I understand why white people want to pretend to be Indian, at least in Canada:
And of course, it’s all very “noble” and exotic, right?
Black people in the US in particular love to fantasize about having Indian blood, as any viewing of DNA results videos will tell you. “Buffalo soldier” blah blah, right?
Now in Canada we’ve been having an awesome scandal involving an “Indian” author who — you’ll never guess — can’t keep his status story straight:
A lengthy expose by the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network published Friday dug into Boyden’s genealogical background, finding no records to support the author’s various claims of having Metis, Mi’kmaq, Ojibway and Nipmuc ancestry.
In response, Boyden said in a statement on the weekend that he had “mostly Celtic heritage,” with traces of Ojibwe and Nipmuc, an Algonquian nation from Massachusetts.
He said that he has mistakenly said he was Metis, which is traditionally applied to descendants of French traders and trappers and indigenous women in the Canadian northwest, when what he meant was he was of “mixed blood.” (…)
Robert Jago, a blogger who uncovered much of the evidence cited by APTN, found a NUVO magazine interview on Monday in which Boyden incorrectly uses the term “two spirit” to refer to his love of living in both New Orleans and Ontario.
“There’s something called the ‘two-spirit person’ in a lot of First Nations cultures … meaning somebody who is never completely in one physical place,” Boyden said.
The term “two-spirit” is actually used to describe sexual identity; the two “spirits” are male and female.
Boyden critics were quick to draw parallels with Grey Owl, a British-born environmentalist prominent in the early 20th century who fraudulently claimed aboriginal heritage.
Twenty years ago, critics were also questioning the Indigenous identity of Ontario-born country singer Shania Twain, who used her Indian Status to move to Nashville without a visa.
“The native community is much more apt to see impostors than another community,” Dean Chavers, director of the U.S.-based native scholarship fund Catching the Dream, told the National Post by email.