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TURTLE ISLAND NEWS FIRE: UPDATE FROM THE PUBLISHER

Turtle Island News continues to operate following a fire at their newsroom in October. According to a report published in the paper, a person or persons doused the office building with gasoline early in the morning on Oct. 28. Six Nations Fire Chief, Matthew Miller, is calling it a targeted attack. Six Nations Police say the incident is still under investigation. To donate to the newsroom please click here

Turtle Island News staff are continuing to work in our limited available space. Construction has been ongoing for two weeks as we try to repair the damage to our building and extensive damage to our equipment. Total damages have been estimated at $150,000.

No one has been charged and this has been a major concern for the safety of ourselves, my family and my staff. It is not the first time we have been attacked. In 2003 we were hit by gunshots that fortunately no one was in the building at the time which was unusual since our editorial staff normally would have been working but there were last minute meetings called that had to be covered. Police have never arrested anyone in that incident.

For our staff it is a case of looking over our shoulders.  There is nothing more frightening than not knowing who your attacker was. We watch for unusual behavior or anything out of the norm.

There is no question the rebuild and equipment purchase, partially covered by insurance, will be a heavy burden for our newspaper to carry especially since we now will have increased security costs at the building and grounds for more lighting, more cameras and  gates that will have to go up to prevent nighttime access.  We are stretching our finances to cover necessary items and our staff who have been wonderful through this and are determined  we will not let violence shut us down . As you are aware we are in a First Nations community that suffers from funding shortfalls causing issues like limited  numbers of police officers available in a geographically large community.

We are the main street in the community with wide open visibility yet still an unknown individual was able to steal a truck in Hamilton, Ont., drive it 30 km to Six Nations of the Grand River at 5 a.m. onto our property on the mainstreet in the community and into our building where he set fire to it and got away.

Across the street is a major warehouse with security guards and cameras  and businesses all up and down the street. It is difficult to believe this could have happened.

We are grateful for your concern and support from fellow journalists who have sent us messages of support. Journalists are the people who understand more than anyone elset the need to get the newspaper out not matter what the circumstances.  Nothing is more important than a free press.

Lynda Powless, Publisher/Editor

Turtle Island News Publications and Multi-Media Inc.,
PO Box 329
2208 Chiefswood Rd.,
Ohsweken, Ont.,
N0A 1M0
519-445-0868/ Fax 519-445-0865
www.theturtleislandnews.com

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