Pretendian (portmanteau of pretend and Indian[1][2][3]) is a pejorative colloquialism used to call out a person who has falsely claimed Indigenous identity by professing to be a citizen of a Native American or Indigenous Canadian tribal nation, or to be descended from Native American or Indigenous Canadian ancestors.[4][5][6][7] As a practice, being a pretendian is considered an extreme form of cultural appropriation,[8] especially if that individual then asserts that they can represent, and speak for, communities from which they do not originate.[3][8][9][10] It is sometimes also referred to as a form of fraud,[1] ethnic fraud or race shifting.[11][12]

Early false claims to Indigenous identity, often called "playing Indian", go back at least as far as the Boston Tea Party. There was a rise in pretendians after the 1960s for a number of reasons, such as the reestablishment of tribal sovereignty following the era of Indian termination policy, the media coverage of the Occupation of Alcatraz and the Wounded Knee Occupation, and the formation of Native American studies as a distinct form of area studies which led to the establishment of publishing programs and university departments specifically for or about Native American culture. At the same time, hippie and New Age subcultures marketed Native cultures as accessible, spiritual, and as a form of resistance to mainstream culture, leading to the rise of the plastic shaman or "culture vulture." By 1990, many years of pushback by Native Americans against pretendians resulted in the successful passage of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 (IACA) – a truth-in-advertising law which prohibits misrepresentation in marketing of American Indian or Alaska Native arts and crafts products within the United States.

While Indigenous communities have always self-policed and spread word of frauds, mainstream media and arts communities were often unaware, or did not act upon this information, until more recent decades. Since the 1990s and 2000s, a number of controversies regarding ethnic fraud have come to light and received coverage in mainstream media, leading to a broader awareness of pretendians in the world at large.

History of false claims to Indigenous identity

Early claims

Historian Philip J. Deloria has noted that European Americans "playing Indian" is a phenomenon that stretches back at least as far as the Boston Tea Party.[13] In his 1998 book Playing Indian, Deloria argues that white settlers have always played with stereotypical imagery of the peoples that were replaced during colonization, using these tropes to form a new national identity that can be seen as distinct from previous European identities.

Examples of white societies who have played Indian include, according to Deloria, the Improved Order of Red Men, Tammany Hall, and scouting societies like the Order of the Arrow. Individuals who made careers out of pretending an Indigenous identity include James Beckwourth,[14] Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance,[15] and Grey Owl.[7][16][17]

The academic Joel W. Martin noted that "an astonishing number of southerners assert they have a grandmother or great-grandmother who was some kind of Cherokee, often a princess", and that such myths serve settler purposes in aligning American frontier romance with southern regionalism and pride.[18]

Post-1960s: Rise of pretendians in academia, arts, and political positions

The rise of pretendian identities post-1960s can be explained by a number of factors. The reestablishment and exercise of tribal sovereignty among tribal nations (following the era of Indian termination policy) meant that many individuals raised away from tribal communities sought, and still seek, to reestablish their status as tribal citizens or to recover connections to tribal traditions. Other tribal citizens, who had been raised in American Indian boarding schools under genocidal policies designed to erase their cultural identity, also revived tribal religious and cultural practices.

At the same time, in the years following the Occupation of Alcatraz, the formation of Native American studies as a distinct form of area studies, and the awarding of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction to Kiowa author N. Scott Momaday, publishing programs and university departments began to be established specifically for or about Native American culture. At the same time, hippie and New Age cultures marketed Native cultures as accessible, spiritual, and as a form of resistance to mainstream culture, leading to the rise of the plastic shaman or "culture vulture." All of this added up to a culture that was not inclined to disbelieve self-identification, and a wider societal impulse to claim Indigeneity.[19]

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn wrote of the influence of pretendians in American academia and political positions:

[U]nscrupulous scholars in the discipline who had no stake in Native nationhood but who had achieved status in academia and held on to it through fraudulent claims to Indian Nation heritage and blood directed the discourse. This phenomenon took place following the "Indian Preference" regulations in new hiring practices at the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the early 1970s. Sometimes unprepared for such outright aggression or suffering polarization from the conflicts in the system, Native scholars in the academy often seemed to be silent witnesses to such occurrences. Their silence has not meant complicity. It has meant, more than anything, a feeling of utter powerlessness within the structures of strong mainstream institutions.[19]

