April 12th, 2024

Former media student elevating voices of the Blackfoot community

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - LETHBRIDGE HERALD on October 23, 2021.

Lethbridge College photo Digital Communications and Media alumna Tawnya Plain Eagle spoke during the Women in Entrepreneurship Week.

Tawnya Plain Eagle, a Digital Communications and Media alumna spoke about her entrepreneurship journey and her passion for storytelling earlier this week as part of the Women in Entrepreneurship Week at Lethbridge College’s AgENT program.
Plain Eagle explained that she finds pleasure in writing about indigenous issues, which is what brought her back to the Piikani Nation reserve for a new opportunity with Piikani Tsi Nii Ka Sin (Piikani Nation News).
Plain Eagle graduated from Lethbridge College’s Digital Communication and Media program in 2016 and continued her education at Mount Royal University where she earned a Bachelor of Communications degree in 2019.
But the transition was not as smooth as it should’ve been. She was originally rejected from Mount Royal University because he didn’t have a specific high school English class, even though she already had a college diploma that demonstrated her writing skills, so she decided to challenge their decision.
“I spoke up for myself and I just didn’t take no for an answer, so that really helped me when it came to this journey,”said Plain Eagle.
Once enrolled at Mount Royal University, during the summer while travelling in Hawaii, she was offered the opportunity to turn the Piikani Tsi Nii Ka Sin newsletter into a website and newspaper which later turned into a full-time position during her last year at Mount Royal University.
Plain Eagle has built a career elevating the voices of southern Alberta’s Blackfoot community, which is what pushed her to keep moving forward and in September 2020, she launched 106.3 FM Piikani Nation Radio on the FM dial and online.
“I wanted to change how indigenous people were portrayed in the media,” said Plain Eagle.
Her objective when launching the radio station was to offer a local perspective on community events, showcasing and promoting Blackfoot language and culture.
“I’m actually really thankful for the ones that trusted me and allowed me to actually do something like this and trust me with their story and getting it out there, because I know like there’s a lot of people today still, that are still reluctant and aren’t used to media,” said Plain Eagle.
This event was part of the Alberta’s Women in Entrepreneurship Week Speaker Series. Women in Entrepreneurship Week nurtures, inspires, and energizes people around the world by offering inspiration and practical advice from female founders. In 2020, the college welcomed Judy Varga-Toth, Manager, ImpAct Partnership Services, Government Relations and Canadian Partnerships for Colleges and Institutes Canada for a virtual event as part of Women in Entrepreneurship Week.

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