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Jesse Deer: His legacy will live on forever

(File Photo)


 Kahnawake’s beloved Jesse Deer wouldn’t want it any other way, even if he’s no longer with us.

You have to figure he’s smiling from his perch, laughing that infectious chuckle he became known for.

The Jesse Deer Memorial Media Scholarship is preparing to give away its 10th big prize of $1,000 this year, as November 24 marks 10 years since his passing back in 2009 due to complications from H1N1, at the age of 23.

He was funny, could be crazy, but was deeply loved and missed, cared so much about his community, and had his hands, in some way, shape or form, in all media in Kahnawake.

To mark the 10th year, the heads of the five media (a Jesse-ism, to be sure) are planning a special night in his honour, hoping to award an up-and-coming media type who embodies what Jesse was, even if only a little bit.

There will be food, there will be tears, and there will be laughs, for sure.

As a radio host or TV personality or columnist here at The Eastern Door, Jesse wasn’t afraid to try new things, and if he failed, he tried again.

If you are in post-secondary in a media studies-related field (journalism, communications, etc), send a two-minute video of yourself, a 500-word essay on why you deserve to win, a reference letter, and an up-to-date transcript to any of the people on our committee, or

KTV, TED, Mohawk TV, K103, and started the fund after Jesse’s death, and have helped nine lucky locals to pursue their studies with a little financial aid.

We are also looking for volunteers to help us launch the special night, and financial contributions to keep the scholarship going.

Together, we will continue to honour what Jesse brought to our media and to Kahnawake, in a way that only Big Sexy could.

The bursary is for the 2019 Fall or Winter semester.

Candidates should exemplify Jesse’s values by demonstrating a sound work ethic, good grades, great motivation and involvement in the community.

Or, as Jesse would say, if you are old-school, mail to:

Jesse Deer Memorial Media Scholarship

Post Office Box 1616

Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory, J0L 1B0.

For further information, please contact any of the Board Members:

Steve Bonspiel, Co-Chairperson (Eastern Door), 450-635-3050,

Greg Horn, Co-Chairperson (Iorí:wase),,

Regan Jacobs, Secretary (First Nations) TV, 450-632-6397,

Gene Diabo, Treasurer (o/b/o KTV), 450-632-7500 ext. 2254,

Joe Delaronde, Board Member (K103), 450-632-7500 ext. 2251.

Deadline to apply: September 27, 2019 at 12 p.m.

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Eastern Door Editor/Publisher Steve Bonspiel started his journalism career in January 2003 with The Nation magazine, a newspaper serving the Cree of northern Quebec.
Since that time, he has won numerous regional and national awards for his in-depth, impassioned writing on a wide variety of subjects, including investigative pieces, features, editorials, columns, sports, human interest and hard news.
He has freelanced for the Montreal Gazette, Toronto Star, Windspeaker, Nunatsiaq News, Calgary Herald, Native Peoples Magazine, and other publications.
Among Steve's many awards is the Paul Dumont-Frenette Award for journalist of the year with the Quebec Community Newspapers Association in 2015, and a back-to-back win in 2010/11 in the Canadian Association of Journalists' community category - one of which also garnered TED a short-list selection of the prestigious Michener award.
He was also Quebec Community Newspapers Association president from 2012 to 2019, and continues to strive to build bridges between Native and non-Native communities for a better understanding of each other.

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