File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS NDP MP Romeo Saganash asks a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Saganash apologizes for plagiarism in op-ed

OTTAWA — NDP indigenous affairs critic Romeo Saganash apologized Tuesday for having plagiarized portions of a recent newspaper column about Canada’s 150th anniversary.

The column appeared in the Canada Day edition of the Globe and Mail under the headline, ”150 years of cultural genocide: Today, like all days, is an insult.”

In a statement, Saganash said he takes complete ownership for the omission.

“In drafting my letter on my thoughts on Canada 150, a mistake was made by which ideas that were expressed by someone else were not given proper credit,” Saganash said. “I take full responsibility for this omission.”

The oversight offers an important lesson, he added.

“We should all make every effort to ensure that we give full credit for ideas,” Saganash said. “For too long, Indigenous people have been without a voice and therefore I apologize for not giving the authors the credit they are due.”

In an editor’s note published at the bottom of the column Tuesday, the newspaper said an earlier version of the column did not properly attribute work by two other writers.

“The earlier version included much of this quote from student and community organizer Erica Violet Lee without attribution: ‘What does it mean to be safe and free in the context of a colonial state? The frontlines of Indigenous struggle are everywhere, now: from the prairies and rivers to city streets, and in classrooms. In a world where our movement is criminalized and our presence is resistance,’” the editor’s note said.

A second quote from Eric Ritskes was also included in the Saganash piece without attribution, it continued, adding the Globe’s editorial code of conduct makes it clear it is unacceptable to represent another person’s work.

“The Globe and Mail adds its own apology as well to the writers,” it said. “This version has been corrected to include the attribution to the two writers.”

In the column, Saganash — a residential school survivor — explored the reasons why he would not be participating in Canada 150 celebrations.


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