Racially charged editorial angers First Nations chief
Published Sunday, June 28, 2015 5:18PM CST Last Updated Sunday, June 28, 2015 5:35PM CST
A number of people have been angered by a racially charged editorial appearing in the most recent edition of an independent newspaper.
“Read the article and I’m totally appalled at his remarks,” said Chief Jim Bear of the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation.
Former provincial court judge Bill Marantz wrote the opinion piece which includes repeated use of the outdated term ‘Indian’.
It also accuses First Nations chiefs of not addressing social issues.
"The so-called leaders of the aboriginal community are too busy feathering their own headdresses to worry about trivialities like chronic unemployment, poverty, illness, alcoholism, and crime,” reads the editorial.
"As a chief, I'd like to let him know that I'm working more than full-time. 24/7,” said Chief Bear who questions why the paper chose to run such an inflammatory editorial to begin with.
"I allow my writers, particularly this writer, who is very provocative, a great deal of leeway,” said Bernie Bellan, the paper’s publisher.
In the editorial, Marantz takes aim at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which he calls a waste of time, and he does so with particularly charged terms.
"Any "Canadian" (Indian code for "paleface") who is unaware of the abuses of the Residential School System, at this stage of the game, just hasn't been paying attention for the last 50 years,” it reads.
Marantz makes no apologies for his use of the outdated term ‘Indian’.
"It's not accurate, they're not Indians, it was a mistake when they first used it but everybody knows it now and everybody uses it,” says Marantz. “And there's a hundred first nations and they have all kinds of different names and everything else."
Bellan says he regrets publishing the editorial without making changes first.
"I have been contacted by people within the Jewish community and in the aboriginal community expressing quite a bit of disappointment and more than that about this article,” said Bellan. “So I will be addressing that myself in the next issue."
Bellan has also offered an indigenous scholar the opportunity to write the editorial for the next edition of the paper.
The Jewish Post and News is partially funded by the federal government through the Canada Periodicals Fund.