Courtesy Chiitaanibah Johnson
UPDATE: Sac State and Native Student Seek 'Positive Resolution' on Native Genocide Class Disenrollment Issue

UPDATE: Sac State and Native Student Seek 'Positive Resolution' on Native Genocide Class Disenrollment Issue

Vincent Schilling

A representative from Sacramento State’s News Services department has released a statement to ICTMN regarding the incident  in which history professor allegedly told his class he did not like the term ‘genocide’ in relation to Native Americans and that a Native American student who disagreed with him was disenrolled and expelled from his course.

See Related:  History Professor Denies Native Genocide: Native Student Disagreed, Then Says Professor Expelled Her From Course 

“Sacramento State was very concerned upon learning about this incident and the allegations surrounding it. The University would like to make it clear that our student, Chiitaanibah Johnson, was not expelled or disenrolled from this history course. Under University policy, a professor cannot unilaterally disenroll a student from a class. 

President Robert S. Nelsen is looking into what was alleged to have happened. "I take this matter very seriously. I intend to talk to Chiitaanibah Johnson as we work to gather all the information necessary to resolve this situation positively."

See Related: UPDATE: Sac State History Dept Tweets - "Student Not Disenrolled"

Additionally, Native university sophomore Chiitaanibah Johnson also issued a statement regarding the matter on behalf of herself and her family:

“My family and I do not wish to comment further on this matter until we have met with Sacramento State University officials. We hope to reach an amicable and just resolution to this issue and would prefer to respect their opportunity to respond.”

As we have written previously and since Friday, ICTMN has reached out to the University of Sacramento about the incident, their Provost of the University has responded and also expressed they will be investigating this matter. The professor has not responded to our phone or email requests for comment.

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page



Michael Davison
Submitted by Michael Davison on
We only have the events as reported by the student. But yes, assuming everything she reports is accurate, then the professor handled it badly. It's not that hard to deal with this. First acknowledge that - whatever you call it - the settlers engaged in some evil and horrific acts against the Native Americans. Then say - but whether or not those acts meet the definition of a "genocide" depends on whose definition you accept as authoritative. So what's more important is that we can agree on what the settlers did, rather than whether those acts meet someone's definition of that word. At that point, it would be easy to move on to whatever topic the professor wanted to discuss. As for whether or not those acts should be called a "genocide" - it is a complex argument - and there's an interesting discussion here which distinguishes between genocide (intent to kill) and ethnic cleansing (intent to displace), and then considers what terminology is best, which concludes as: ================= "...episodic genocide of Native Americans occurred in the United States. It happened in pockets, sporadically, and was part of a greater, systemic, calculated effort to "ethnically cleanse" Native Americans. So, yes, genocide occurred. To what extent? Your call." =================

barbreader's picture
Submitted by barbreader on
The professor was clearly hoping to trick the girl into not coming to class or taking his exams so he could flunk her.