By 1990, as noted in The New York Times Magazine, many years of "significant pushback by Native Americans against so-called Pretendians or Pretend Indians" resulted in the successful passage of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 (IACA) – a truth-in-advertising law which prohibits misrepresentation in the marketing of American Indian or Alaska Natives arts and crafts products within the United States.[2] The IACA makes it illegal for non-Natives to offer or display for sale, or sell, any art or craft product in a manner that falsely suggests it is Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian, Indian tribe, or Indian arts and crafts organization. For a first-time violation of the act, an individual can face civil or criminal penalties up to a $250,000 fine or a five-year prison term, or both. If a business violates the act, it can face civil penalties or can be prosecuted and fined up to $1,000,000.[20]

21st century: Contemporary controversies

United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo (Mvskoke) writes:

We ... have had to contend with an onslaught of what we call 'Pretendians', that is, non-Indigenous people assuming a Native identity. DNA tests are setting up other problems involving those who discover Native DNA [sic] in their bloodline. When individuals assert themselves as Native when they are not culturally Indigenous, and if they do not understand their tribal nation's history or participate in their tribal nation's society, who benefits? Not the people or communities of the identity being claimed. It is hard to see this as anything other than an individual's capitalist claim, just another version of a colonial offense.[21]

While modern DNA testing that can generally confirm if there is some degree of Native American ancestry and determine family relatedness, it is less able to indicate tribal belonging or Native American identity which is based on culture as well as biology.[22][23] Attempts by non-Natives to racialize Indigenous identity by DNA tests have been seen by some Indigenous people, such as Kim TallBear, as insensitive at best, often racist, politically, and financially motivated, and dangerous to the survival of Indigenous cultures.[24][a]

While Indigenous communities have always self-policed and spread word of frauds, mainstream media and arts communities were often unaware or did not act upon this information, until recent decades.[8] However, since the 1990s and 2000s, a number of controversies regarding ethnic fraud have come to light and received coverage in mainstream media, leading to a broader awareness of pretendians in the world at large.[2][4][8]

In April 2018, APTN National News in Canada investigated how pretendians – in the film industry and in real life – promote "stereotypes, typecasting, and even, what is known as 'redface.'"[29] Rebecca Nagle (Cherokee Nation) voiced a similar position in 2019, writing for High Country News that,

Pretendians perpetuate the myth that Native identity is determined by the individual, not the tribe or community, directly undermining tribal sovereignty and Native self-determination. To protect the rights of Indigenous people, pretendians like Wages and Warren must be challenged and the retelling of their false narratives must be stopped.[30]

In January 2021, Navajo journalist Jacqueline Keeler began investigating the problem of settler self-indigenization in academia.[31] Working with other Natives in tribal enrollment departments, genealogists and historians, they began following up on the names many had been hearing for years in tribal circles were not actually Native, asking about current community connections as well as researching family histories "as far back as the 1600s" to see if they had any ancestors who were Native or had ever lived in a tribal community.[31] This research resulted in the Alleged Pretendians List,[32] of about 200 public figures in academia and entertainment, which Keeler self-published as a Google spreadsheet in 2021.[33]

While some people have criticized her for "conducting a witch hunt", Native leaders interviewed by VOA, such as Chief Ben Barnes of the Shawnee Tribe, report Keeler has strong support in Native circles.[31] Academic Dina Gilio-Whitaker, who reviewed Keeler's documentation on Sacheen Littlefeather before it was published (see below), wrote that in her opinion Keeler did solid research.[34] Keeler has stressed that the list does not include private citizens who are "merely wannabes", but only those public figures who are monetizing and profiting from their claims to tribal identity and who claim to speak for Native American tribes.[33] She says the list is the product of decades of Native peoples' efforts at accountability.[31] Academic Kim TallBear writes that all those mentioned on the list are public figures who have profited from their alleged Indigenous status, that Keeler's and her team's list documents that the overwhelming number of those who benefit financially from pretendianism are white, and that these false claims relate to white supremacy and Indigenous erasure. Tallbear stresses that people who fabricate fraudulent claims are in no way the same as disconnected and reconnecting descendants who have real heritage, such as victims of government programs that scooped Indigenous children from their families.[35]

