Editorial deletions from letter to The Expositor causes outrage

To The Expositor:

‘Band politics issues still unsettled in Sheguiandah,’ as it appeared in the January 23, 2013 letter to the editor (page 5). It is amazing how one could twist words and delete paragraphs, I am referring to the editor. The motto of the editorial section: “Who dares not offend, cannot be honest.” Perhaps this should be reworded to reflect what the editor feels. Maybe it should state “Who dares shares the truth may not have their words printed as per submission.” You have changed so much in the original article it appears to be the watered down version and does not carry the same message as was originally intended. I felt so much of it was changed it should have not been printed. I guess that’s what happens when you deal with a person who is in a position of power. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

You told our non-protesting community members you would listen to them and publish their views. We are still waiting, or is this what they refer to as a hypocrite? My question to you is what is your vested interested in our community—your actions perpetuate a volatile situation in our community. I don’t know if you get a thrill out of knowing this.

Let me inform you that the message will be printed as it was submitted far beyond the perimeters of The Expositor and into the World Wide Web, including this blurb. Just go on to Sheguiandah First Nation website.

It is quite understandable if you don’t print this. I feel you should be aware of your role you’re playing. When I submitted my initial article I did not sign off as councillor, but as a civilian. What you did is the same as putting words in people’s mouths. Shame on you.

Jake Agoneh
Sheguianah First Nation
EDITOR’S RESPONSE: This newspaper is as responsible at law for the content of all letters it publishes as the authors themselves. Sometimes authors are not fully aware of the liabilities they face when they submit letters. In the case of the letter from Jake AgoNeh, we referred the letter to our lawyers who specialize in publishing law. The letter alleged that people conducting illegal bingos were pocketing the proceeds and that UCCM Anishinaabe Police do not know how to be impartial, nor how to treat everyone equally. The lawyers advised we would have to be able to prove both those allegations as being true in substance and in fact. Maybe those allegations are true, but we don’t have evidence to prove them in a court of law. Thinking something and proving it are very different things. We are never afraid to report on events and situations in the communities whatever the cost if we are sued. But, as publishers, we have a duty to be responsible and to know that if there is a lawsuit we can defend it vigorously and successfully.