A Mi'kmaq woman from Indian Brook launched an online news service Monday for aboriginal stories from Atlantic Canada.
Maureen Googoo is editor, publisher and sole reporter for kukukwes.com (pronounced GOO-goo-gwess).
"In Mi'kmaq, 'kukukwes' means 'owl', and that's kind of a variation of my own last name, Googoo. So that's what I decided to name my website," she said. "I figure if Arianna Huffington can have her own website called 'The Huffington Post', why can't I have kukukwes.com?"
'No matter where I worked, I always came across somebody else who was setting the news agenda, telling me that stories from my community weren't that interesting' - Maureen Googoo
Googoo has over 20 years reporting experience. She's worked in print, radio, TV and digital media for The Chronicle Herald, CBC and APTN.
She's says she's looking forward to calling the editorial shots, chasing original stories sometimes overlooked by mainstream media.
"No matter where I worked, I always came across somebody else who was setting the news agenda, telling me that stories from my community weren't that interesting. And that was always very frustrating for me."
Googoo says mainstream media outlets all cover aboriginal news stories on occasion, but that creates a patchwork effect.
"There's no place where you can take all of those stories, and bring them all together in one place," she said. "And that's what I want to do. I want it to be one place where aboriginal people can go to find out what's going on in their communities."
Googoo has launched a crowdfunding effort to raise money for her news organization. She got the idea from Jesse Brown's podcast "Canadaland," and is using Patreon.com to collect donations.
Googoo says she needs supporters to contribute about $1,500 a month to stay afloat. But she says all content will be available for free to anyone with an Internet connection.
Any additional money will be invested into research trips to reserves across the region.
"A lot of the aboriginal population in the Atlantic region is rural based. So you have to travel to rural communities to get their stories," Googoo said. "Some of them can be four hours away, some of them can be six hours away. So with more money I'll be able to get on the road to travel more."
Googoo says her initial goal is to write two original stories a week for the site. But today's launch includes a dozen stories she's been working on since June. Those include a feature on the closing ceremonies of the Mi'kmaw Summer Games and an update on the fraud trial of a former Sipekne'katik band administrator.