UBC curriculum to make students more culturally aware after ‘Pocahontas’

VANCOUVER – The University of B.C.’s Sauder School of Business has set out a series of measures to help students better understand First Nations people and issues.

The changes come after derogatory chants by students based on the Disney movie “Pocahontas” during undergraduate events during orientation week.

Vice-president of students, Louise Cowin, says a report shows there is very little awareness of First Nations people and their concerns among the students who were interviewed.

She says UBC clearly has a role to play in educating students to become more culturally aware.

Some of the measures include curriculum development on indigenous topics, ongoing engagement on aboriginal issues and reforming orientation week activities for new students.

The “Pocahontas” chant was based on the 1995 animated movie that has been criticized for its inaccurate portrayal of history and the perpetuation of aboriginal stereotypes.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.