Journalist is always up for a challenge
- NC Raine | March 21, 2023
Excelling in one just area of journalism isn’t sufficient for Priscilla Wolf.
The awarding-winning journalist, national TV news anchor, and Masters student has a hunger and motivation to constantly push herself to reach new heights.
It’s not just about bettering herself, she said. It’s about showing other Indigenous people what is possible.
“I’ve always had the goal of being a role model,” said Wolf. “I grew up not seeing enough Indigenous role models, so I would love to be that for someone. To show them, as an Indigenous person, they can pursue whatever it is they want to do.”
From Mistawasis Nehiyawak Cree First Nation, Wolf is in the midst of a remarkably well-rounded career, working for Indigenous media outlets like APTN, mainstream media like CTV News, as well as doing communications for the Saskatoon Tribal Council and completing a graduate degree in journalism from the University of Regina (U of R).
Growing up, Wolf was a natural when it came to language and writing, finding herself near the top of her English classes in high school, with teachers encouraging her to pursue writing.
After graduating from the Indigenous Communication Arts (INCA) program at the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv), she began an internship with CTV News in Edmonton. Intent on expanding her career, Wolf worked with Sharing Circle and at APTN as a reporter and on-camera news anchor.
But perhaps most important on her journey, she said, was connecting with mentors.
“I was extremely shy growing up. I didn’t think I had the confidence to be on TV. But meeting ladies like Betty-Ann Adam and Shannon Avison, who took me under their wing really gave me confidence,” said Wolf.
The environment at APTN was nurturing, said Wolf, being surrounded by Indigenous people who supported her and encouraged her to grow.
Her confidence and craft followed suit.
In 2010, she was able to host the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics for APTN as their official host of the games. The potential audience each night ranged from thousands to millions.
“I did so much work on camera for a while, so I wanted to then focus on research and writing for a while, and really sharpen those skills,” said Wolf.
Her skills were not only sharp, but nationally recognized.
Her work for APTN brought her two first-place awards in 2020 and 2021, respectively, from the National Native Media Awards by Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), an organization of which she was also made a lifetime member.
Throughout all her work, she wants to make an impact and perhaps shift the perception of Indigenous people.
“I think [organizations like APTN] can make a difference in showing Indigenous stories from an Indigenous perspective,” said Wolf. “People form opinions in their own way, but I think the media can help shift those narratives about Indigenous people.”
This subject is the focus for her master’s project.
In her documentary, she looks at the media and the role they play in how society views Indigenous people.
“During my research, Doug Cuthand really opened up my eyes and made me think about the role media plays, especially in Saskatchewan,” said Wolf. “He talked about how the stories are always negative of Indigenous people, and decades of these stories being printed has really affected society’s view of us,” she said.
Her studies are wrapping up and she plans to continue pushing herself and influencing more positive perceptions of Indigenous people in society through her role as a journalist.