Racist social media post mocking First Nations investigated by UVic
Officials at the University of Victoria say they’re investigating a racist post targeting First Nations that made the rounds on social media last week. Sept. 16, 2017. (Facebook)
Officials at the University of Victoria say they’re investigating a racist post targeting First Nations that made the rounds on social media last week.
The Snapchat photo shared on Sept. 16 shows a group of people, believed to be students, appearing to drink from a bottle of disinfectant wipes with the caption “Getting Indian drunk.”
A screenshot of the post was publicly shared on Facebook by people calling out the students’ actions, and it has drawn wide condemnation from the campus community.
UVic President Jamie Cassels said the university has launched a thorough investigation and has already identified people it believes to be involved.
“That such behaviour has taken place within our community is deeply concerning to university leaders and members, and is contrary to our commitment to an inclusive and respectful environment that provides a positive living, learning and working space for all,” he said in a statement.
“Yet we know that discriminatory and racist attitudes continue to exist, and this reinforces the importance of education and the responsibility of educational institutions to promote better understanding.”
It comes just one week after the university launched a new plan to further education for Indigenous students.
The plan, which was developed by faculty, staff and students over two years, is part of UVic’s response to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
In his statement, Cassels reaffirmed the school’s commitment to reconciliation and said the ugly incident is another example of why such measures are needed.
“We will not permit incidents like this to deflect our movement toward these important goals, but instead take them as proof of the need to redouble our efforts in the pursuit of reconciliation,” he said.
The university enrolled 1,224 Indigenous students in 2016-17, a 36 per cent increase over the past decade.