Zachary Prong focuses on long-term project
A smudging ceremony on Cote First Nation, Saskatchewan. Performed to cleanse a place of its negative energy, it was organized by Stanley Cote, a member of the Winnipeg-based First Nation Indigenous Warriors and the American Indian Movement, a civil rights organization with chapters across North America. They travelled to Cote to lend support to a community that has been shaken by a string of suicides, violent deaths and overdoses in recent years. Half way through the walk, the group stopped at the place where Stanley’s 19 year-old son Tre was accused of beating 24 year-old Freedom Gladue to death one night this past February. Some of Freedom’s relatives held each other and sobbed as Stanley and others said a prayer. “I hope it gave them some sense of peace. I feel terrible about my son killing that kid. He was only 24. And now my son is gone for I don’t know how long too. I don’t condone what he did, but I love him no matter what. He’ll always be my son. I look at the situation and my sons have nothing to turn to. They’re just hopeless. All they got is gangs, violence, drugs.” Stanley recently founded a youth warrior society on Cote, “Indigenous Warriors,” a group he hopes will give young people an opportunity to confront and solve problems that they face in their community. (2017/07/06) Photo by Zachary Prong
Zachary Prong graduated from the Loyalist College Photojournalism Program in 2016. He has since worked as a photographer and videographer for the Winnipeg Free Press, Reuters and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He is currently living in Winnipeg where he is working on a long-term documentary project. His work has been recognized by the News Photographers Association of Canada, College Photographer of the Year and he was a participant in the Eddie Adams Workshop.
Photojournalism program testimonial
I came to Loyalist not expecting much more than a grounding in the basics of photojournalism, but the program proved to be intellectually rewarding in ways I hadn’t foreseen. With the guidance and critical feedback of my instructors and classmates, the projects I worked on as a student allowed me to wrestle with the many challenges presented by documentary work. More than just teaching me how to make pretty pictures, I was forced to consider all kinds of ethical issues and think more deeply about what I hope to achieve with my practice. But perhaps most importantly, through my classmates, teachers and other alumni, I’m now part of a community of passionate visual storytellers working across the globe.