Article content continued
During his campaign, he said it was jarring to receive messages containing racial slurs and saying he only got into McGill because he was Indigenous.
“That kind of undercutting — not only of me and the stance I’ve taken on the Redmen name, but a personalized attack on my intellect as an Indigenous person, the ability of an Indigenous person like myself to get into McGill — that hits home,” said Jirousek, who is a member of the Alberta-based Kainai First Nation.
But just as importantly, he said he was encouraged by the massive support he and other Indigenous students received from non-Indigenous allies, without whom, he said, the name change would not have been possible.
“We’ve come a long way towards reconciliation, and that makes me proud,” he said.
He said McGill is planning an in-person convocation next year, which will give him the chance to deliver his full speech.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 23, 2020.