Saturday, November 18, 2006

NP and G&M: Same Story, Report Different Facts?

I'm quite confused. I understand that when a story breaks some details can be fuzzy. But how can two stories about the same thing be different in fundamental facts?

The National Post article, which I read first:

This article states that the boy's name is Lance Ribbonleg and that the boy was related to the previous child who was attacked. This Globe and Mail article, on the other hand, says different things:

Here it makes it seem the boy was unrelated to the child and cites, the boy's name, Lance Ribbon Lake.

Apparently the journalists spoke with the great-aunt, but it may not be that one of them has a hearing problem but that one of these journalists is sloppy and didn't ask for the spelling of the name.

The second mistake is that the Globe and Mail article makes it seem that the family is not related to the first incident, while the National Post article makes it seem they are.

Are they? Or are they not? Which is it? It can't be both! It seems that the great-aunt adopted a child which would make her the boy's cousin. Why then, do both papers make it seem like different things?

Aside from all misrepresentation of fact, I am outraged! The G&M article states that it was less than a block. If this is a constant problem, why the hell are five year olds walking home alone? I don't care if it's half a block! First of all, a five year old should not be walking home alone at night, I don't care if it's on a suburban street or in the country. Second, if someone in that community died for the same reason and both the great-aunt and the RCMP officer said that stray packs of dogs are a "chronic" problem in this area. WHY ISN'T SOMETHING BEING DONE ABOUT IT? Where is the leadership of these people? This has happened before!!

Third, check out how the other five year girl died seven years ago (just around the same time):

Cecilia Sandra Alook, 5, no relation to Isabel Alook, died on Nov. 27, 1999, after as many as five dogs attacked her while she was walking to school and stopped to play with a puppy in Garden River, a 300-person reserve that belongs to Little Red River Cree Nation. It was a Saturday, but the little girl, a foster child living with relatives, had forgotten there were no classes.

Where the hell are the parents? As a sociology student, of course I've "learned" that there are social relations that impact of this, and that I shouldn't "judge" because other families have different upbringing and circumstances as I do, and that I "shouldn't" cast my upbringing as the "standard" or "proper" way.

But it comes to a point where there is negligence. Yes they are Aboriginal, yes they are on a reserve. So is that supposed to be an excuse? They are a troubled people?

I really do not think it's too much to ask, to not have a five year old walking alone outside.


Blogger No said...

I understand your conflicting feelings on these issues. I appreciate your honest. I tend to stereotype those who are conservatives or on the "right," so you gave me a glipse into something real. Thanks!

Sun Nov 19, 08:16:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate your right to have your point of view... but you should visit these places before coming to any conclusions. Secondly- something _is_ being done about this issue. Many communities hold dog bounty events, where any dog not tied can be shot and turned in for money. Is this a solution? No, clearly humane methods of animal control (spay neuter, education) would be better. Who will pay for this?

As a veterinarian who is going to these communities and trying to help, I can tell you that it is not an 'easy to fix' problem. There is great distrust and resistance to change and outside influence.

Fri Dec 08, 08:37:00 AM EST  

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