Embattled Journalist Brandi Morin Wins Freedom to Read Award

The Writers' Union of Canada
Press Release

The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is pleased to announce that author and journalist Brandi Morin is the recipient of TWUC’s 2024 Freedom to Read Award. Morin is a writer of Cree, Iroquois, and French origin from Treaty 6 territories in Alberta. She has won multiple awards for her work, and has been published in National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Al Jazeera English, The Guardian, and The New York Times

On assignment for Ricochet Media, Morin was arrested, detained, and charged with obstruction on January 10th while covering forced removals by police at an encampment for the unhoused in Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton). Her arrest has drawn statements and attention from the Indigenous Journalists Association, Amnesty International, PEN Canada, the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, Journalists for Human Rights, and the Coalition for Women in Journalism.  

Brandi Morin was nominated for the Freedom to Read Award by a fellow member of Canada’s writing and publishing community. The nomination noted: 

“Morin passionately tells the stories of people and events in Indigenous communities, creating visibility and voice for those often overlooked and silenced. That she seeks out uncomfortable moments to be present, to tell those stories, requires courage, and for that, she deserves to be recognized.” 

Reporting on Morin’s arrest can be found in The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, and The Tyee. Morin’s supporters have created a GoFundMe fundraiser to help cover her legal fees. 

February 18-24 is Freedom to Read Week in Canada: a national annual celebration that encourages Canadians to think deeply about and value access to print materials, and their rights to read, write, and publish freely. The week has become a regular feature of the annual programming of schools, libraries, and literary groups across Canada. Freedom to Read Week is led by Library and Archives Canada, the Canadian Urban Libraries Council, and the Ontario Library Association in partnership with the Book and Periodical Council. TWUC has long been a proud supporter of Freedom to Read Week. For more information, please visit freedomtoread.ca.  

The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is the national organization of professionally published writers. TWUC was founded in 1973 to work with governments, publishers, booksellers, and readers to improve the conditions of Canadian writers. Now over 2,700 members strong, TWUC advocates on behalf of writers’ collective interests, and delivers value to members through advocacy, community, and information. TWUC believes in a thriving, diverse Canadian culture that values and supports writers. 

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For additional information:
John Degen, Chief Executive Officer 
The Writers’ Union of Canada 


DATE: February 22, 2024