Article about Pretendians – What they Said

isi kākī itwīcik – What they said

When I posted my article about Pretendians, two weeks ago, I noticed many responses that were agreeable and understandable. However, there were many negative misunderstandings about what I meant by the term. I tried answering some comments to clear things up and made several attempts to straighten out some confusion. It seemed that some people did not want to comprehend and just wanted to disagree with someone. I thought that maybe they were upset with something or someone else and took it out on my article. Although that seemed a bit far-fetched, it could be true for a few people.

My main focus was on Joseph Boyden, and his book: Three Day Road. I wrote how completely duped I was into believing Boyden was of Indigenous ancestry. Not only myself, but my instructor and classmates as well (although I have not mentioned it to them, maybe they read the article). I enjoyed the book very much and maybe that should be important, but he is not a real “Indian.” He made himself out to be one and he benefited greatly from doing so.

Authors like Drew Hayden Taylor and Tomson Highway wrote many great works that I still have stored away (somewhere). Their styles inspired me to write many stories that I share on this website with many, many more in the backburner. I still follow Taylor to this day on Twitter (@TheDHTaylor), and he even responded to a couple of comments of mine (that was awesome).

Another author I follow is Jason EagleSpeaker on LinkedIn ( He often posts funny and intriguing posts that many people react to. His graphic novels look great, and he has a sample of one of his works on his page, I encourage you to check it out.

The topic was discussed on a Facebook page called Indigenous Circle on CTV, and I posted the link to my article on the comments. An admin from the page responded to my comment and posted his opinion with his real-life experience:

Nelson Bird from Indigenous Circle on CTV

That is very interesting Charlie. So many of us have stories and experiences similar to yours; that is – believing what we hope to be true only to find out the opposite. I was once the target of a few people accusing me of being a ‘pretendian’ before that term was even a thing. I wrote an opinion piece (post) about some Indigenous protestors who attempted to assault a white opiniated radio host. They were right in condemning him, but I didn’t agree with their tactics,…then they turned on me. They accused me of not being a ‘real Indian’ and having never lived on a reserve. Wrong on both counts. I grew up on my reserve and I am full status, and have never denied my heritage. Their false accusations did not go far at all, as everyone who knows me, knows my cultural history. My point is that there are many who claim falsely to be Indigenous, and they should be called out….but people should also do their homework and not accuse someone simply because they are angry, upset, or jealous. My opinion only.

I will be going to go through some of the misunderstandings of my previous article, in this article. It will be without revealing or exposing the commentators of my previous article, by paraphrasing their comments. So here it goes.

COMMENT: I have a friend who is white and appreciates Indigenous culture and language:

This I understand completely because I have friends who are also white and also appreciate my culture. While comment is way off the topic of my Pretendians article, it could be just a comment to show that not every culture aware non-native is trying to be an “Indian.”

COMMENT: Our rights need to be protected.

Yes, our rights as Indigenous people need to be protected. This may be a comment on how Pretendians are infringing and appropriating our culture and benefiting financially.

COMMENT: What about white people who are involved with the Indigenous community.

I am very proud to see how the non-Indigenous people have come together with us in the town I live in. We have a Tri-Community of La Ronge, Air Ronge and our reserves as one. Many programs and events are geared toward coming together and working together. I, myself have been involved through the live -streaming I do for some of the events for the folks at home. We also have many white people who work with us in our reserves.

COMMENT: I am Indigenous, but I look white, and I have been targeted by both sides.

This an unfortunate occurrence that is dealt with by many people on and off the rez. Fortunately, it does not seem as bad as it used to be, at least it appears that way. I am sure there are many different stories these days because who knows what happens behind close doors.

The terms “apple” and “potato” came up on some comments. However, that is another topic for another time, because it has nothing to do with the article. Many Indigenous people choose to live a very different lifestyle than usual and that is their business. I have no grievances about it, nor should anybody else.

I was not able to embed the article on my WordPress site, so I used images to display the Facebook page: Indigenous Circle on CTV


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