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August 30, 2021
Mr. Mark Hamm, Editor-in-Chief
1700 Church Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R2X 3A2
Dear Mr. Hamm,
As the Grand Chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc., a non-profit organization representing 26 Northern First Nations, I am writing to advise you that once again, the Winnipeg Sun has made a serious misstep when it comes to reporting about First Nations people in Manitoba.
Your reporter James Snell covered a campaign stop made by New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh in Winnipeg last week. On August 26, 2021, the Winnipeg Sun published a story by Mr. Snell titled,
“MKO, AMC endorse NDP’s Singh during campaign trail stop.”
I am once again disturbed by the mistruths you share through your publication. This headline makes it clear that you and your reporter were not at the same event I attended with Jagmeet Singh. If your staff was present, you would know I made it extremely clear during the media scrum that the MKO does not endorse political parties. There are absolutely no quotes in your story that back up your headline asserting that MKO is endorsing the New Democratic Party. MKO is a non-partisan organization.
In June 2021, I wrote to you to advise you that MKO will no longer work with the Winnipeg Sun. Your actions are having a detrimental impact on your reporters, who continue to reach out to my team about their need for assistance in covering First Nations stories. You need to do better—ensure the stories you publish are telling the truth about First Nations people. Anything other than the truth is insulting and certainly doesn’t put your reporters in any position to cover the issues First Nations people are dealing with.
I am asking the Winnipeg Sun to publicly retract and issue an apology for the erroneous headline you have published. Please send a copy of the apology and retraction to my Executive Assistant, Dorothy Smith at [email protected].
Grand Chief Garrison Settee
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc.
cc: Grand Chief Arlen Dumas, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
MKO First Nations