The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations is weighing in on a controversy involving the Harvard University women’s ice hockey coach after it was alleged she made racist comments.
Former player and assistant coach Sydney Daniels, from Mistawasis First Nation, is suing Harvard over allegations that head coach Katey Stone made racist comments to degrade the team.
The FSIN says they received information from the Boston Globe, who first reported on the controversy, that Stone accused players she recruited from Canada of being a collection of skaters “With too many chiefs and not enough Indians.”
Two First Nations players were present when the alleged comments were made – Maryna Macdonald from Ditidaht First Nation, BC and Taze Thompson, a member of the Metis Nation Alberta and the Okanagan Indian Band, BC. Both women have since left the team.
Harvard conducted an internal review of the matter, but chose to allow Stone to keep her job. As a result, Sydney Daniels filed her lawsuit claiming racial discrimination. Daniels also left the team recently joining the Edmonton Oilers scouting staff.
The FSIN says they have sent a letter to the university calling for the resignation of coach Katey Stone.
“Racism has no place in our society or locker rooms. A place where we entrusted our First Nations young women would be free from abuse and racism,” said FSIN Vice-Chief Aly Bear in a media release sent out Tuesday morning. “This abuse should not be tolerated by any university, especially a highly regarded institution such as Harvard Universoty. I truly hope Harvard will stand with the Indigenous students and protect future students from this type of racist behaviour.”
Harvard will have until February 8 to respond to the lawsuit from Daniels.