Firestorm over Indigenous Identity Claim

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liisgo
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Re: Firestorm over Indigenous Identity Claim

Post by liisgo »

techrtr wrote:Seems pretty petty to have a hissy fit when someone claims to be Metis but can't prove it. There are probably huge numbers of people in this country who are Metis but don't care one way or the other and don't bother to check into it. Why do people feel compelled to "own" their heritage like it's a precious jewel? It's an accident of history, not something to be jealously guarded against suspected interlopers.

At any rate, it's a dumb series.
My wifes sister in law is Metis, from many gen's ago, and they guard it like a precious jewel, for the use of it. And they would be honest enough to tell folks that. They own a logging company than have made them millionaires. They enjoy many extremely beneficial offerings and opportunities because of it. I guess anything of value, power, money, advantage would be protected to the max. Wish we all could.
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JayByrd
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Re: Firestorm over Indigenous Identity Claim

Post by JayByrd »

techrtr wrote: Why do people feel compelled to "own" their heritage like it's a precious jewel?
No one's ever tried to stamp my culture out of existence, in an act of genocide that in many ways continues to this day, so I can't answer that.
When someone says they pay taxes, you know they're about to be an ******e.
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Merry
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Re: Firestorm over Indigenous Identity Claim

Post by Merry »

The issue of who is entitled to identify as indigenous, and who is not, is complicated because it involves so many other issues.

For example, many families (including my own) have an oral history about some long ago ancestor from a particular ethnic background. In my case it is a Scottish ancestor. I don’t know who this person was, or if he/she actually existed, but I grew up being told that I have some Scottish roots. Therefore, as I have no reason to disbelieve this oral family history, I have occasionally mentioned it to others, not with an intent to misrepresent myself, but merely in passing conversation during a few social gatherings (particularly on Robbie Burns Day). If it were to one day be found that the information I was given was untrue, would that make me a bad person for having believed and repeated it? I don’t think so yet, depending on the ethnic group you lay claim to, it appears many folks do think you might be a bad person for doing so.

It’s more of an issue when people lay claim to indigenous ancestry in order to be granted rights not enjoyed by the rest of us. Because it’s a fact that as soon as Governments give a right to one particular group, it inevitably limits the rights of other groups in society, who then feel they’re being unfairly discriminated against.

Singling out ANY group for special treatment, always leads to division within societies. And it also results in unscrupulous people trying to claim the benefits membership of that group entails, by declaring themselves to be a member of the group. And I think it is this tendency to self identify oneself as possibly being eligible for benefits denied to the wider society that is of concern to both indigenous, and non indigenous groups alike.

It is for this reason that society needs to give greater consideration to who should, and who should not, be eligible to be identified as a member of any group that is entitled to, or may become entitled to, Government largesse of any kind. For example, I know someone who, genealogically, is more European than native North American, yet is a card carrying Status Indian. I also know a fourth generation Quebecer who recently identified as Metis, in order to qualify for any benefits such identification may lead to. She wasn’t even aware of her indigenous history until she began to research her family tree, but was quick to jump on the bandwagon when she thought it might benefit her and her family in some way.

It is this kind of opportunism, that is strictly for personal gain, that Governments need to guard against. But ostracizing people for simply believing and repeating family oral history, is just plain silly.
"In a world swathed in political correctness, the voting booth remains the final sanctuary where the people are free to speak" - Clifford Orwin
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Omnitheo
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Re: Firestorm over Indigenous Identity Claim

Post by Omnitheo »

My godparents are First Nations, as are many of the people my dad grew up with on the Sunshine Coast, so I’ve always been interested in indigenous cultures and peoples. On my mother’s side though, there was supposedly some aboriginal ancestry. The whole "Indian princess" ancestor thing. Once I started really looking into ancestry though and did DNA tests. It pretty conclusively showed that was false. It appears a lot of people have this story in their family, and I wonder how many have simply passed the story down not realizing it too was false.
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oldtrucker
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Re: Firestorm over Indigenous Identity Claim

Post by oldtrucker »

Story goes that my grandfather on my moms side was Metis. A story that I have my doubts about even though if you saw a pic of my mom you would say ya, she is Metis for sure. It was supposedly kept quiet because back in the day that was the last thing that people wanted anyone to know. No way to find out other than a DNA test as he went missing in 1939-40 ish
Now days it's the exact opposite-people wanting a connection to that line of history.
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