Once a year I get to sing praises on how well the Nation has done in the past year. It is the time when the Quebec Community Newspapers Association holds its Better Newspaper Competition. This is when the Nation competes against other Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal newspapers in Quebec. This year like past years have made me proud of the professional and excellence of the entire staff in making the Nation one of the more respected papers in Quebec.

This year we won 1st place for best feature page for “Farewell To The Chief.” The judges said this was a great example of the complete package. This was awarded to the Nation as a whole.

Our second award was a 3rd place in the Best Sport Page(s). The judge said although it was an entry that featured just one event “these pages catch your attention.” I was the recipient of that award.

Amy German took 1st place for Best Feature Story. “Waiting for a corpse” was said to be well researched and written. The judge ended with “This one stands in a class to itself.”

Lyle Stewart took 3rd place for Best Business Story for “The diamond challenge.” The judge said it was well written and informative. He remarked “The writer finds a gem of an idea for a story and shines it up for the readers.”

German accepted another award getting 3rd place in the Best Education Story. “On the Path of the Elder” was an “interesting look at the innovative uses of technology for the purposes of teaching heritage and culture.”

the Nation accepted a 1st place win for Best Community Health Story. Sarah Rogers’ “Protecting the babies”, according to the judge, “should be a wake-up call for this community. It makes for good writing when it’s concise, understood and keeps a reader interested in reading until the end.”

And last, but not least, was a 3rd place finish for Neil Diamond and Richard Lawson for Best Photo Essay. “Mixing sound under the stars” was judged to be a good variety of pictures of entertainers on the stage.

It was a good year and I congratulate everyone who made the Nation possible to continue to serve our communities. Yes, it may be the reporters who come home covered in glory – at least for a few days – but it is the combined efforts of many who make the Nation what it is. Without our staff and many unsung heroes tirelessly working in the background, we would not be able to do our job as professionally and as well as we do.

I feel honoured to head up such a great team of people and if I do not say it often I will say it now: I am proud of each and every one of you for your dedication and hard work that has continued to make the Nation such a great publication.