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Let it Snow! Winter/Holiday Photo Contest Judging

By: Karli Zschogner, Community Journalism Trainer, Journalists for Human Rights

let it snow! photo contest
(Photo Credit: Karli Zschogner)

Thank you to all who submitted content for past and current photo contests. The overall hope and goal is to encourage appreciation for one’s own creative eye and mind or to be the first to capture that split-second moment as a type of storytelling. Not only can you take pride in your work, but know that you can make earnings off of your work. Photojournalism is a thriving contribution. Just consider The Atlantic’s “Hopeful Images from 2018” or Time Magzine’s 2017 Best Photojournalism.
More locally, there is the power of Nadya Kwandibens, Anishinaabe from the Animakee Wa Zhing #37 First Nation in Northwestern Ontario. As Red Works, she has been featured in Photographers Without Borders under the Indigenous Rising portrait series.
For Let It Snow! Winter/Holiday Photo Contest showcased in December’s Naotkamegwanning Mazina’igan’s third issue, I have taken into consideration many factors including the adherence to the theme and instructions of submitting with a caption or photo essay. creatively, and the use of the rule-of-thirds.
The diversity of submissions evoking the full range of emotions: happiness, joy, peace, gratitude, and sadness, resulted in a very difficult challenge with the 14 photos submitted. So much so, that I increased the number of winner prizes. It became especially difficult when it came to respecting the baseline of following criteria of providing descriptions.
Congratulations to everyone who has submitted! Very big step! Chi Miigwetch for this opportunity!

kiara lynn bird
First Place Winner of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest of Sunrise on Naotkamegwanning Mazina’igan Cover (Photo Credit: Kiara Lynn Bird)

1st ($100)Kiara Lynn Bird – This photo was taken as the sun was coming up during a winter morning. This tree has been around since my grandparents have lived in this exact spot; it reminds me they are never too far. Grateful for this season and even more grateful for the beauty that surrounds Naotkamegwanning.”

  • Shadow/silhouette
  • Creativity
  • Timing
  • Detail/Focus
  • Rule-of-thirds

2nd ($50) – Ozawaa Paypompee – “Throwing snow. There is happiness in snow when you go outside and embrace the snow. The outdoors are freedom.”

ozaawaa paypompee 2
Second Place Winner of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest – “Throwing snow. There is happiness in snow when you go outside and embrace the snow. The outdoors are freedom.” (Photo Credit: Ozawaa Paypompee)
  • Timing/Movement
  • Rule-of-thirds
  • Inspirational Power

3rd ($25) – Cayne Kakeeway – “A beautiful sunset on the snow laden hills of Whitefish”

cayne kakeeway - a beautiful sunset on the snow laden hills of whitefish
Third Place winner for December’s Let It Snow Contest: “A beautiful sunset on the snow laden hills of Whitefish.” (Photo Credit: Cayne Kakeeway)
  • Colour Contrast
  • Timing
  • Clarity
  • Lines

4th ($15)Damon Hunter – “A stretch of burnt handrail from a house fire’s remains”

damonhunter - a stretch of burned handrail from a house fire's remains
Fourth Place Winner of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest – “A stretch of burnt handrail from a house fire’s remains” (Photo Credit: Damon Hunter)
  • Rule-of-thirds
  • Clarity, Detail and Focus
  • Creativity/Lines
  • Newsworthiness
  • Current/Potential Social Impact

Notable Mention:
Caidy Indian – (December Baibombeh Pow Wow – smiles) No caption

caidy indian19
Notable Mention of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest at December Baibombeh School (Photo Credit: Caidy Indian)
  • Inspirational Power
  • Timing/Movement/Action
  • Rule-of-thirds

Honorary Mention:
Maria Blackhawk – “Frozen Lakes, Ice Roads, and Unique Opportunities” with Essay with photos (See Naotkamegwanning Mazina’igan Link)

maria blackhawk - ice roads 3
Honorary Mention of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest : Wolf Running : “Frozen Lakes, Ice Roads, and Unique Opportunities” (Photo Credit: Maria Blackhawk)
  • Creativity
  • Timing, uniqueness, rarity
  • Clarity
  • Reflection
  • Rule-of-thirds

The Crying Christmas Tree

By: Isaac Kavanaugh

photo credit monica denise
Allan Crow holds up his book (Photo credit: Monica Denise)

The Crying Christmas Tree is a story written by Allan Crow and illustrated by David Beyer.

Allan Crow is a member of Naotkamegwanning First Nations and he currently resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba with his wife.

The Crying Christmas Tree is a story about a grandmother, her husband, children, grandchildren and a tree. It tells a story about love around the Christmas holiday and how not to be so heartless about the things you receive.

As stated in the book, “One winter, Kokum thought she would surprise her grandchildren by choosing the Christmas tree. She went into the woods carrying an axe while all the kids were at school”

Allan Crow said he was 38 years of age when he was writing this story and that he wanted to show that the Indigenous peoples also partake in the Christmas season as everyone else does in the world.

Mr. Crow also stated that the message was to show other cultures that the Indigenous peoples are the same as them in every way and will be like that in the future and that the world does not run on gears and machinery.

He also said that the holiday season is to show love to family and others around you and give someone something on this special season to show that you love and care for them.

The very first printing of the Crying Christmas Tree was in 1989, then the second one in 1993, third in 1998, fourth in 2002, fifth in 2005, and sixth in 2010. Mr. Crow describes the book as being the best seller for him under the publishers at Pemmican Publications Inc.

Mr. Crow recently had a book reading on December 13th in Northwest Angle #33. He said the children enjoyed the book reading and that books were handed to each person after the reading was done.  He said many people remember the book and still have their original copies to this day.

Maria Blackhawk was one of the attendees. In a comment she made on the NWA#33 Community Activities Facebook group,  she said,“ It was awesome, i loved the story and was happy to meet the author. Children need stories and the ones with lessons are the best, i believe that bedtime stories calm children to a restful sleep.”