Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief responds to allegations of systemic discrimination at Lakehead University

ANISHINABEK NATION HEAD OFFICE (April 24, 2018)— The Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee expressed great concern, frustration, and disappointment after learning of the allegations of discrimination and systemic racism reported by Angelique EagleWoman, Dean of Law of Lakehead University.

“It’s difficult to believe that an educational institution, especially one that is shaping law students who are meant to uphold the highest level of morals and ethics, could be capable of perpetuating discrimination and racism,” says Grand Chief Madahbee. “We are deeply saddened that Dean EagleWoman resigned from a position that she earned because others created a hostile work environment.”

Dean EagleWoman announced her resignation on April 3 in an e-mail to her students citing that ‘systemic issues within the university and challenges to implementing the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law’s Aboriginal and Indigenous law mandate have made my continued involvement in the law school untenable’.

“We have a lot of Anishinabek students who attend Lakehead University from all over the province,” says Grand Chief Madahbee. “If this is the attitude of the university, I suggest to our kids to go to school elsewhere.”

In a statement released earlier today by Fort William First Nation, recommendations were listed that could help the university overcome the alleged systemic racism issues and build and repair relationships with its surrounding Indigenous population, but more importantly, its faculty and students. Grand Chief Madahbee supports the recommendations and encourages the university to accept and implement the recommendations.

Dean EagleWoman believes that the law school and university will confront and overcome the systemic issues; however, the task will have to fall on another dean.

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