Minister of Indigenous Services responds to backlash over tweet
Minister's office says tweet became a distraction from ministers work in Sask.
Minister of Indigenous Services Seamus O'Regan's office says a tweet sent out while the minister was flying over northern Saskatchewan was "distraction" and it was deleted after it generated anger from many people online.
O'Regan was recently in Saskatchewan where he made a number of announcements on behalf of the federal government including the unveiling of First Nations University of Canada as an urban reserve, new funding for Lac La Ronge Indian Band's proposed health centre and upgrades to the airport in Fond-du-Lac.
On his flight back to Saskatoon from La Ronge on Feb. 14, O'Regan's office sent out a now-deleted tweet that was not well received by Indigenous people and allies across the country.
The tweet in question prompted backlash from numerous people who saw it or managed to screenshot it before it was taken down.
I’m above them. Writing. I will observe them. Land. Engage. Disengage. It’s a long road. A photo op over northern Sask feels like commitment. We are flying. Not sure where. I will smile. Frown in concern. Nod my head. I am getting this... <a href="https://t.co/o26wgQdNuq">pic.twitter.com/o26wgQdNuq</a>—@PaulSeesequasis
<a href="https://twitter.com/SeamusORegan?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SeamusORegan</a> the road to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Reconciliation?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Reconciliation</a> needs action not philosophical, self-indulgent musings. Canada should not have 3rd world conditions existing on our Indigenous communities. Also, the word “but” negates all of your well intentioned words...—@goddessBeccaK
His office says the tweet was taken down because it distracted from the work O'Regan was doing in the province.
"The previous tweet had unfortunately become a distraction from the important work that was being announced and has subsequently been taken down and replaced with two additional tweets for greater clarity," a statement from the minister's office read.
This past week, I traveled to Lac La Ronge by charter, along with a delegation of Chiefs and Elders, to announce a new healing and wellness centre that will help many in the community and surrounding area.<br><br>Northern communities depend on charters like these for survival. 1/2 <a href="https://t.co/c4wrTfog8f">pic.twitter.com/c4wrTfog8f</a>—@SeamusORegan
The statement also indicated the plane was not a private jet, rather a chartered flight —a normal occurrence in the north— that had eight or nine other people onboard.
O'Regan was on hand when the First Nations University of Canada was officially unveiled as an urban reserve—the first of its kind in the sense that it's Canada's only urban reserve dedicated to education.
He also announced new funding for the Lac La Ronge Indian Band's proposed health centre and much needed upgrades to the airport in Fond-du-Lac.