November 20, 2015

Two Canadian universities make Indigenous Studies courses mandatory

Lauren SouthernArchive

Despite mandatory indigenous studies in high school curricula, the constant pandering on indigenous issues by politicians, and a perpetually supportive media narrative, the University of Winnipeg and Lakehead University have decided that Canadians haven't heard enough.

Next fall, students at these universities will be required to take mandatory Indigenous courses to qualify for graduation. 

This came about because of a motion submitted last winter by the UWSA and the University of Winnipeg Aboriginal Students Council. The two groups requested that their university require students to take a 3-credit indigenous studies course before graduation.

The goal here is the same as most student groups today: “Ending bigotry” and “challenging racism.” Naturally, the definition of these words is constantly shifting as activists move the goalposts. One day "racism" means Native American Halloween costumes and the next it’s disagreeing with certain opinions.

According to an article in Maclean's, concerns have been raised by both engineering and business students about the necessity of these courses. Highly politicized courses on race and justice have little relevance to their careers, and will give them less knowledge for their money, as opposed to a course directly related to their subject of study.

Indigenous vice-president of the UWSA Kevin Settee replied to their concerns, saying that it’s important for students who may be hiring First Nations employees in the future to “know that we’re not lazy, that we do want to work, that they understand that these are stereotypes, and they continue to do a lot of damage.”

That's a fair point. However, considering one of the mandatory classes to be chosen is on Inuit art, I'm not sure how the courses relate to those goals.

I do wonder though:

Will the university now have to have mandatory classes to combat stereotypes against all groups? Mandatory classes teaching us about the Canadian internment of Japanese and smashing the bad-driver stereotype? Mandatory classes on the Irish being treated as second class citizens? Mandatory women’s studies or LGBTQ studies? If one area of study is mandatory, consistency would demand that the others be too.

Based on the current atmosphere of campuses, I don’t doubt this will come to pass.

Instead of offering designated courses on individual groups, why not (and this is probably already happening) have business students be taught to hire the best person for the job regardless of race or gender? It’s certainly a route that would waste less time, be more inclusive and save them more money.

This isn’t progressive enough though, is it? Opposition to discrimination is no longer good enough for your average progressive student. They don’t want to hear about people being individuals, to be judged on their individual merits.

Just look at what happened to an Asian who argued that all groups can be racist or accepting, and dared to suggest we judge based on individual character:



Students want to focus on interest groups, not individuals. I believe that attitude will only foster more negative emotions and relations on campus.

When indigenous students (who receive subsidized post secondary education) are now forcing students who pay in full to take classes irrelevant to their degrees, classes that they may or may not be able to afford, I doubt that will foster a positive attitude towards indigenous groups.

That's why you are already seeing questions arising from trades and business students. If anything, this forceful pushing of "tolerance" and "diversity" on students will breed bitterness.

This has nothing to do with racism, or intolerance. Our society has already rejected those. Indeed, if you happen to leave the school system without a politically correct bias, you'd better get one if you want to get and keep your job. I mean really people, it is the current year. (Thanks for that gem, Trudeau.)

Instead, this has everything to do with deciding whether these are genuinely relevant courses for students, or just pandering. Because once the pandering begins, it doesn’t end.

We’re seeing campus faculty and staff caving to the ridiculous requests being put forward to universities for "safe spaces," mandatory courses or even resignations. Unless the trend is reversed, social justice warriors will be able to dictate what we have to learn, and inevitably, the direction of our society.  


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Comments
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commented 2015-11-20 15:10:04 -0500
Keith Barnes – they will likely slash your tires for you!
commented 2015-11-20 15:05:32 -0500
All Canadian colleges and universities, outside Quebec, should have this program
commented 2015-11-20 14:58:37 -0500
I have no problem hiring the right person for the job ,bu, how am I to have any indication of a person’s intent if they are content to live in their parents’ basements for free and playing video games all day while asking for a bigger allowance. The smart ones will get the skills necessary to get ahead and no amount of Indian welfare will correct the problem.
commented 2015-11-20 14:54:51 -0500
What if you don’t agree with the expected conclusions of the course? Failure? Repeat the course until you have “right-think”? Its a course on grievances and to obtain a base of supporters, and the concept of the course is fairly transparent. I wonder how a student would be treated writing that he or she believes in tribal council accountability for funds received, and an equitable distribution of the federal funding?

