By Samantha Long
After searching in vain for newspaper that would inform him about the Aboriginal community, Dylan Whiteduck, a graduate of the small medium business management and entrepreneurship program at Algonquin decided to take matters in his own hands.
His idea was simple, so simple in fact that he couldn’t believe that no one else had thought of it before. He wanted to create an outlet for First Nation, Métis and Inuit news, specifically for Ottawa. A publication he calls the Thunderbird Times.
Shy and nervous at first, mostly due to the fact he isn’t a writer; Whiteduck relied on friends and family for encouragement. He eventually realized that through his program at school, as well as experience working with a company that sold advertising space; he already acquired the important tools necessary to make this become a reality.
Whiteduck reflects back a year later on the steps that were required to make Thunderbird Times possible, from financial struggles to coming up with a name and logo design.
“It took me about two to three months to get started, but if I didn’t have my SME (Small Medium Enterprise Management) it could have taken me five to six months,” stated Whiteduck.
In an effort to preserve the stories from this culture, Whiteduck is presenting an Ingenious Writing Contest through his newsletter to encourage Aboriginal people to submit their stories legends, with the best story receiving a $1,000 prize.
Whiteduck explains that the idea of an Ingenious writing contest came to him after hearing a great story from a woman who had since passed away in his community, and the difficulty he had trying to obtain it again.
“Stories are a big factor in our culture and if we don’t maintain and preserve these great stories they’ll just fade away and we’ll never see or hear them again,” adds Whiteduck.
Reaching back to the Algonquin College community, Whiteduck searched for a co-partner that would become the words that creates the Thunderbird Times.
Dali Carmichael, a second year journalism student, is the writer behind these stories.
“There’s not really anything like this,” said Carmichael
“They’re kinda one of the things that are going to stay around for a little while because everybody wants to know what their neighbor is doing. It’s a good place for the community to go to for news and organizations they can become involved with.”
Reaching about 1,000 – 2,000 people per month with his publication, Whiteduck hopes to expand to a viewership of 10,000.
“This is just a one-time-shot type of deal. I can keep going and come up with new ideas, that’s what entrepreneurship is all about.”