UNC Charlotte's Sigma Kappa sorority performs Pocahontas dance during a Greek life competition and performance, leaving American Indians offended
Arthur Jackson, vice chancellor of Student Affairs, released a statement on April 17 regarding backlash from a performance in Air Band on Friday, April 11.
Air Band is an annual competition UNC Charlotte sororities and fraternities come together for to perform a collection of dances with creative themes.
Sigma Kappa’s theme “Disney Dancing with the Princesses” included a Pocahontas dance which unfortunately in turn offended American Indians statewide as well as nationwide. The release from Jackson commented that, “Regrettably, as part of the Pocahontas dance, the dancers wore Native clothing and displayed tribal-like markings on their faces and arms.”
Jackson explained that even though the sorority did not intend on offending anyone, they will consider this as a learning experience for not just the organization, but for the university as well.
The university is currently reviewing the performance and event, and will work towards avoiding this type of incident again. “Likewise, while our staff sought primarily to encourage a respectful and entertaining event for everyone, we were not attentive enough to the offensive potential of the portrayal of Native Americans,” commented Jackson.
The statement ended in a description of how important UNC Charlotte embraces diversity and strives toward leading a community without exclusion.
To view the statement release, click here.