Pocahontas 2.0: Canadian public health expert loses job over false indigenous ancestry claims

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Perhaps taking a page from the playbook of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who ex-President Donald Trump irreverently nicknamed “Pocahontas,” a Canadian public health expert allegedly may have falsified or misrepresented her Native American heritage and possibly for career advancement.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the news outlet which raised questions about the official’s background, Carrie Bourassa, who has been suspended from the position of the scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health, an agency of the federal government in that country, is “one of the most prominent and respected voices on Indigenous health in the country.”

“In its review of Bourassa’s genealogy, CBC has traced all of her ancestry lines back to Europe. CBC was unable to locate any Indigenous ancestor,” the news outlet claimed, however, in its detailed report on the matter.

The CBC is roughly the Canadian version of PBS in the U.S.

“In a statement released by Bourassa after CBC’s story was published, [Bourassa] reiterated that she identifies as Métis and that the elders who support her do not rely on ‘blood quantums’ to assess Indigenous identity. She said that she has hired a Métis genealogist to investigate her ancestry,” the CBC noted.

In late October, a Toronto-based women’s advocacy group named Prof. Bourassa as one of Canada’s 100 most-powerful women.

Her ancestral claims are also under investigation by the University of Saskatchewan, where she also works, or worked, given that she has been placed on leave from her position there in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, where she has directed a indigenous community-based health research lab.

Under far-left Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada’s establishment has become obsessed with identity politics.

A current events aficionado, President Trump has yet to comment on this particular scandal, although he was memorably vocal in the past about the Massachusetts Democrat’s resume.

As alluded to above, University of Saskatchewan announced earlier this month that Attorney Jean Teillet “who specializes in indigenous rights law” and “says she is Red River Métis,” is conducting an independent investigation into the matter.

From time to time, other instances have emerged about academics or others claiming minority status.

A 2019 Tedx Talk where Bourassa, wearing “full tribal regalia,” introduced herself as “Morning Star Bear” allegedly lacked the ring of truth, the New York Post explained.

Colleagues began to doubt Bourassa’s story as she began to add claims of Anishinaabe and Tlingit heritage to her tale — and took to dressing in stereotypically indigenous fashion.

“When I saw that TEDx, to be quite honest, I was repulsed by how hard she was working to pass herself off as indigenous,” said Winona Wheeler, an associate professor of Indigenous studies at the college.

Wheeler, a documented member of Manitoba’s Fisher River Cree Nation, started digging into Bourassa’s genealogical records — and took her findings to the media.

But when pressed to provide evidence of Native American heritage, Bourassa suddenly changed her story — saying that she had been adopted into the Métis community by an unnamed Métis friend of her deceased grandfather, Clifford Laroque.

 

“Caroline Tait said she, Wheeler and other colleagues grew more doubtful when they learned that Bourassa’s sister had stopped claiming Métis ancestry after looking further into her genealogy,” the Daily Mail added.

“Her sister, Jody Burnett said Bourassa’s ‘description of our family is inaccurate, not rooted in fact and moreover is irrelevant to the issue of whether or not [she] is Métis.'”

Watch a report on the controversy from the CBC embedded below:

Although the left-wing activists have repeatedly accused both the U.S. and Canada of harboring a society rife with white privilege, a recent survey claims that about one-third of American white students applying to college pretended to be a person of color to get admitted or obtain additional financial aid.

Just short of 50 percent “who lied claimed to be Native American.”

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