Lee Newspapers of Montana recently reported rising incidences of racism towards Native American students at MSU-Northern.
A local student, who is also a Native American, recently told reporters about overhearing two white students discussing a memo sent out by Paul McKenzie-Jones, a professor of Native American studies.
Mia LameBull said she overheard the students brazenly making the following statement within ear’s reach:
“Oh, I don’t know, in my opinion we should just kill them all anyways. I should bring a sign to school that says kill them all.”
LameBull was petrified but did not retaliate due to an overwhelming sense of fear.
The incidence transpired at the Montana State University Northern, where 15% of the student population are Native Americans. The university is also within close proximity to the Rocky Boy’s and Fort Belknap Reservations.
Due to privacy clauses, the University was unable to comment on the incidences described by students. The institution’s relation’s director, however, confirmed with Lees Newspapers of Montana that a student was expelled from classes following a sequence of racist remarks.
The student, however, is still able to play on the school’s football team.
Several eyewitnesses confirmed that the student in question stated that history classes wouldn’t be necessary had all Native Americans been wiped out.
The Dean of Students, Steve Wise, responded to the comment via email stating that the remark was merely threatening and not racist in nature.
LameBull begs to differ. She believes that the majority of school shootings in the United States are motivated by racists targeting specific groups. She also thinks the school isn’t taking the incidence as seriously as she’d hope.
The school spokesman, Jim Potter, told The Billings Gazette that the campus bar was a gracious step but later recanted and asked for forgiveness.
The school chancellor issued a statement to news outlets, stating:
“Anytime a student feels threatened, we take these concerns seriously. MSU-Northern does not tolerate hate speech, slurs, bullying or harassment of any kind. We will be reviewing our actions with particular attention to how we communicated.”
Montana State University Northern is ramping up efforts to reverse the course on all fronts. The school has also teamed with The Office of Diversity Awareness and Multicultural programs, which focuses on civil discourse. Over the course of six weeks, subjects like prejudice, stereotyping, bystander intervention, and more will be brought into focus.
The chancellor is also planning visits to tribal leaders in the vicinity and other propositions in the works are a summer workshop and a new partnership with nonprofit group, the Hopa Mountain.
The school states that these initiatives, among many others, are good first steps in the right direction.