These days, anywhere I go in Canada, when I tell people I’m from Thunder Bay, I am very often met with looks of shock—looks indicative of strong feelings about the city.
Five years ago, if I’d said I was from Thunder Bay, I would have got no such reactions. In a very short period of time, Thunder Bay has gained national attention, and developed a reputation for its social and political issues.
This, I am sure, is thanks in no small part to the work of independent journalists.
I say this because more often than not, the strong looks I receive at mention of Thunder Bay are accompanied by statements like, “Oh, that’s where the Indigenous kids keep dying, right? I read about that.” Or “I listened to this amazing podcast about that place.” Authors and storytellers like Tanya Talaga and Ryan McMahon have helped to raise public consciousness around the injustices taking place in the city. This, in turn, has prompted major media publications in Canada to increase their coverage of Thunder Bay as well; The Globe and Mail has even opened a news bureau in the city.