On September 13, 2021, the CBC News reported on their ongoing investigation into a "mysterious letter", dated 1845 (but never seen before 2011[36]) that is now believed to be a forgery. Based solely on the one ancestor listed in this letter, over 1,000 people were enrolled as Algonquin people, making them "potential beneficiaries of a massive pending land claim agreement involving almost $1 billion and more than 500 sq. kilometres of land".[4] The CBC investigation used handwriting analysis, and other methods of archival and historical evaluation to conclude the letter is a fake. This has led to the federally recognized Pikwakanagan First Nation to renew efforts to remove these "pretendian" claimants from their membership. In a statement to CBC News, the chief and council of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation say that those they are seeking to remove "are fraudulently taking up Indigenous spaces in high academia and procurement opportunities."[4]

In October 2021, the CBC published an investigation into the status of Canadian academic Carrie Bourassa, who works as an Indigenous health expert and has claimed Métis, Anishinaabe and Tlingit status.[37] Research into her claims indicated that her ancestry is wholly European. In particular, the great-grandmother she claimed was Tlingit, Johanna Salaba, is well-documented as having emigrated from Russia in 1911; she was a Czech-speaking Russian.[37] In response, Bourassa admitted that she does not have status in the communities that she claimed but insisted that she does have some Indigenous ancestors and that she has hired other genealogists to search for them.[37] Bourassa was placed on immediate leave from her post at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research after her claims of Indigenous ancestry were found to be baseless.[38]

In November 2021, writing for the Toronto Star about the Bourassa situation as well as the actions of Joseph Boyden and Michelle Latimer, K.J. McCusker wrote,

We have been so heavily affected by stolen identities that the word "pretendian" has become a colloquially used term. Stolen identities undermine us to the point where we end up fodder for the tabloids the likes of Daily Mail. We become a spectacle for those who at best think of us as a Halloween costume idea. To people like Bourassa, we are indeed a costume, except one you get to wear all year long and benefit from professionally because it checks that box that was created to even-out the field that cannot ever be evened out just by a box.[5]

Sacheen Littlefeather at the 45th Academy Awards in 1973, which she attended on behalf of Marlon Brando

In October 2022, actor and activist Sacheen Littlefeather died. Shortly thereafter her sisters spoke to Navajo reporter Jacqueline Keeler and said that their family has no ties to the Apache or Yaqui tribes Sacheen had claimed.[39] As Littlefeather had been a beloved activist, these reports were met with controversy, challenges, and attacks on Keeler, largely on social media.[40] Academic Dina Gilio-Whitaker wrote that the truth about community leaders is "crucial", even if it means losing a "hero", and that the work Littlefeather did is still valuable, but there is a need to be honest about the harm done by pretendians, especially by those who manage to fool so many people that they become iconic:[34]

The stereotype Littlefeather embodied depended on non-Native people not knowing what they were looking at, or knowing what constitutes legitimate American Indian identity. There is a pattern that "pretendians" follow: They exploit people's lack of knowledge about who American Indian people are by perpetuating ambiguity in a number of ways. Self-identification, or even DNA tests, for instance, obscure the fact that American Indians have not only a cultural relationship to a specific tribe and the United States but a legal one. Pretendians rarely can name any people they are related to in a Native community or in their family tree. They also just blatantly lie. Pretendianism is particularly prevalent in entertainment, publishing and academia. [...] Harm is caused when resources and even jobs go to fakes instead of the people they were intended for.[34]

