Jillian Kestler-D'Amours

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Montreal, Canada

Available: Yes

Jillian Kestler-D'Amours

Jillian Kestler-D'Amours is a journalist based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Her work focuses primarily on human rights, Indigenous issues, refugees, immigration, the environment, and politics and culture in the Middle East-North Africa.

She regularly writes for Deutsche Welle, Middle East Eye, Al Jazeera English, Arctic Deeply, Truthout, Al Araby Al Jadeed, TRT World, and Newsweek Middle East magazine. She also file radio reports for Free Speech Radio News and Deutsche Welle.

Jillian previously worked as a staff reporter at The Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily newspaper, where she covered daily breaking news under real-time deadlines, human interest stories, sports, culture, arts, and business. Before joining the Star, Jillian briefly worked as a reporter-editor at The Canadian Press in Montreal, and an editor on the Americas desk at London, UK-based news website, Middle East Eye. 

Jillian was an online producer at Al Jazeera English in Doha, Qatar, in 2013 and 2014. She wrote hard news copy on AJE's 24-hour news desk, and in-depth features about political and social issues in Israel-Palestine, Canada, Algeria, Turkey, Egypt, Brazil, and other countries. She helped re-launch the channel's Middle East-North Africa online desk, including recruiting reporters and photographers, editing news and feature stories, and setting a coverage plan for the region.

From 2010 to 2013, Jillian was based in Jerusalem. She worked as a freelance foreign correspondent for Inter Press Service news agency and Free Speech Radio News, and she contributed to Le Monde Diplomatique, Ha'aretz, Al Jazeera English, Al-Monitor, SBS Australia, Briarpatch Magazine, This Magazine, The Dominion, and others.

Jillian has reported from Tunisia, Morocco, Lebanon, Qatar, Israel-Palestine, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong, the United States, and across Europe. Originally from Montreal, she is fluent in French. She also speaks intermediate Levantine Arabic.


Arabic English French


An Indigenous community in Canada is taking its fight against an oil pipeline to the country's Supreme Court. Chippewas of the Thames First Nation say they were never consulted on the Line 9 pipeline project, which pumps Alberta tar sands oil through the community's traditional land. In this piece for Deutsche Welle's Living Planet, I look at why the residents fear an oil spill will do irreversible damage to the environment and local water sources.



The Christmas tree is the centerpiece of most households this time of year. But what's more environmentally friendly: a reusable plastic tree or a conifer grown for the purpose? In this feature for Deutsche Welle's Living Planet, I explore the longstanding debate over which Christmas tree is best.


Until recently, many Indigenous people portrayed in early photographs of the Canadian Arctic remained nameless in the federal government’s archives. Project Naming seeks to change that by tapping northern community knowledge. In this piece, I profile the project and its impact on northern communities.


Canada has said it will not boost its refugee intake in 2017, despite widespread calls for Ottawa to take action to counter US President Donald Trump's executive order barring entry to refugees and immigrants from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa. This news-feature looks at how Canada responded to the US' controversial travel ban.


Canada has seen a surge of refugees crossing into the country illegally from the US. Advocates say the number will rise as fears grow over President Donald Trump’s policies. I collected personal testimonies, and government statistics, to analyse and explain the factors pushing asylum seekers into Canada.


Canada has seen a spike in suspected hate crimes since a fatal attack on a mosque in Quebec City. Experts now say rising xenophobia and divisive, political rhetoric is cause for concern. In this analysis piece, I speak to various stakeholders about what is happening, and the way forward for Canada.


From the 1960s until the 1980s, thousands of indigenous children were forcibly taken from their families by Canada’s child welfare services. Last week they filed a class action suit seeking damages against the federal government. I reported on what is known as the "Sixties Scoop," interviewing survivors and putting the chapter into a sociopolitical context.

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