It was bound to happen, and now it has. Right across the country there has long since been, and rightly so, lower admission standards for indigenous students. But Mount Royal University is currently in the process of drawing up a separate set of hiring-tenure-and-promotions protocols for indigenous faculty.
What will be their autonomous effects when, not if, these protocols are adopted? I can’t pronounce, but I can guess. In very short order non-indigenous students – and perhaps many indigenous students too – will avoid these instructors, and we’ll end up with the very apartheid in education we were hoping to avoid.
Is this accommodation run amok? It may not be. If a case can be made that there’s wisdom that’s been unavailable because of too narrow an understanding of what counts as wisdom, and how it’s disseminated, then no. But how is that case to be evaluated? And by whom?
Well, how was the case for European wisdom made? Certainly by memic Darwinian selection, both positive and negative. But also by political processes. Think of the role the Church once played – and in some places still does – in “what doctrines are fit to be taught”.
So that something similar is taking place in academia today should come as no surprise. In fact I suspect that every university in Canada will be following Mount Royal’s suit within the next year or two. Unfortunately the other mechanism, the Darwinian one, may take a few decades to show.
I’m not familiar with the situation in Western Europe, but I suspect that, in North America at least, academia is past its best-before date. Sad, but then so was the retirement of the Edsel.