Questions around academic’s Indigenous identity trigger calls for national action

November 17, 2021
A recent CBC investigation into University of Saskatchewan professor and CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health scientific director Carrie Bourassa reportedly found no evidence to support Bourassa’s claims of Indigenous identity. Bourassa was put on leave without pay, and USask announced that an investigation had been launched into her claims after new information emerged. A demonstration was held at USask by the Matriarchs, Clan Mothers, Aunties and Allies group to call on universities across Canada to investigate faculty whose Indigenous identity has been questioned. The group asked for institutions to conduct “transparent reviews and decisive action” to remove employees with unsubstantiated claims of Indigeneity. USask student and Provincial Métis Youth Council president Autumn Larose-Smith noted that spurious claims to being Indigenous have destroyed trust and have devalued the word of Indigenous people. The University of Regina also recently released a statement recognizing concerns about Indigenous identity fraud and committing itself to establishing an Indigenous advisory body. CBC (1) | CBC (2) | CBC (3) | URegina (SK)