UBC report reveals offensive aboriginal 'Pocahontas' chant by business students

Dec 19 2017, 4:36 pm

After an investigation by officials at the University of British Columbia, a new report has revealed that Sauder School of Business students performed an offensive ‘Pocahontas chant’ during September’s Frosh week.

The new findings come after last month’s national outrage over the ‘rape chant’ that the University’s business students were caught singing during the Commerce Undergraduate Society’s (CUS) Frosh. It led to swift action by UBC, which included pulling support and funding for future Frosh events, punishing 81 Frosh leaders and the CUS leadership team, and forcing the CUS to spend $250,000 on counselling and sensitivity over three years.

The University has announced additional measures on its business students in light of the revelation of the chant based on the character from the Disney children’s movie. According to the report, the offensive aboriginal chants were:

“Pocah, Pocah, Pocah, Pocahontas – white man took our land, sacrifice (family name of group leader representing John Smith in the skit).”

“Pocahontas, ass, ass, ass”

“The report we are releasing today shows us there is very little awareness of Indigenous peoples and their concerns among the students we interviewed,” said Vice President, Students Louise Cowin. “Clearly, UBC has a role to play in educating students to become more culturally competent.”

In addition to September’s new objectives and initiatives following the outrage over the rape chant, the Sauder School of Business will be taking further action to promote intercultural understanding within its student population, including including workshops involving the university’s First Nations Studies Program, the inclusion of Indigenous topics in the core business curriculum, and redesigning the orientation of first-year students.

“The Sauder School is deeply committed to building a positive culture of respect and responsibility,” said Sauder School of Business Dean Robert Helsley. “We need to fully engage our students on the themes of Indigenous culture, social justice and ethics. This is integral to corporate social responsibility in the 21st century.”

UBC Sauder School of Business – measures announced:

  • Curriculum development: Strengthening content on the broader aspects of diversity, ethics and responsibility, including Indigenous topics.
  •  Sauder-hosted events: Planning events to build awareness and understanding on issues of diversity, inclusivity, respect and ethical leadership.
  • CUS leadership: Build understanding and awareness on Aboriginal issues and the effects of systemic racism on Indigenous communities through conversations with Daniel Justice, Chair of UBC’s First Nations Studies Program (FNSP).
  • Ongoing engagement on Aboriginal issues: Working with FNSP to put in place workshops for students, faculty and staff.
  • Orientation reform: Committing necessary resources and personnel to orient 1,000 new students annually, and collaborating with the CUS, students, faculty and alumni in developing an orientation program that will serve as a model for the university community.

Image: Disney

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

+ News