Motivating factors

There are several possible explanations for why people adopt pretendian identities. Mnikȟówožu Lakota poet Trevino Brings Plenty writes: "To wear an underrepresented people's skin is enticing. I get it: to feast on struggle, to explore imagined roots; to lay the foundational work for academic jobs and publishing opportunities."[9] Helen Lewis, wrote in The Atlantic that perhaps personal trauma from unrelated events in their lives, such as a difficult upbringing, may motivate hoaxers to desire to be publicly perceived as victims of oppression – to identify with those they see as victims rather than the perpetrators.[41]

Patrick Wolfe argues that the problem is more structural, stating that settler colonial ideology actively needs to erase and then reproduce Indigenous identity in order to create and justify claims to land and territory.[42] Deloria also explores the white American dual fascination with "the vanishing Indian" and the idea that by "Playing Indian", the white man can then be the true inheritor and preserver of authentic American identity and connection to the land, aka "Indianness".[43]

Academics Kim TallBear (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate), Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville), Robert Jago (Kwantlen First Nation), Rowland Robinson (Menominee), as well as journalist Jacqueline Keeler (Navajo Nation) and attorney Jean Teillet (great-grandniece of Louis Riel) also name white supremacy, in addition to ongoing settler colonialism, as core factors in the phenomenon.[35][34][44][45][46][47] In Settler Colonialism + Native Ghosts – "Community, Pretendians, & Heartbreak", Robinson posits that

Quite often this seems to be a cynical ploy towards some kind of anti-Indigenous political programme, as Darryl Leroux and others have demonstrated quite convincingly and handily regarding the explosion of groups in eastern Ontario, Québec, the Maritimes, and parts of New England (2019) where quite often the absolutely astronomical growth in new claimants of Indigeneity can be clearly traced back to white supremacist, anti-Native, political projects in opposition to Aboriginal and Treaty rights. The assumption of Indigenous identity, through the growth of the so-called "Eastern Métis" movement, is clearly, at least in terms of its foundational leadership and organizational nature, antagonistic at a fundamental level towards Indigenous peoples and livelihoods.[45]

In October 2022, Teillet published the report, Indigenous Identity Fraud, for the University of Saskatchewan.[48] Discussing her research, she wrote for the Globe and Mail,

Who are these people? In the academy and government, they are mostly white women. In the hunting and fishing realm, they are mostly white men. ... What these claims have in common is that they are entirely disconnected from any living Indigenous people.[47]

Why do they do it? Indigenous impersonation is not an accident. People do it to get something they want – to stop Indigenous people from closing a land claim, to access hunting and fishing rights, or to gain access to jobs. And the payoff is well worth it. Imposters in the academy gain six-figure jobs, prestige, grants and tenure in exchange for a few lies. This kind of impersonation can only be carried out by those with immense privilege. It takes a person with enough knowledge of the gaps in the system to exploit them. It is also another colonial act. If colonialism has not eradicated Indigenous people by starvation, residential schools, the reserve system, taking their lands and languages, scooping their children, and doing everything to assimilate Indigenous peoples, then the final act is to become them. It's a perverse kind of reverse assimilation.[47]

Notable examples

Individuals who have been accused of being pretendians include:

Academic

Film, television, and music

Iron Eyes Cody and Roy Rogers in North of the Great Divide, 1950

Literary

A crouching man in buckskins feeds a roll to a standing beaver.
Grey Owl (Archibald Stansfeld Belaney) feeding a Swiss roll to a beaver

Political

Visual arts

See also

Notes

  1. ^ While there are some genetic markers that are more common among Native Americans, these markers are also found in Asia, and in other parts of the world.[25] The commercial DNA companies that offer ethnicity tests do not have a large enough pool of North American DNA to provide reliable matches. The most popular companies have admitted to having no North American DNA, and that their "matches" are to Central Asian and South or Central American populations; smaller companies may have a very small pool from one tribe who participated in a medical study.[26][27][28] The exploitation of Indigenous genetic material, like the theft of human remains, land and artifacts, has led to widespread distrust to outright boycotts of these companies by Native communities.[27][28] While a DNA test may bring up some markers associated with some Indigenous or Asian populations (and the science there is fairly problematic, as TallBear describes in her book Native American DNA), as Indigenous identity is based in citizenship, family and community, a genetic marker does not make a person Indigenous.[23]

