To the Editor,
I am troubled by the hiring of Mark MacDonald as communication consultant by the city to help members of city council and staff in communications. MacDonald, as editor of the Nanaimo Daily News, published unacceptable letters which targeted indigenous people. We remember standing outside the Daily News office with more than 300 members of our community in protest. We were joined by then-Mayor John Ruttan, former Snuneymuxw Chief Doug White and former Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Shawn Atleo. This letter went national and Nanaimo became known as a bigoted and racist community.
As we are working on developing respectful nation-to-nation relations with indigenous people, the hiring of MacDonald does not give me confidence that our council members or our communications department will be receiving good advice.