful result. He gets to the heart of Anishinaabe in the most respectful way.”

The Debwewin Citation will be presented at the Anishinabek Nation 7th Generation Charity’s Anishinabek Evening of Excellence in August.

The Debwewin Citations are the first major awards intended to recognize and encourage excellence in journalism and storytelling about Indigenous issues by First Nations and other writers. The award name reflects the Anishinaabemowin word for “truth”, and the literal meaning is “to speak from the heart”.

The award has been presented 14 times since first given to Toronto Star journalist Peter Edwards in 2002 for his extensive body of work related to the death of unarmed land defender Dudley

George on Sept. 6, 1995, at the former Ipperwash Provincial Park. Since then, it has honoured not only journalists, but also others who use their storytelling skills to create greater awareness about First Nations people across Anishinabek Nation territory.

Previous Debwewin Citation Recipients:

  • Maurice Switzer, founder of the Debwewin Citations of Alderville First Nation, 2022 recipient
  • Catherine Murton Stoehr, freelance Anishinabek News journalist, 2021 recipient
  • Vince and Anita Chechok, now retired radio programmers for the REZ 91 radio station in Wasauksing First Nation, 2019 recipients
  • Waubgeshig Rice of Wasauksing First Nation, author and former journalist, 2014 recipient
  • The late CBC reporter Jody Porter, 2013 recipient for ongoing coverage of First Nations issues in the Thunder Bay area
  • Laura Robinson, 2010 recipient for Olympic coverage of Indigenous culture
  • Anishinabek recipients have included renowned late Anishinabek author Basil Johnston from Cape Croker; columnist Bud Whiteye from Walpole Island; and former writer/broadcaster Jennifer Ashawasagai from Henvey Inlet
  • Honourees of the award include Greg Plain, Rick Garrick, Jody Porter, Mark Bonokoski, and Perry McLeod-Shabogesic. The 2004 honouree, Lynn Johnston, introduced First Nations people and places into “For Better or For Worse”, her cartoon strip carried in over 22 countries.

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