References

  1. ^ a b Isai, Vjosa (October 15, 2022). "Doubts Over Indigenous Identity in Academia Spark 'Pretendian' Claims - Some Canadian universities now require additional proof to back up Indigenous heritage, replacing self-declaration policies". The New York Times. Retrieved October 28, 2022. "pretendians" (short for "pretend Indians")... Ms. TallBear said, there is no excuse for outright lies. "If they're lying and they've gotten job benefits or scholarship benefits, they should be required to figure out how to make restitution," she said, likening fake identity claims to falsifying academic credentials. "It's fraud."
  2. ^ a b c d Viren, Sarah (May 25, 2021). "The Native Scholar Who Wasn't". The New York Times Magazine. Archived from the original on May 27, 2021. Retrieved December 27, 2021. the 1990s saw the beginning of what would eventually be significant pushback by Native Americans against so-called Pretendians or Pretend Indians
  3. ^ a b Robinson, Rowland (2020). "4. Interlude: Community, Pretendians, & Heartbreak". Settler Colonialism + Native Ghosts: An Autoethnographic Account of the Imaginarium of Late Capitalist/Colonialist Storytelling (Ph.D.). [Waterloo, Ontario]: University of Waterloo. p. 235. OCLC 1263615440. Archived from the original on December 28, 2021. Retrieved December 28, 2021. [The] phenomenon of what I and many other Indigenous people have for some time called Pretendians, as well as the related, and very often overlapping, phenomenon of Fétis*. This not-new phenomenon, to put it perhaps overly simply, is the practice of settler individuals (and sometimes others, but primarily settlers) putting forth a false Indigenous identity, and placing themselves out in front of the world as Indigenous people, and sometimes even attempting to assert themselves in some way as a kind of voice of their supposed peoples. *Portmanteaus of "Pretend" and "Indian" and "Fake" and "Métis,", respectively. Pretendian, as a descriptive term, has been around most of my life, to the extent that I am not sure that placing its origin on the timeline is readily possible.
  4. ^ a b c d Leo, Geoff (September 13, 2021). "Push to remove 'pretendians' from Algonquin membership rekindled after CBC investigation – Analysis revealed letter linked to 1,000 Indigenous ancestry claims is likely fake". CBC News. Archived from the original on December 26, 2021. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  5. ^ a b McCusker, K.J. (November 30, 2021). "The violence of pretending to be Indigenous - The recent call for organizing a Canada-wide dialogue about Indigenous identity by the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) is a solid step toward recognizing this as an ongoing problem. We must proactively address the issue of fraudulent proclamations". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved December 27, 2021. We have been so heavily affected by stolen identities that the word "pretendian" has become a colloquially used term.
  6. ^ Polleta, Maria (November 30, 2017). "'Pretendians': Elizabeth Warren not alone in making questionable claim to Native American heritage". The Arizona Republic. Archived from the original on March 22, 2022. Retrieved November 11, 2021 – via AZCentral.,
  7. ^ a b c Irwin, Nigel (January 12, 2017). "Joseph Boyden's Apology and the Strange History of 'Pretendians' – Boyden is hardly the first person to be alleged to have faked Indigenous roots for material or spiritual gain". Vice Media. Archived from the original on June 8, 2021. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d Ridgen, Melissa (January 28, 2021). "Pretendians and what to do with people who falsely say they're Indigenous". APTN News. Archived from the original on July 13, 2021. Retrieved July 13, 2021. Pretendians – noun – A person who falsely claims to have Indigenous ancestry – meaning it's people who fake an Indigenous identity or dig up an old ancestor from hundreds of years ago to proclaim themselves as Indigenous today. They take up a lot of space and income from First Nation, Inuit and Metis Peoples.
