Pretendians. Race Shifters. Ethnic Fraud. Fetis. Defendians.
There is a lot to unpack when combatting the growing issue of Indigenous Identity Fraud, and here in Canada, there are no legal consequences for pretending to be an Indigenous person when you are not indigenous. It's frowned upon, but not illegal. Indigenous meaning., First Nations - Metis - or Inuit.
This is a green light for anyone with a mind to exploitation... to exploit.
March and April 2023 saw the Gill Sisters Kanata Trade Co Scandal come to light, and it was trauma times a thousand for indigenous people like myself, watching it unfold on social media over days, weeks. It was highly triggering for us - meaning, any indigenous person who was ever rejected for post secondary funding, or were told to find a cheaper program of study. The exploitation, deception, lies, and dollar figure of this scandal ... gutted us.
I know because so many messaged me to talk about it. We spoke of it in safe places, cried about it, anguished over it, stomch in knots and hearts tearing to learn of the growing extent of it. It's traumatic, insulting, and a stark reminder of the disparity that exists for indigenous people in Canada.
There is a mistaken notion that indigenous people get funding for post secondary education automatically, with no hesitation. This is not true, and often we languish on waiting lists for decades. I am fifty one years old and I have yet to obtain a colonial degree or certification, and it's because of a lack of funding. I find Indigenous Identity Fraud to be an offence of spirit, a Intimate Colonial Violence like no other.
I have felt this way for years, and for Sixties Scoopers - it is a knife plunged extra deep. It pierces our hearts because everything Sacred was stolen from us in the scoop. At fifty one years of age, I have no lifelines that are available to other indigenous people. No rez to go home to, no bio family to go home to, to message, to buy Christmas gifts for. No connection to the adoptive family, either, for that adoption failed. I do not covet these things, for my family is my children and grandchildren and the confines of the house I rent and call home. I do not covet things that I do not know.
I was asked recently "You must miss your home rez and bio family," to which I responded, "Actually, honestly, no... I don't. You cannot miss what you never had," and this is the stark reality of the Sixties Scoop, displacement, and Colonial Violence.
This new Intimate Colonial Violence that is Indigenous Identity Fraud is my new adversary. The representation of everything Sacred taken from me, being held by Indigenous Identity Fraud - "Those Who Are False" (the Pretendians). They are wearing my Buffalo Robes.
I will still look for my Buffalo Robe. When I die, bury me in one, please.
Until then, I protect my people against Inauthentic Voices of Those Who Are False.
I have a right to ask questions of those who claim indigenous identity. I have a right to be protective of my people. My name is Crystal Semaganis, and I make my way into a quagmire of hurt, anguish, identity crises, and anger caused by this Pretendian issue.
Those Who Are False are adept at maintaining the facade, expert even.
No matter. Onward then, with the Good Medicine People. We are here to maintain the integrity of Truth of the Indigenous Nations of Canada and Turtle Island. If you have Truth, you have nothing to be concerned of. If you are False, then yes. You may be upset with me.
But let it be known, I am moving forward. Onward then! Crystal Semaganis