Editor's note: After publication Mr. Switzer asked us to print an apology. We are doing so and also deleting the comments regarding Mr. Dale's wife and son.
An apology to Dale
My recent letter objecting to David Dale's characterization of my community work referenced two members of his family. In retrospect, I believe that was unnecessary and wrong. I apologize to him and them for having done so.
Editor's note: Mr. Switzer writes in response to Dave Dale's column Another learning opportunity.
Real journalists rely on facts, not innuendo or outright name-calling. They do more than regurgitate news releases or repeat social media gossip.
People who portray themselves as “veteran journalists” simply should know better than to stoop to such tactics.
Unfortunately, BayToday’s resident “veteran” has again demonstrated, as he admits in his latest epistle, that he, in fact, is “biased”, not to mention being “a little fuzzy.”
That’s a good place to start.
His recent comments about the removal of the name “Chippewa” from a Near North District high school indicate that his tenure as a journalist has had little if any impact on his ability to consistently practice the craft with integrity.
Your correspondent says everyone involved in the Chippewa issue – presumably, that would be everyone but himself – needs to “do their homework.”. That admonition comes just before he guesses that Nipissing First Nation has not been consulted about territorial acknowledgments being made as a gesture of respect across the region, just before he manages to link the use of “Chippewa” as a school name to the Indigenous military alliance with the British in the War of 1812, and just before he says the original people of Saugeen First Nation are Chippewa.
All of these statements are demonstrably incorrect. If they are intentionally incorrect to support your writer’s self-confessed “bias”, then they are lies, a sin of which one hopes a “veteran journalist” would never be guilty of committing.
This also points to the need for BayToday to do its “homework”, to ensure that the people producing what they purport to be journalism for their audience are capable of practicing that craft in a professional manner. I will do some of that homework for you here.
This is not the first time that your correspondent has used a media bully pulpit to voice untruths about me and cast aspersions in my direction, and, interestingly, both instances have involved Indigenous topics, a subject area in which he claims expertise that would put Tecumseh to shame.
As someone who has dedicated a good portion of my life to defending Indigenous rights, I find it puzzling that anyone would dismiss my efforts as being indicative of someone simply “too eager for a fight.”
It would not be demonstrative of the Anishinabek teaching of Dbasendizwin – humility – nor should it be necessary for me -- to defend my volunteer work in this community by citing the recognition it has received, from Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
My words and actions have always been intended to hold up Indigenous peoples and others, including members of your writer’s family. I will continue to do that kind of work as long as I am able.
And if that “disappoints” David Dale, he deserves to be disappointed.