October 21, 2017

Winnipeg
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Alexandra Paul

Reporter - City

Alexandra believes every story has a life of its own with a heartbeat and body and legs. She’ll probe for a pulse and check out its shape from every which way, until she feels it and sees it. So be patient with her. She can be exasperating.

Journalism is about the heart and mind of things, to this reporter. Her mother was a poet and artist; her grandmother’s family included one relative who printed the first edition of Joseph Smith’s Book of Mormon and another who published a newspaper in New York during the bitter news wars of the 19th century.

She came at journalism sideways, after a marriage to a First Nations man whose family are strong aboriginal rights advocates. They insisted she go to university and since she was great at reading and pitiful at math and science, she earned an honours degree in English literature and a bachelor of education at the same time. Then she went to Carleton, got a journalism degree under her belt and landed a job at small daily in Ontario.

Alexandra was so excited about coming to the Winnipeg Free Press, she insisted the editor write her a letter confirming the job offer. Then she packed up her car and her in-laws packed up her furniture. She drove to Winnipeg with her bull mastiff and two cats in 1987.

She figured she’d move back east after five years, but the city’s warm heart and its strong aboriginal presence captured her heart and soul.

She was one of the country’s longest serving medical reporters, putting in nearly 17 years on the beat and topping it off with Manitoba’s baby death inquest. In 1990, Alexandra was nominated for the prestigious Michener Award and won an honourable mention from the Manitoba Human Rights Commission for her medical reporting.

She loves the pace of daily news, can’t stand not knowing what’s going on and tries her best to keep up with everything. Impossible job. She’s a firm advocate of aboriginal news and one of the paper’s best-informed journalists on aboriginal issues.

She has a keen love of the land and a deep appreciation for the indigenous roots sunk deep into the soil here. She grows medicinal plants, loves reading, campfires and animals and feeds wild rabbits, squirrels and birds every winter in her backyard.