Mar 02/97: Letter demanding resumed media coverage of Ts'peten trial


Sunday, March 2, 1997
From: Bill Hipwell
To: Media outlets
Subject: Journalistic responsibility and human rights


I am writing to urge you to resume coverage of the trial of people charged after the Gustafsen Lake "standoff". There is overwhelming evidence that the RCMP has staged a cover-up of their own illegal activities including falsification of evidence, illegal arrests, frame-ups, and attempted murder. While I understand the difficult position the jurisdictional arguments advanced by the defenders of the Sundance Grounds put members of the Canadian establishment, it is inexcusable and unacceptable that our media and governments turn a blind eye to the appalling conduct of our national police force.

I am cc-ing this letter to the World Council of Indigenous Peoples, who will ensure it is brought to the attention of the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. I am also copying it to other members of the media, and the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

It should be clear to you as a journalist that peace is only won through justice, and that therefore the injustices to which your newspaper is now a party will only lead to futher conflict between the Canadian establishment and indigenous nations in this part of the continent. As the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples has made clear, substantial changes are required in the way non-Natives treat Natives in what we call Canada. I invite you to be part of these positive changes.

Please reply to this letter outlining your position and the steps you will take to ensure just coverage is given to the trial now underway.

I look forward to your response.

Bill Hipwell, M.A. Candidate
Department of Geography, Carleton University

Reprinted on this site with the author's permission.

Originally sent to media outlets via email:

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