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CBC: ‘Historical ignorance only goes so far,’ says professor Marlene Atleo

May 25, 2015 — 

Faculty of Education professor Marlene Atleo was extensively quoted in a recent CBC story on racist terminology.

As the CBC story begins:

Just because actor Jesse Eisenberg didn`t know the history of the word ‘squaw,’ doesn’t mean he is excused for using it, Marlene Atleo said.

Atleo was responding to Eisenberg’s story Men and Dancing in the May 25 edition of The New Yorker. In the story, he writes about a “squaw” telling a “Native American chief” to do a “rain dance.”

Atleo, a member of the Ahousaht First Nation, is a professor at the University of Manitoba, and some of her research has focused on language and achievement.

“I’m not surprised that Eisenburg used [the] word. I don’t suspect ignorance,” Atleo said.

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