What if a student wrote that they feel land reform at reservations must begin, and that instead of the tribal council assigning living quarters, residents get to own the home they live in and can’t be moved at the pleasure or displeasure of the chief? How well would that fly?

What if that is what a native student would write? Banishment? Course failure? A visit to the campus race relations office?
commented 2015-11-20 14:45:40 -0500
I hope no one runs me of the road …
commented 2015-11-20 14:42:16 -0500
I think Lakehead and Winnipeg have the highest enrollment of Indians. The responses here are quite good. Not the hate and vileness this internet rag was hoping to illicit. Have no fear. The Right trolls will crawl out from under those bridges soon to battle with the Left trolls.
commented 2015-11-20 14:32:39 -0500
This is Mind Control. The Left is in power, Mind Control is on their agenda. ’Don’t blame me, I voted Conservative’. I just ordered one of these, Rebel bumper stickers. Wonder how long it will be before some dumb Socialist Liberal will try to run me of the road?
commented 2015-11-20 14:24:28 -0500
There should be NO mandatory university courses…that is what university IS…an opportunity to explore YOUR CHOICE OF YOUR OWN UNIVERSAL INTERESTSMANDATORY IS FOR HIGH SCHOOL…NO MORE. The only mandatory should be what professionS decree is necessary to accomplish particular degrees… universities should stay out of INDOCTRINATION.
commented 2015-11-20 14:20:09 -0500
Hi Merrill, “if they could just stop fighting the invisible enemy” this is so true. We could get so much more done with our education, business, lives and helping others in legitimate need if my generation quit inventing problems.
commented 2015-11-20 14:17:14 -0500
This is how the Liberals reinforce the victimhood of our Natives, and other groups, that they want to control and use to further their perceived victimhood agenda, and they need to pound it home by professors, in order to produce the desired reaction of outrage, and then blame the white man, so that they can double down on white guilt. Just look at what they did with women studies, they churned out fanatical feminists, filled with faux outrage.
commented 2015-11-20 13:44:58 -0500
They should stop calling them universities and start calling them what they are, indoctrination camps.
commented 2015-11-20 13:44:35 -0500
This is too much… and there is a dark side, a very dark side…. For example, on Nov 27th, at SFU Vancouver, there is an event called ‘stolen land’… we have 3 ultra-left people, including a Lebanese, ‘lecturing’ on how First Nations and ‘palestinians’ are on the frontline of resistance against colonialism and occupation… yes, Lebanese coming to Canada and ‘teaching’ young impressionable minds a very sinister ideology that does not end well for anyone….. are they going to ‘teach’ our First Nations people how to ’resist through jihad???? Any sane minds are welcome to attend / witness this poison being spread. On Nov. 27th at 7 pm… please be at SFU Downtown Vancouver Campus, room 1700, 515 W. Hastings street,
commented 2015-11-20 13:33:19 -0500
I don’t give a shit about indians and their contrived problems. Their main problem is that they see fat cash cow in the Liberal government of Canada and they prefer free money rather than earned money. That is the only problem these people truly have. Their corrupt chiefs are something they need to deal with.. We need to stop paying them merely, to be Indians. There must be more to life than selling a wretched identity to the guilt-ridden.
commented 2015-11-20 13:22:57 -0500
Excellent article as usual Lauren! I wish more young people had your insight and sense of what the true definition of tolerance is. The young woman in the video clip spoke truth and sense but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears because the group has a preconceived-brainwashed-this-is-the-way-it-is-no-matter-what agenda, incapable of hearing any words unless they echo only what they believe, fearful of their world view wobbling,eventually toppling. It is obvious just how fearful students are being coerced to feel in the university environment, (“the govt is evil, big business is evil, there is no work for young people, world is going to end because of global warming” – basically “there is no future”) so they expend all energy on angry protest, which merely means humans controlled by fear trying to control a world that, sadly, is reliably not within our control. I wonder if parents need to boycott funding these universities for a few years, maybe it will breed out the unresolved self-hatred and resentment that these young people have in a part of the world that is a pretty good place to be, if they could just stop fighting the invisible enemy.
commented 2015-11-20 13:21:26 -0500
I would imagine that University of Winnipeg and Lakehead University enrollments will decline.

What a waste of time and personal income.