  9. ^ a b Brings Plenty, Trevino (December 30, 2018). "Pretend Indian Exegesis: The Pretend Indian Uncanny Valley Hypothesis in Literature and Beyond". Transmotion. 4 (2): 142–52. doi:10.22024/UniKent/03/tm.648. Archived from the original on November 25, 2021. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Joseph Boyden must take responsibility for misrepresenting heritage, says Indigenous writer". Archived from the original on July 17, 2021. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  11. ^ Leroux, Darryl. "Raceshifting". Raceshifting. Archived from the original on July 9, 2021. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  12. ^ Leroux, Darryl R. J.; Gaudry, Adam (October 25, 2017). "Becoming Indigenous: The rise of Eastern Métis in Canada". The Conversation. Retrieved November 5, 2022. In 2011 there were over 250 self-identified Cherokee "tribes" in the U.S., according to anthropologist Circe Sturm. Like efforts by self-identified Métis, Sturm suggests that "race shifting" among white Americans to Cherokee identity is an attempt to "reclaim or create something they feel they have lost, and … to opt out of mainstream white society." The end result, however, has been the proliferation of self-identified Cherokee "tribes" in the U.S. and "Métis communities" in Eastern Canada with minimal connections to Indigenous peoples who they claim as long-ago ancestors.
  13. ^ Deloria, Philip J. (1999). Playing Indian. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp. 64–8, 91, 101, et al. ISBN 9780300080674. Archived from the original on June 8, 2021. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  14. ^ Laura Browder, " 'One Hundred Percent American': How a Slave, a Janitor, and a Former Klansmen Escaped Racial Categories by Becoming Indians", in Beyond the Binary: Reconstructing Cultural Identity in a Multicultural Context, ed. Timothy B. Powell, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press (1999)
  15. ^ Micco, Melinda (2000). "Tribal Re-Creations: Buffalo Child Long Lance and Black Seminole Narratives". In Hsu, Ruth; Franklin, Cynthia; Kosanke, Suzanne (eds.). Re-placing America: Conversations and Contestations. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i and the East-West Center.
  16. ^ a b Murray, John (April 20, 2018). "APTN Investigates: Cowboys and Pretendians". Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. Archived from the original on October 7, 2021. Retrieved July 8, 2021. Canada's most famous pretendian is a man who called himself Grey Owl.
  17. ^ a b Smith, Donald B. (1990). From the Land of Shadows: The Making of Grey Owl. Saskatoon: Western Prairie Books.
  18. ^ Martin, Joel W. (1996). Bird, Elizabeth (ed.). 'My Grandmother Was a Cherokee Princess': Representations of Indians in Southern History. London: Routledge. ((cite book)): |work= ignored (help)
  19. ^ a b Elizabeth Cook-Lynn. "Who Stole Native American Studies?" Wíčazo Ša Review, Vol. 12, No. 1. (Spring, 1997), p. 23.
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  21. ^ Harjo, Joy (2020). "Introduction". In Harjo, Joy; Howe, Leanne; Foerster, Jennifer (eds.). When the Light of the World Was Subdued Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. p. 4. ISBN 9780393356816. Archived from the original on March 22, 2022. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
  22. ^ "Tracing American Indian and Alaska Native Ancestry | Indian Affairs". www.bia.gov. Retrieved November 27, 2023.
  23. ^ a b Geddes, Linda (February 5, 2014). "'There is no DNA test to prove you're Native American'". New Scientist. Archived from the original on March 15, 2017. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  24. ^ TallBear, Kim (January 17, 2019). "Elizabeth Warren's claim to Cherokee ancestry is a form of violence - Be it by the barrel of a carbine or a mail-order DNA test, the American spirit demands the disappearance of Indigenous people". High Country News. Archived from the original on November 22, 2021. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  25. ^ Kim TallBear (2008). "Can DNA Determine Who is American Native American?". The WEYANOKE Association. Retrieved May 11, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ Tennant, Amie Bowser (February 9, 2018). "Why Your DNA Results Didn't Show Your Native American Ancestry". The Genealogy Reporter. Archived from the original on December 5, 2018. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  27. ^ a b Suresh, Arvind (October 6, 2016). "Native Americans fear potential exploitation of their DNA". Genetic Literacy Project. Archived from the original on November 23, 2021. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  28. ^ a b Carey, Teresa L. (May 9, 2019). "DNA tests stand on shaky ground to define Native American identity". National Human Genome Research Institute. Archived from the original on January 11, 2022. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  29. ^ Murray, John (April 20, 2018). "APTN Investigates: Cowboys and Pretendians". Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. Archived from the original on October 7, 2021. Retrieved July 8, 2021. Actors who do this are sometimes called "pretendians" but that term is also used for people who play at being Indigenous in their real life.
