U of Regina cheerleaders blasted for 'cowboys and Indians' event
Published Monday, March 17, 2014 8:34AM EDT
The University of Regina’s cheerleading team will undergo cultural sensitivity training after its members dressed up as “cowboys and Indians” and posted photos on social media.
In a now-deleted Instagram photo, some cheerleaders wore stereotypical aboriginal costumes, which included feathers, braided hair, headbands and fake animal skin dresses. Others wore plaid shirts and cowboy hats. The photos were taken during the team’s last practice of the year, with an apparent “cowboys and Indians” theme. The images sparked outrage on Instagram and Twitter on the weekend.
Give me a D-I-S-G-R-A-C-E. @UofRCheer Where the hell was the coach? Why did nobody see the problem with this theme?— Matthew (@mattlensen) March 17, 2014
University of Regina President Vianne Timmons and Dean of Kinesiology Harold Reimer both said the event included “culturally inappropriate themes and costumes.”
The team’s coach has since apologized, Reimer said Sunday.
Responding to the backlash, someone using the
@UofRCheer Twitter account wrote on Saturday: “We apologize for the photos, they have been removed from all of our social media.
“Our last intention was to disrespect anyone.”
But the Twitter apology was not enough for some, including one University of Regina professor:
.@UofRCheer I'm very disturbed. I think the team should receive some sort of formal education on this issue. An apology isn't enough.— Andrea Sterzuk (@andreasterzuk) March 15, 2014
Others, however, said the photo was blown out of proportion.
@UofRCheer I get the debate for sure but I don't believe the event was driven by racism.Hope no one dresses up like the Irish tomorrow#relax— Jody Lorence (@jnine618) March 17, 2014
Reimer said the team will have to undergo cultural sensitivity training, but he would not rule out further punishment.
With a report from CTV Regina