Canadian university department drops capitalization to resist 'acknowledging' oppressive power structures

Canadian university department drops capitalization to resist 'acknowledging' oppressive power structures
·2 min read

An academic at a Canadian university joined the "lowercase movement" to fight against the oppression of indigenous people, she announced Monday.

Dr. Linda Many Guns, associate vice president of indigenization and decolonization at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, will only use capital letters when referring to the struggle for recognition indigenous people face.

"We resist acknowledging the power structures that oppress and join the movement that does not capitalize," Many Guns wrote in an article posted on the school's website.

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The academic's resistance to capital letters comes following the discovery of more than 1,000 unmarked graves at Canadian residential schools, where many indigenous people were forcibly sent to assimilate indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture.

"It was genocide, and the adults were dying at just as high of a rate as the children at residential schools," she told the Calgary Herald. "Our reserves should be filled with graveyards, and there are none."


Canada must revisit its treatment of indigenous people to grow, she continued.

"The goal of equity, diversity, and inclusion of all people is synonymous with the interests of indigenous people," she said. "We support and expand the goal of equality and inclusion to all forms of life and all people. We join leaders like E. E. Cummings, Bell Hooks, and Peter Kulchyski, who reject the symbols of hierarchy wherever they are found and do not use capital letters except to acknowledge the indigenous struggle for recognition."

The Office of Indigenization and Decolonization supports actions that defend inclusion and the rights of all people, Many Guns said.

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"We resist acknowledging the power structures that oppress and join the movement that does not capitalize," she said.

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Tags: News, Native Americans, Canada, University, Civil Rights

Original Author: Luke Gentile

Original Location: Canadian university department drops capitalization to resist 'acknowledging' oppressive power structures

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