fbpx
 

TRURO, Nova Scotia, Canada — A well-known Mi’kmaw educator, cultural advisor and media personality is expected to arraigned for a sex crime by the Truro Provincial Court in Nova Scotia, Canada on March 31, 2021. According to documents shared with Native News Online by the Nova Scotia Judiciary, Trevor Sanipass, 45, is accused of committing an indecent act on July 7, 2019.

Sanipass, of the Eskasoni First Nation in Nova Scotia, signed an undertaking on Jan. 31, 2021, assuring the Truro Provincial Court that he would attend his arraignment for March 31. However, charges weren't filed and made public until March 4, 2021, giving him ample time to evade reporting the allegation to his employers. According to Canadian law, if a subject is arrested, they can be released by the arresting officer under or on an undertaking with or without conditions. Sanipass’s conditions are that he doesn’t contact the victim. 

For more than 10 years, Sanipass worked as a probation officer and Indigenous liaison for the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, paving a path for him to consult on a variety of issues in Canada’s eastern provinces. 

In addition to his work as an Indigenous liaison, Sanipass became known as a cultural go-to for a variety of media publications, including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), where he had his own bi-weekly column showcasing Mi'kmaq culture and history called Aknute'n. The CBC, branded as CBC/Radio-Canada, is a Canadian federal Crown corporation that serves as the national public broadcaster for both radio and television. 

His numerous media appearances earned him the nickname “Hollywood” and he has often been featured as a statesman at conferences and gatherings throughout Nova Scotia. 

According to the Identifications of Criminals Act (Canada), a subject can be fingerprinted and/or photographed to identify them if charged with an indecent act. However, no photographs of Sanipass were available to the public. The Nova Scotia Department of Justice did not respond to an emailed request for comment on whether Sanipass is still employed with the agency. 

Sanipass is accused of masturbating in the presence of another individual without consent and, according to Canadian law, merits an indecent act. The victim has requested a publication ban, which is permissible by law, and will remain anonymous until court proceedings are final. 

Since Sanipass’s charges have been made public, others have come forward with similar interactions with Sanipass. Native News Online will follow this story.

More Stories Like This

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Surprises Native Nonprofits with $1M in Donations on #GivingTuesday
Biden Affirms Commitment to Tribal Nations, Announces New Initiatives at White House Tribal Nations Summit
PHOTOS: The White House Tribal Nations Summit
WATCH: The White House Tribal Nations Summit 
Tribal Leaders to Attend First In-person White House Tribal Nations Summit in Six Years

You’re reading the first draft of history. 

November is  Native American Heritage Month in the United States. We feel like every month — and every day — is a reason for celebrating Native Americans and our heritage. That’s what we try to do here at Native News Online, with stories each day that celebrate, inform and uplift American Indian and Alaska Native people. Over the past year or so, we have been especially busy with three important reporting projects that are having an impact across Indian Country:

  • Indian Boarding Schools. We’ve reported and published more than 150 stories and special live stream video events to help shine a light on the dark era of boarding schools — and help create momentum for change.
  • Native Health Desk. Launched in January, this reporting initiative was created to heighten awareness of Native American health inequities and spotlight pockets of progress in Indian Country. So far we’ve reported and published nearly 120 stories and launched a monthly health newsletter that reaches more than 23,000 readers.  
  • Native Bidaske. In March, we launched this live stream interview program to highlight the work of Native Americans who are making news and leading change in Indian Country.  We have hosted guests from the federal government and Native rights advocates as well as Indigenous actors, comedians, journalists and models.   

We hope you will join us in celebrating Native American heritage and history this November and invite you to consider the old adage that “Journalism is the first draft of history.” If you appreciate the voice Native News Online gives to Native American people, we hope you will support our work with a donation so we can build our newsroom and continue to amplify Native voices and Native perspectives.

Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.  Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10.  Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news. 

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Author: Darren ThompsonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Darren Thompson (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe) is a staff reporter for Native News Online who is based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Thompson has reported on political unrest, tribal sovereignty, and Indigenous issues for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Indian Country Today, Native News Online, Powwows.com and Unicorn Riot. He has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Voice of America on various Indigenous issues in international conversation. He has a bachelor’s degree in Criminology & Law Studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.