Paul Revere and the Raiders had a hit single in the 1960’s called “Indian Reservation”, about the destruction of the way of life of the Cherokee Nation. The song was written by a white songwriter and the Raiders were an all white band. There was controversy in that fact. But also there were positives viewed, in that it described the plight of the Cherokee Nation, rather than be one of the sterotypical songs of Natives, at that time. In that sense, it was seen as a protest song.
There is a disturbing trend of native ancestry being claimed for personal and/or political gain. Carrie Bourassa was a professor at the University of Saskatchewan and a leading expert on Indigenous issues. Her Instagram page described her as an Indigenous feminist and a proud Metis. Turned out she had Swiss, Polish, Czech and Hungarian blood but not a trace of Indigenous blood. Turns out she was raised by a white middle class family in Regina. She defender herself by claiming that, during her 20’s, she was adopted by a Metis friend of her grandfather. Bourassa has since resigned.
Then, there is former Democrat Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren. She has claimed, over the years to be of Cherokee Nation blood. She claimed to be Native American in a 1986 registration form to the Texas Bar. She was a candidate for the 2020 Presidential election. Donald Trump perstered her enough to get a DNA test. The test found that she may have had a Native American ancestor six to ten generations ago. She has since apologized for making this claim. But, not before Trump, the master of insults, hung the nickname “Pocahontas” on her.
Now, we have Alberta Premier, Danielle Smith, she of “unvaccinated people being the most discriminated group ever” fame. During her leadership campaign, someone connected to her campaign was in a video where indigenous were mocked.. Smith in response, to this, tweeted,
“I have been made aware of an appalling clip involving a phone bank contractor we engaged to assist our campaign that I feel is offensive and entirely unacceptable. I will not be associated with such behaviour and have instructed my campaign to immediately terminate any contract or other dealings with the involved company. As someone with indigenous ancestry, I honour the heritage of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples as one of our nation’s and province’s greatest treasures and strengths.“
She later doubled down on this by saying the following,
“My great-great-grandmother was Mary Crow[e]. She was a member of the Cherokee Nation that had been forcibly relocated to Kansas from the southeastern United States in the 1830s by the U.S. government, a terrible stain on the history of America known as the Trail of Tears,”
Turns out that Mary Crowe was born in 1870, a number of years after the “Trail of Tears”. Also, turns out that Smith’s family tree does not show any evidence of Cherokee blood. Smith is still backtracking, given the revelation of no Cherokee blood was made only a couple of days ago. Danielly, your legacy of foot in mouth continues. You have one and only one option here. Apologize.
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