TORONTOAug. 1, 2019 /CNW/ - The CAJ strongly condemns the actions of the officials who became physically aggressive with APTN reporters in recent weeks. 

In one case, occurring on July 11, the communications director for Peguis First Nation, Dwayne Bird, grabbed APTN producer Beverly Andrews' microphone at a press conference.

In another case, on July 25, a political adviser to the national chief at the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) pushed reporter Amber Bernard aside as she tried to ask a question at a public event. 

This was the second time this adviser, Dakota Kochie, exhibited inappropriate behaviour toward Bernard.

In 2017, Kochie grabbed Bernard's arm and microphone when she tried to ask the national chief a question at the AFN elections. 

The incidents were captured on video and show the APTN reporters were behaving professionally and merely asking questions to elected leaders at public events. 

"In light of the findings and recommendations of the MMIWG Inquiry, this aggressive behavior towards the reporters, both of whom are Indigenous and female is even more shameful," says Brent Jolly, the CAJ's vice president.

"While no individual should physically impede the work of a journalist, it is especially disconcerting when the offender is a political or communications aide who should clearly know better".

The Canadian Association of Journalists is a professional organization with more than 700 members across Canada. The CAJ's primary roles are public-interest advocacy work and professional development for its members.

For further information:

Brent Jolly, CAJ vice president

[email protected]


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