Lindsay Shepherd critiques the use of land acknowledgements on social media

Photo by Nirupam Singh


On Dec. 24, 2017, Lindsay Shepherd tweeted a photo of a syllabus from CS101B: Canadian Communication in Context taught by Judith Nicholson. Nicholson allegedly  confronted Shepherd citing she breached intellectual property.

The photo contains the title of the course, semester and year, land acknowledgment as well as the Wilfrid Laurier University header.

In a statement which Shepherd provided The Cord, she explained that Nicholson confronted her asking her to take the tweet down.

“In a meeting with my fellow six TA’s on Jan. 9, Dr. Nicholson said something along the lines of: ‘Lindsay, I don’t do the whole social media thing, but I heard you posted my syllabus on your Twitter’ … She ordered me to delete it because it is her intellectual property and in violation of the non-academic code of conduct,” Shepherd said in the email.

“I, politely, objected to this suggestion.”

“She then said I will get a note of breach of non-academic code of conduct on my file, and the dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies would be notified,”  the statement read.

On Jan. 9 2018 Shepherd sent out a series of tweets on her account claiming that  she was confronted and asked to take the tweet down.

In a later tweet, Shepherd explains that an unspecified  dean allegedly told her that her photo of the syllabus is not violating any rules or regulations in question.

Shepherd Tweeted: Just received an email from the Dean that the cut-out from the syllabus is NOT the intellectual property of the instructor, and there is NO breach in copyright or non-academic code of conduct. Communication Studies faculty keeps making up their own rules! Hilarious!

BrittainyB123 tweeted on Jan. 10

On Jan. 11 Shepherd revealed that the person who confronted her was allegedly Dr. Judith Nicholson.


In a statement Shepherd gave The Cord, she claimed that, via the aforementioned incident, the communication studies department is allegedly pushing their agenda  by misusing policies.

“Although this was just a small kerfuffle, it shows that Communication Studies faculty are still misinterpreting and misapplying policy in order to push their agenda,” Shepherd said in the email.


The Cord has requested a comment from both Dr. Judith Nicholson and Wilfrid Laurier University but did not receive response at the time of publishing.

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