The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations is calling for the resignation of Harvard Crimson women’s ice hockey coach Katey Stone.
Stone reportedly made racist comments to players, including two Indigenous Canadians.
According to the Boston Globe, Stone accused players of lacking respect and that the squad was a group of skaters “with too many chiefs and not enough Indians” after putting a stop to a practice during the 2021-22 season.
“Racism has no place in our society or locker rooms. A place where we entrusted our First Nations young women would be free from abuse and racism,” FSIN Third Vice Chief Aly Bear said in a statement.
“This abuse should not be tolerated by any university, especially a highly regarded institution such as Harvard University. I truly hope Harvard will stand with the Indigenous students and protect future students from this type of racist behaviour.”
Harvard did not immediately respond to a request for comment by The Canadian Press.
The two Indigenous players were Maryna Macdonald, from Ditidaht First Nation, B.C., and Taze Thompson, a member of Métis Nation Alberta and Okanagan Indian Band, B.C.
Both have since left the team.
Macdonald, a junior starting defenceman at the time, told the Boston Globe that Stone looked her in the eye when she made the remark.
“I had learned to navigate a lot of her toxic environment,” Macdonald said. “But now she was disrespecting me and my family and my heritage in front of everybody.”
Thompson was the Ivy League rookie of the year in 2021-22.
Macdonald and Thompson are among 14 recruited players who have left Stone’s program since 2016, including three this season, according to the Boston Globe.
Sydney Daniels, from Mistawasis Nehiyawak First Nation, Sask., is also suing Harvard for alleged racial discrimination related to Stone and the athletic department. The university has until Feb. 8 to respond to the lawsuit.
Daniels was the Crimson’s team captain during the 2016-17 season and later became an assistant coach before departing from the program.
According to an FSIN release, Harvard conducted an internal review of Stone’s actions and chose to retain the coach. FSIN also sent a letter to Harvard’s athletic department to remove Stone from her post.
“Those phrases aren’t just common sayings; they perpetuate negative attitudes towards Indigenous people, that we are less than others,” said FSIN Fourth Vice Chief Heather Bear.
“Coach Stone should not remain in a position of power and be relieved of her role immediately, as she is passing down her hatred and negative views to another generation.”