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Saint Mary’s professor identifies student in article opposing accommodations for Mi’kmaw students

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – APTN reports, in a story by Angel Moore, how a Halifax university professor wrote an article in which he rages against support in place for Mi’kmaw students at his university.  

In the article the professor clearly crosses an ethical boundary by writing about one such student in an identifiable way.

John MacKinnon, a philosophy professor at Saint Mary’s, wrote how one of his Mi’kmaw students was supported by a note taker because English is not her first language.

Friends showed her the article last year. “I read the article and I looked at them and I said, oh I’m Q, that’s me,” the student told APTN’s Moore. 

“I waited until I graduated because I didn’t want other professors to label me but I also didn’t want them to think of me as a dumb student.” she said.

The article was published in the newsletter of the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship, a dreary outfit that promotes “academic excellence and freedom”, in this case code for the kind of narrow worldview promoted by the likes of Barbara Kay, Margaret Wente, and Jordan Peterson, all three speakers at the Society’s Annual General Meeting at one time.

MacKinnon would not agree to an interview with Moore, but told APTN News in an email that he was mortified when he found out the student knew about the article and offered an apology.

His defense is rather odd. He didn’t think anybody would read the story, he tells Moore.  

Had he known people at Saint Mary’s would read the article, “I am not sure I would have written anything, or if I had, I would have done more to conceal her identity.”

“At the time the article by MacKinnon was published several community members voiced their concern to the president of Saint Mary’s and the dean of arts, tweets Shiva Nourpana, a Dalhousie academic.

“If he wishes to make his outrage and distaste for the Mi’kmaw flag being flown on SMU campus the hill he chooses to die on, that is his concern,” Nourpana wrote.

“But to provide identifying details about the academic progress of a student from a historically marginalized and vulnerable group in this extremely distasteful article (which by the way, shows that he doesn’t understand academic freedom very well) has crossed a professional boundary.”

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2 Comments

  1. Professor MacKinnon doesn’t have a problem with controlling his ethical boundaries. His display and divulging sensitive information is beyond, it’s racist. Call it like it is. We don’t have too many Bilingual and enough Bicultural programs but ones we do have is taking over our command of the English language. Those who promote systemic racism is you, Dr MacKinnon. Your actions, are despicable and above all, deplorable for a learned man.

    Reply
    1. An act of racism from an institution and I can’t seem to find their apology for this. Is no one addressing this or did I miss it?

      Thank you for being the first to call it was it is – racism.

      Reply

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