  30. ^ Nagle, Rebecca (April 2, 2019). "How 'pretendians' undermine the rights of Indigenous people - We must guard against harmful public discourse about Native identity as much as we guard against harmful policy". High Country News. Archived from the original on June 19, 2019. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
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  32. ^ Cyca, Michelle (September 16, 2022). "The Curious Case of Gina Adams: A "Pretendian" investigation - She was hired by Emily Carr University in an effort to recruit Indigenous faculty. Then questions arose about her identity". Maclean's. Retrieved October 23, 2022.
  33. ^ a b Keeler, Jacqueline (May 5, 2020). "The Alleged Pretendians List". Pollen Nation Magazine. Archived from the original on June 8, 2021.
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  35. ^ a b TallBear, Kim (May 10, 2021). "Playing Indian Constitutes a Structural Form of Colonial Theft, and It Must be Tackled". Unsettle. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
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  37. ^ a b c Leo, Geoff (October 27, 2021). "Indigenous or pretender?". CBC News. Archived from the original on October 28, 2021. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
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  40. ^ a b Hoffman, Jordan (October 22, 2022). "Sacheen Littlefeather's Sisters Say Claim of American Indian Heritage Was A Fraud". Vanity Fair.
  41. ^ Lewis, Helen (March 16, 2021). "The Identity Hoaxers". The Atlantic. Retrieved July 21, 2023. The need to be associated with the victims rather than the perpetrators in such a context was, he said, often linked to another trauma in a person's life. [....] Perhaps the subconscious reasoning runs like this: White people are oppressors, but I'm a good person, not an oppressor, so I can't be white.
  42. ^ Wolfe, Patrick (2006) Settler colonialism and the elimination of the native, Journal of Genocide Research, 8:4, 387-409, DOI: 10.1080/14623520601056240
  43. ^ Deloria, Philip J. (1999). Playing Indian. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp. 64–5, 91, 101, et al. ISBN 9780300080674. Archived from the original on June 8, 2021. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  44. ^ a b c Jago, Robert (February 1, 2021). "Criminalizing 'Pretendians' is not the answer; we need to give First Nations control over grants". National Post. Archived from the original on July 17, 2021. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
  45. ^ a b Robinson, Rowland (2020). "4. Interlude: Community, Pretendians, & Heartbreak". Settler Colonialism + Native Ghosts: An Autoethnographic Account of the Imaginarium of Late Capitalist/Colonialist Storytelling (Phd.). [Waterloo, Ontario]: University of Waterloo. p. 236. OCLC 1263615440. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  46. ^ Jacqueline Keeler (January 28, 2021). Pretendians and what to do with people who falsely say they're Indigenous (Television broadcast). Interviewed by Ridgen, Melissa. Winnipeg: APTN News. Event occurs at 13:47. Archived from the original on July 13, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2022. White people are so accustomed, they are centered by white supremacy to such an extent they feel no compunction about doing this ... maybe even they covet what we have and they feel we don't deserve it. And so they decide they can perform the identity better than we can. And they can - for a white audience. ... White people like to see other white people in redface.
  47. ^ a b c Teillet, Jean (November 11, 2022). "There is nothing innocent about the false presumption of Indigenous identity". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved November 17, 2022.
  48. ^ Teillet, Jean (October 17, 2022). Teillet Report on Indigenous Identity Fraud (PDF) (Report). University of Saskatchewan. Retrieved November 17, 2022.
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  50. ^ Brown, Thomas. "Is Ward Churchill the New Michael Bellesiles?" Archived July 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine George Mason University's History News Network. 14 March 2005. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
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Further reading