UVic professor says his ‘toxic masculinity’ prompted him to step down following a program investigation

Taiaiake Gerald Alfred was the head of the Indigenous Governance Program

The former head of the University of Victoria’s Indigenous Governance Program (IGOV), Taiaiake Gerald Alfred has resigned from his role as a professor, following a 2018 investigation into the program.

IGOV began operating in the late 1990s, but first came under investigation in 2018 after students put forward concerns about the learning environment.

Taiaiake Gerald Alfred resigned from his role professor of UVic’s Indigenous Governance program (IGOV), following an investigation into toxicity in the program. (UVic.ca)

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A third-party review found that the program faced problems in “promoting inclusion and diversity in the program, and creating more room for alternative views and ideas; supporting Indigenous healing and reconciliation, and reducing conflict,” among other things.

UVic suspended the 2018-2019 enrollment into IGOV to work on restructuring its format.

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On March 7, Alfred put forward a public statement on his blog to announce his resignation.

“I have listened carefully to those who have criticized me and my work, and I have taken their messages to heart. My former partner, friends, and mentors such as Lee Maracle and Graham Smith have helped me understand the ways I embodied toxic masculinity and how I did wrong and harmed people because of it,” Alfred wrote.

”I know that even as an Indigenous man who has battled against racism and colonialism, I carry old and harmful ways of thinking.”

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UVic did not elaborate on the situation, but confirmed that Alfred has resigned and is no longer affiliated with the university.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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