Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
I expected more people would talk to me
You may have wondered why a story I did recently on the vague federal proposal for aboriginal education legislation wasn’t more comprehensive.
Surely, you reckon, I could have talked to more people than Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Derek Nepinak and U of W Prof. Jacqueline Romanow.
You can read the story at http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/tory-ministers-native-education-proposal-blasted-236680231.html.
The story sat for weeks while I tried unsuccessfully to interview Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo.
First, Atleo’s staff wanted to know what questions I would ask.
And they wanted to know whom else I would interview.
At one point, after being uncertain if Atleo would have any time to talk to me, they said I could have a face-to-face interview if I went to a conference in Saskatoon.
But no, I couldn’t use that slot in Atleo’s schedule to talk to him by phone. And nothing since then appears to have opened up in Atleo’s schedule, because I’ve stopped hearing from his staff.
Meanwhile, as Nepinak told me, the Manitoba First Nations Educations Resource Centre is surveying Manitoba First Nations on what they think of the proposed legislation.
However, MFNERC executive director Lorne Keeper emailed me to say that he can’t give interviews until — maybe we should say ‘or if’ — Ottawa passes legislation and it has become practice in reserve schools.
And three leading aboriginal educators in Manitoba simply did not respond to interview requests.
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About Nick Martin
Nick Martin is the old bearded guy at the back of the newsroom, the most experienced reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press, having started his career in Ontario in 1971.
He’s been covering education for the Free Press since the spring of 1997, after decades primarily covering municipal politics, including a four-year stint at the Ontario legislature for the London Free Press.
Nick moved to Manitoba in 1988 with his Winnipeg-born wife, who is a professor at the University of Manitoba. They have two kids, both of whom graduated from Grant Park High School: son Chris and daughter Gillian.
Nick has won a national journalism award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers, two Manitoba Human Rights Journalism awards, and the Ontario Reporters Association investigative award.
Nick is a long-distance runner, having finished and survived 18 marathons and 15 half-marathons and 30-kilometre races, and having (barely) survived 10 years as an outdoor and indoor soccer coach.
Nick became a soccer referee in 2007, delighting in his 60s in outrunning 16-year-olds and keeping his distance from obstreperous coaches and parents.
Nick and his wife have discovered a mutual love for kayaking at their Whiteshell cottage, and are both regulars at the Reh-Fit Centre. They hold season tickets to both the Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Warehouse, and as empty nesters, have rediscovered the joys of an active winter vacation.
A native of Jarrow-on-Tyne, England, Nick is a member of the Toon Army as a Newcastle United supporter, and a proud citizen of Leafs Nation.
Blogs that Nick Martin follows:
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