Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo wins best serialized story at ‘Oscars of Radio'

An undated photo of Cleopatra Semaganis Nicotine -- the only image her family had of her. Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo was recognized Saturday at the Third Coast International Audio Festival in Chicago. Photo: Semaganis family

CBC's Finding Cleo wins inaugural award at the Third Coast International Audio Festival in Chicago

The online radio program Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo, which was a serialized CBC investigation that revealed the real story behind the disappearance of of Cleopatra Semaganis Nicotine in the 1970s, has been recognized at one of the world's top audio festivals.

The Third Coast International Audio Festival in Chicago has awarded ‘best serialized story’ to the podcast, which follows the young Cree girl, who was apprehended by child welfare workers in Saskatchewan and was then adopted into an American family.

The 10-part podcast unveiled how her siblings — who were also placed with new families — had reconnected as adults, but were never able to find Cleo.

Connie Walker, the Investigative reporter and host of ‘Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo’ for CBC News said on Twitter, “Still pinching myself! —-> CBC's Finding Cleo wins best serialized story at Third Coast International Audio Festival”

Walker told the CBC, “We are thrilled that Cleo's story is being heard by people around the world and recognized by the judges at Third Coast," Walker told the CBC she wanted the podcast to both solve the mystery and shed light on the bigger context around the controversial Adopt Indian and Mé​tis program.

"It was a privilege to be entrusted to tell Cleo's story — to help her family uncover the truth about her death but also to shine a light on what happened to a generation of Indigenous children who were taken during the Sixties Scoop," she told the CBC.

The CBC lauds the Missing & Murdered podcast as “a collaboration between CBC News and CBC Podcasts.” Together, both seasons of the investigative podcast have garnered more than 15 million downloads.

The remaining winners, in alphabetical order, are as follows:

Counted: An Oakland Story (Snap Judgment)
Dirty Water (Ear Hustle)
Espera/Wait (Sayre Quevedo)
Hidden Problems of Silicon Valley (Reveal)
Host's Fat (Meat)
John Thompson vs. American Justice (New Yorker Radio Hour)
Overnight in the E.R. (WLRN)
Summer Rain (Danish Radio P1)
Uncounted Civilian Casualties in Iraq (The Daily)


Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor and senior correspondent, Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling


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