Writer accused of slur against premier's Indian wife

A magazine published in Alberta is facing another round of criticism of publishing a column in which the wife of Premier Ralph Klein is referred to as "just another Indian."

In a column for The Western Standard, writer Ric Dolphin suggested that Colleen Klein, who is Metis, wields too much influence over her husband. He quotes an alleged friend of the premier who said Colleen will go back to being "just another Indian" when Klein steps down.

Colleen [Bio] is "devastated" by the article, a spokesperson for the premier said. "She's hurt for her family, her children who are also of aboriginal descent, and she's also hurt for the aboriginal community," the spokesperson told the Canadian Press.

Native leaders are laying charges of racism against The Western Standard and Dolphin, who was reprimanded by the Alberta Press Council in 2002 for making disparaging remarks about in a newspaper column [More Info].

"Colleen is our patron," Muriel Stanley Venne, the president of the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women, told The Edmonton Sun yesterday. "It's very offensive. The phrase 'just another Indian' is very hurtful."

The magazine, already under fire for publishing cartoons considered offensive to people of the Islamic faith, and Dolphin are standing by the story. Dolphin said the quote came from one of the premier's "fishing buddies" and that he is only reporting internal party criticism of Klein.

Get the Story:
Premier Klein's wife, Colleen, said to be devastated by magazine article (CP 2/15)
Aboriginal groups upset with Western Standard column (CBC 2/15)
'It's very offensive' (The Edmonton Sun 2/15)
Comments on Klein's wife spark new controversy for Western Standard (CBC 2/15)

Read the Column:
Ric Dolphin: Married to his work (The Western Standard February 16, 2006)

Relevant Links:
The Western Standard -
Alberta Premier Ralph Klein -