Job title changes are chiefly about political correctness

There are lots of ways we can be more sensitive to indigenous people. But removing the word “chief” from job titles, as a school board in Toronto is doing, is not one of them. As Christie Blatchford points out in the National Post, chief is not even an aboriginal word. It’s Latin in origin and arises from the French word chef.

Beyond that, it’s generally used as a term of respect in English, referring to leadership roles, which means few people are likely to take offence to it. In fact, the school board is not acting on a complaint, a request or a suggestion from any indigenous person or organization. It did this all of its own accord.

So carry on having police chiefs, chief financial officers, chief technology officers and chief custodians. There are too many examples of racism, offensive symbolism like the logo of the Cleveland Indians, and systemic biases and obstacles to create artificial problems to solve. We should be improving living conditions and addressing health issues for indigenous people, not wasting time and energy on pointless exercises that are chiefly about political correctness.

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