SASKATOON — The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations wants Harvard Crimson women's ice hockey coach Katey Stone to resign.
Stone reportedly made racist comments to players, including two Indigenous Canadians.
According to the Boston Globe, Stone accused players of lacking respect and that the squad was a group of skaters “with too many chiefs and not enough Indians” after putting a stop to a practice during the 2021-22 season.
"I am just disgusted at the statements that were made. It's totally disrespectful to our people and of course to our youth," FSIN vice chief Heather Bear told The Canadian Press on Tuesday.
"In our mind, she has no place in hockey."
Harvard did not immediately respond to requests for comment by The Canadian Press.
FSIN, which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan, sent a letter to Harvard's athletic department requesting the dismissal of Stone.
"I don't even care about discipline right now at this point. She should just be let go," said Bear, who is from Ochapowace Nation.
The Boston Globe reported that Indigenous players Maryna Macdonald of Ditidaht First Nation, B.C., and Taze Thompson, a member of Métis Nation Alberta and Okanagan Indian Band, B.C., left the team.
Thompson, who is the daughter of Philadelphia Flyers assistant coach Rocky Thompson, played two years at Harvard before switching to Northeastern this season.
The 20-year-old forward was the Ivy League's rookie of the year in 2020-21.
Macdonald, a defender for four seasons with the Crimson, told the Boston Globe that Stone looked her in the eye when she made the remark.
"I had learned to navigate a lot of her toxic environment," Macdonald said. "But now she was disrespecting me and my family and my heritage in front of everybody."
Macdonald and Thompson were among 14 recruited players who have left Stone’s program since 2016, including three this season, the Globe reported in its story.
The newspaper also said former Crimson captain Sydney Daniels of Mistawasis Nehiyawak First Nation, Sask., is suing Harvard for alleged racial discrimination related to Stone and the athletic department.
The university has until Feb. 8 to respond to the lawsuit.
Daniels, who is now an NHL scout with the Winnipeg Jets, was team captain in 2016-17 and was an assistant coach for four years under Stone from 2018 to 2022.
Stone has coached Harvard to a dozen NCAA tournament appearances in the event's 20-year history.
She was head coach of the U.S. women's team that lost 3-2 in overtime to Canada in the 2014 Olympic hockey final in Sochi, Russia.
The Boston Globe wrote that Harvard conducted an internal review following Stone's comment, and that the athletic director told players Stone would remain as head coach of the Crimson.
"I would call on the board of governors at Harvard to take serious steps in correcting that," Bear said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 31, 2023.
The Canadian Press