YCS issues ‘formal apology’ over caribou hunt Facebook racism

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Yellowknife Catholic Schools (YCS) has issued formal letters of apology over the actions of an employee accused of racism online.

David Radcliffe called caribou hunters ‘animals’, among other insults, in a string of Facebook posts last month regarding the hunt in Great Slave Lake’s East Arm.

Some Facebook users who read those posts were “shocked and disgusted” by the views Radcliffe expressed.

Radcliffe was the school board’s Aboriginal program activities coordinator at the time. It’s not clear if he remains employed by YCS in any capacity.

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“We’ve taken appropriate action in regards to it. It’s a personnel issue we can’t talk about,” YCS superintendent Claudia Parker told Moose FM.

Attempts to load Radcliffe’s profile on the YCS website are met with an error message, which reads: “The staff member you were trying to access does not exist.”

Read: ‘Animals’ – racism row over NWT caribou hunt on Facebook

Letters of apology were sent to Dene National chief Bill Erasmus and Laura Duncan, Tłı̨chǫ executive officer, earlier this week.

“We would like to continue working with the Aboriginal governments for the best programming for our students,” said Parker.

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“We met with Bill Erasmus and we also met with John B Zoe [senior advisor to the Tłı̨chǫ] to apologize face-to-face and discuss our relationship – how we move forward from this.”

In full: YCS letters to Dene and Tłı̨chǫ communities (pdf)

Parker said there was “definitely a concern” regarding how YCS is now perceived in Aboriginal communities, but she is satisfied there remains a “positive relationship”.

No changes have yet been made to the school board’s social media policy.

“That is something we will need to review,” Parker told us.

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