Thanks to my daily email alert from Gathering Place First Nations Canadian News I read about a far too common problem with media stereotyping or in this case, at the very least, jumping to the wrong conclusions.
(The banner atop the Mohawks of Kahnawá:ke website doesn’t quite show just how close, physically and otherwise, the reserve is to the island of Montréal.)
Beneath a headline reading “Kahnawa:ke Chief issues statement on Dawson College media slight by Journal de Montreal”, GPFNCN reprinted this news release. I offer it here in a gesture of solidarity:
KAHNAWA:KE, Seskehko:wa, – The following statement has been
issued by Michael Ahrihrhon Delisle, Jr., Grand Chief of the Mohawk
Council of Kahnawa:ke:
In the Journal de Montreal’s Friday edition, September 15th, Marco
Fortier’s report “Une arme rare” states that the same type of firearm
used in the Dawson College shootings “is trafficked as contraband” in
Kahnawa:ke. While the gun used in this horrific act was purportedly
purchased legally at a place other than this community, this obviously
inflammatory “report” gives those people who hold a grudge against
Kahnawa:ke another reason to paint the entire community in an
Police routinely confiscate illegal weapons across Canada. Why is it,
then, that the Journal de Montreal insists on pinpointing Kahnawa:ke as a
place where one can allegedly purchase such weapons?
For the record, Kahnawa:ke has been affected by this tragedy as much as
any other community. Over twenty students from Kahnawa:ke attend Dawson
College, with several actually at the scene as the horror unfolded.
During those unending hours we shared everyone’s pain, not only that of
our own people.
I am appalled that the Journal de Montreal would use such a tragedy to
take a potshot at Kahnawa:ke that was unprovoked, inappropriate and
insidious in its intent. Daily newspapers have an enormous responsibility
to inform the general population. In this instance, the Journal has
failed its readership.
(Contact information deleted for purposes of this blog.)