Capitalization is oppression? University department now uses all lowercase letters.

The Department of Indigenous Studies at a Canadian university will not 'use capital letters except to acknowledge the Indigenous struggle for recognition.'

The university told 'Campus Reform' that they 'fully support' the department's new policy.

An official at Mount Royal University announced last week that her department will no longer use capitalized letters in any of its publications. 

Associate Vice President of Indigenization and Decolonization Linda Many Guns wrote in a statement, “we join leaders like e. e. cummings, bell hooks, and peter kulchyski, who reject the symbols of hierarchy wherever they are found and do not use capital letters except to acknowledge the Indigenous struggle for recognition.”

The statement continued, “we resist acknowledging the power structures that oppress and join the movement that does not capitalize. the office of indigenization and decolonization supports acts that focus on inclusion and support the right of all people to positive inclusion and change.”

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Many Guns spoke with Campus Reform about her rationale. 

“when [sic] we capitalize England, Canada, Provincial governments, those are the entities that have tried to erase us, this is colonial thinking and practice and we remove our recognition of their power through removal of capitalization, to a state of equality to bring awareness and recognition of the colonial force that has animated and shaped canadian [sic] societie’s [sic] minds,” Many Guns said. 

”it [sic] is to startle to bring awareness to the things we take for granted without thinking,” she continued. “we [sic] need to be more aware of how we unconsciously follow social norms and question them.”

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Wyatt Claypool, president of the MRU Campus Conservatives Club, said that the move was “deliberately divisive.” 

“Many Guns is playing identity politics and implying the institution she works for is racist,” Claypool said. “I can guarantee adopting the practices of a radical feminist like Bell Hooks is not the solution to the perceived problem.”

“Mount Royal University is committed to indigenization and decolonization, and to the Calls to Action contained in the final report of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” a spokesperson for the university told Campus Reform. “We fully support dr. linda manyguns [sic] and the office of indigenization and decolonization as they embark on this important work on our campus and beyond.”