As Turpel-Lafond departs UBC, institutions and schools examine hiring policies, review honorary degrees

Professor and former judge Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is reportedly no longer employed at the University of British Columbia and has recently returned her Honorary Doctorate of Laws to Vancouver Island University, report Global News and CBC. The Vancouver Sun reports that UBC also recently issued a statement saying it regrets how it responded to questions about former professor Turpel-Lafond, and that the institution is now reviewing its processes around Indigenous status. Since Turpel-Lafond returned her honorary degree, Global News reports that six more universities, including the University of Regina, McGill University, Brock University, Royal Roads University, St Thomas University, and Mount Saint Vincent University, have announced that they are reviewing the honorary degrees that they awarded her. At the K-12 level, Regina Public School Board trustee Ted Jaleta has proposed a motion regarding hiring practices and representations of identity in order to prevent Indigenous identity fraud. Jaleta told the Regina Leader Post that the proposal stems from the news of people such as Carrie Bourassa or Turpel-Lafond, and a desire for RPSB to proactively ensure that opportunities for Indigenous people go to Indigenous people.

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