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Publisher's Message

Hello everyone.

I'd just like to say a little bit about the paper to start off.

The First Nations Voice is a privately owned publication that survives through the generation of ad sales revenue.

And to be perfectly honest, it's been a struggle but it's one that is shared by many publications across a broad spectrum in the publications industry.

I don't receive public monies, donations or anything else.

Within any given month, I get requests to run "promotional material" which I don't really mind and by all means, ask away.

For example, this month I have helped out the Families First Foundation to help promote their fundraiser on December 1. It's a not-for-profit with the laudable goal of helping families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

However, here's a story I would like to share from earlier this year.?

I got a phone call from someone saying she represented a prestigious law firm from out of Saskatchewan that was looking for some promotional space to announce a conference they would be holding in Winnipeg about transferring reserve owned land in urban areas to reserve status.

It was being held at The Fairmont in Winnipeg, gave me a list of some high profile speakers and told me that it was being catered by some of the finest caterers in Winnipeg.

So I paused and though about it for a bit while I carefully took in everything that was said.

Then I asked this person if the caterers were donating time and food for this "event."

No.

Then I asked if The Fairmont, a pretty ritzy hotel in Winnipeg, was donating space for the conference.

No.

"Is the law firm itself a not-for-profit?" my final question.

Again, no.

I told that person I would send my rate card.

Never heard from either a representative from that law firm or that person again.

I happen to know that what we do here at The First Nations Voice is very important and worthwhile.

As the First Nations Voice editor, I don't like to redo stories that have already received coverage in the mainstream media. If I do, that's because this publication offers a different take and voice on the subject.

Just check out Bill Gallagher's column "Redrawing Canada one legal win at a time" this month.

There was a link from a New York Times article directly to a previous column by Bill Gallagher on a story that has been largely ignored by the mainstream media. To put it in Bill's words, "the rise of Native empowerment."

The voices, and words, of Indigenous peoples that include First Nations, Metis and Inuit aren't heard often enough and often come through the filter of having a non-Indigenous person as the editor or producer.

And believe me, as someone who has worked in print, radio and TV in a variety of positions that is a real concern of mine.

So to that end and to try and continue the legacy left to me by the previous owner/publisher Alan Isfield, I have hired a dedicated Indigenous Sales Consultant.

Hopefully, one of Sagkeeng's finest Jennifer Courchene can connect with First Nation leaders, communities and businesses to ensure the continuing legacy that is the First Nations.

You'll be seeing us soon.

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