A run down of news about fake Natives and fake Metis across North America.
In Colorado Springs, Colorado, a man who often identified as a "Native American shaman," according to Colorado Springs police, was arrested for sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact.
The arrest happened on Sept 5, and on Friday police sent out a release stating there could be more victims.
Detectives first learned of 57-year-old Richard Ortega on May 30 when several women reported he sexually assaulted them during what Ortega claimed were "holistic healing sessions." Over five months of investigating, police gathered enough information leading to an arrest.
According to arrest records, Ortega is facing multiple charges including sexual contact during a fake medical exam and unauthorized practice of massage therapy.
Police believe Ortega met most of his victims through events and community groups tied to the Native American community.
Read the original story Here
Passing off mass-produced tchotchkes as authentic Native American crafts could soon be illegal in Cherokee following Tribal Council’s unanimous vote to approve the Native Arts and Crafts Act last week.
The legislation, submitted by the Office of the Attorney General with support from outgoing Wolfetown Representative Jeremy Wilson, states that it will be unlawful to “offer, display for sale, or sell any good in a manner that falsely suggests” it is made by Cherokee people or by Native Americans.
“The purpose of this is to take action on things that are being sold here on the Qualla Boundary that don’t identify who we really are, and I think if we’re going to be making the attempt to strive for more cultural appropriation for us, and our identity, then I think that actions like this are to be needed,” said Wilson.
It is already illegal to dishonestly represent non-Native goods as indigenous creations. The federal Indian Arts and Crafts Act prohibits such actions. Nevertheless, the resolution accompanying the proposed ordinance stated, “these laws have not prevented inauthentic Cherokee goods and goods falsely purporting to be of other tribes from being displayed and sold.”
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Recently in Canada and the United States, a small but vocal minority of white French-descendants have used an ancestor born between 300 and 400 years ago to claim an “Indigenous” identity. Most of these claims are to a “Métis” identity, though many also claim “Abenaki” and “Algonquin” identities.
Since 2014, Professor Darryl Leroux been researching this shift into an “Indigenous” identity, which has been especially noticeable since a series of Supreme Court of Canada decisions between 1999 and 2003.
His new book, Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity, see his research into 12 years of online genealogy forums. One of the most surprising findings was how the same French women were transformed into Indigenous women on different forums in both French and English.
Learn More HERE