U of T student newspaper publishes special Indigenous Issue highlighting issues on campus, pledges improved coverage in future

The University of Toronto student newsletter The Varsity recently released its first Indigenous Issue, for which it pledged to offer honoraria to Indigenous contributors, and has committed to improving its reporting on Indigenous peoples at the university. In one article for the special issue, Alice Boyle reports on the issues of students feeling obliged to act as a “native informant” at the university for faculty and other students, as well as issues with tokenism rather than representation. Student Iehnhotonkwas Bonnie Jane Maracle, a member of the Wolf Clan of the Mohawk Nation at Tyendinaga Territory, also spoke about the stark differences between how academia and Indigenous communities evaluate credibility and knowledge, the expectations around academic work, and the issues that stem from treating Indigenous peoples as a single entity. In a letter to the editor, PhD student Stephanie Allen of Kanien’keha:ka, Six Nations of the Grand River addressed her personal experiences on several of these issues in a recent seminar. Lexey Burns reported on the state of Indigenous course requirements at U of T and called for the integration of more Indigenous-focused program requirements at the university.

The Varsity | The Varsity (Boyle) | The Varsity (Burns) | The Varsity (Allen)