How disgraced health expert Carrie Bourassa passed as indigenous for years

Posted in Articles, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing on 2021-12-06 01:23Z by Steven

How disgraced health expert Carrie Bourassa passed as indigenous for years

The New York Post
2021-12-01

Isabel Vincent, Investigative reporter

Carrie Bourassa’s Instagram page describes her as an “Indigenous feminist” and “proud Metis” with an addiction to lattes.

Only her penchant for caffeine was true.

A statement from Carrie Bourassa’s team said “she has not falsely identified as Indigenous nor taken space away from Indigenous peoples.”

Bourassa, a professor in the department of community health and epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan and a leading expert on indigenous issues, has been exposed as a fraud. A family tree prepared by a group of academics who were suspicious of her ancestral claims shows that Bourassa is of Swiss, Hungarian, Polish and Czechoslovakian origins and has not one ounce of indigenous blood…

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The Carrie Bourassa story is yet another example of a kind of cultural Munchausen Syndrome

Posted in Articles, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing on 2021-11-10 01:34Z by Steven

The Carrie Bourassa story is yet another example of a kind of cultural Munchausen Syndrome

The Globe and Mail
Toronto, Canada
2021-11-09

Drew Hayden Taylor

Carrie Bourassa, a University of Saskatchewan professor, told the world her ancestry was Métis, Anishnawbe and Tlingit. But she has been unable to verify her ancestry following reports questioning those claims.
DAVE STOBBE/UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN

Here we go again – another day, another story about someone with supposed Indigenous roots turning out perhaps not to be who they say they are. After recent reports from Indigenous scholars and the CBC cast doubts on claims to Indigenous ancestry by Carrie Bourassa, a University of Saskatchewan professor in community health and epidemiology as well as the scientific director of the Institute of Indigenous People’s Health, she was put on indefinite paid leave from one position and unpaid leave from the other.

For the longest time, Bourassa told the world her ancestry was Métis, Anishnawbe and Tlingit. But since the reports questioning those claims, she has been unable to verify her ancestry. Now, relieved of her high-profile positions, she can spend all her spare time jigging, beading and carving totem poles.

She is the latest to be suffering from what I consider a cultural form of Munchausen Syndrome – when a person pretends to be sick in order to get sympathy and attention from those around them. This particular form of the syndrome, which seems to be on the rise, occurs when somebody pretends to be of another race or people – usually Indigenous – possibly to obtain respect and recognition from others and, some might argue, certain financial benefits as well.

An early practitioner was English expat conservationist Archibald Stansfeld Belaney, who claimed to be Native American and called himself Grey Owl – but even back then, most Indigenous people were suspicious of how Grey or Owl-like he actually was. More recently in the U.S., former college instructor Rachel Dolezal claimed to be African-American when in reality she was just a white woman with pigment envy…

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“She is not Métis. She is the modern-day Grey Owl,” Tait said, referring to the famous British-born conservationist from the early 1900s who fooled the world into believing he was a Native American man.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2021-11-03 15:41Z by Steven

[Caroline] Tait said genealogical records show that [Carrie] Bourassa’s supposed Indigenous ancestors were of Russian, Polish and Czechoslovakian descent.

“There was nowhere in that family tree where there was any Indigenous person,” said [Winona] Wheeler.

Tait was so troubled by what she found that, with the support of Wheeler and others, she compiled the information in a document and submitted formal academic misconduct complaints against Bourassa with the U of S [(University of Saskatchewan)] and the CIHR. In her email to CBC, Bourassa said the U of S complaint was dismissed.

“She is not Métis. She is the modern-day Grey Owl,” Tait said, referring to the famous British-born conservationist from the early 1900s who fooled the world into believing he was a Native American man.

Geoff Leo, “Indigenous or pretender?CBC News, October 27, 2021. https://www.cbc.ca/newsinteractives/features/carrie-bourassa-indigenous.

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Health scientist Carrie Bourassa on immediate leave after scrutiny of her claim she’s Indigenous

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing on 2021-11-02 20:56Z by Steven

Health scientist Carrie Bourassa on immediate leave after scrutiny of her claim she’s Indigenous

CBC News
2021-11-02

Geoff Leo, Senior Investigative Journalist

At the 2019 TEDx talk in Saskatoon, Carrie Bourassa claimed publicly that she is Métis and Anishnaabe and has suffered the effects of racism. (YouTube.com)

University of Saskatchewan, CIHR place Bourassa on leave over lack of evidence

Carrie Bourassa, a University of Saskatchewan professor and the scientific director of the Indigenous health arm of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), is on leave from both institutions following a weekend of online outrage stemming from CBC’s investigation into her claims to Indigeneity.

Bourassa, who has headed up an Indigenous research lab at the U of S and the CIHR’s Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health, has publicly claimed to be Métis, Anishnaabe and Tlingit.

CBC found there was no evidence she was Indigenous, despite her claims many times over the past 20 years. When asked, Bourassa hasn’t offered any genealogical evidence to back up her claims, but in a statement she said two years ago she hired a genealogist to help her investigate her ancestry, and that work continues.

Just last week, after publication of the CBC story, the CIHR issued a statement supporting Bourassa, saying it “values the work of the Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health under Dr. Carrie Bourassa’s leadership.” And the U of S also backed her, stating, “The quality of Professor Bourassa’s scholarly work speaks for itself and has greatly benefited the health of communities across Canada.”

However, on Monday, both institutions announced Bourassa was on immediate leave…

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Indigenous or pretender?

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Canada, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing on 2021-11-02 01:59Z by Steven

Indigenous or pretender?

CBC News
2021-10-27

Geoff Leo, Senior Investigative Journalist

Carrie Bourassa, one of the country’s most-esteemed Indigenous health experts, claims to be Métis, Anishinaabe and Tlingit. Some of her colleagues say there’s no evidence of that.

With a feather in her hand and a bright blue shawl and Métis sash draped over her shoulders, Carrie Bourassa made her entrance to deliver a TEDx Talk at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon in September 2019, where she detailed her personal rags-to-riches story.

“My name is Morning Star Bear,” she said, choking up. “I’m just going to say it — I’m emotional.”

The crowd applauded and cheered.

“I’m Bear Clan. I’m Anishinaabe Métis from Treaty Four Territory,” Bourassa said, explaining that she grew up in Regina’s inner city in a dysfunctional family surrounded by addiction, violence and racism…

Read the entire article here.

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