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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Semaganis


DESCENDIAN is a person who has a remote Indigenous relative WAY back in their family genealogy, and they take that singular Indigenous Ancestor from multiple generations back to lay claim to full Indigenous benefits today. THAT IS WRONG!

(from our Resources page here on this site)

Michelle Latimer did the worst thing ever. Not only was she not from Kitigan Zibi, her tenuous link to Indigenous Identity was from the 1600s. However, this was uncovered way after she had earned millions as a fimmaker, director, and gotten quite rich off her FALSE claim to Indigenous Identity. First, she was Algonquin at Kitigan Zibi, then Metis... now she is unmasked as the caucasian woman she is, ripe with privilege.

The average Indigenous Ancestor within the MNO is five generations back. That's 32 great great grandparents, 31 of which were non-Indigenous. Is there Indigenous Lived Experience there? No. Can that singular long-passed Ancestor teach you anything about being Indigenous? Again, no. Do you have Intergenerational Trauma? Again, no. Do Descendians have Intergenerational... PRIVILEGE? Oh yes!

Let's face it, the label of INDIGENOUS has been commodified to an insane and ridiculous degree, that it is almost beyond comprehension. Michelle took that label of INDIGENOUS and wore it all the way to the Sundance Film Festival Indigenous Program, accolades at TIFF and the Peoples Choice Awards and more. And, she's also in the Pretendian's Millionaires Club with Beverly.

This past Spring 2023, the Ghost Warrior Society sought to hold forums to discuss the impact of Indigenous Identity Fraud across all sectors. We formed a lexicon, resources, strategies, and were determined to bring this issue to the public eye and into the consciousness of our own Indigenous People.

Now in 2024, it is indeed, one of the first subjects to address in all Indigenous engagement. We anticipated this, and discussed, yes - there should be a cut off. Indigenous Identity cannot go on in perpetuity forever, it dilutes the integrity of Indigenousness, and becomes a Colonial Skeleton that has become a chase for Eligibility for this-and-that, and nothing of who we are as Indigenous People today.

In our collaboration and research, we learned about the Three Generations Model from the Inuit. The Inuit are a very strong culture, they have the best language retention and their cultural practises are very strong. Over 95% of the Inuit population in Nunavut is fluent in Inuktitut. Their success can be attributed to their adherence to Three Generations. Within their culture and communities, it is expected that if you are a Teacher of Language, a Leader, or a Teacher of Cultural practises, then you are within Three Generations. You are a first, second or third generation descendant to do these things.

Why? Because it is assumed that you have your Grandparents and Elders close by to ensure the Truth of Inuit Culture within your Lived Circle. Beautiful!

Beautiful, because there are three major components of being Indigenous that are honoured here.

Intergenerational Trauma/Resilience Indigenous Lived Experience Cultural Transference

Yes, there are exceptions. You might have access to up to five, six generations of your family. That's great! Or, you might be a Sixties Scoop Survivor, Indian Residential School Survivor or another displaced Indigenous Person who was not raised in an Indigenous family or community. In those cases, Cultural Transference can come later in adulthood. But in the case of Sixties Scoop Survivors, they are first generation Indigenous - I know I am, both my biological parents are registered Status Indians of the Little Pine First Nation. All of my children are first generation Indigenous, also.

Indigenous People like me, we don't need to hire a Genealogist and a Lawyer to make a frail link to an Indigenous Ancestor for the purpose of Resource Aquisition.

The explosion of the so-called-eastern-metis is proof of this. Ontario, Quebec and BC have been inundated with claims of I AM METIS BECAUSE I AM A DIRECT DESCENDANT OF XXXX BORN IN 1598 or some other incredulous claim like that. These claimants depend on Black Robe definitions of Indigeneity and that is also, troublesome and about as constructive and authentic as the "Self Identification of Indigenous Identity" that brought us to this point in the first place. It's sheer trauma to hear that. It's Colonial Violence. It's opportunistic and it's unethical.

The term INDIGENOUS is not a ticket you can use to access resources like housing, education and all these other opportunities that are meant for Indigenous People through Truth and Reconciliation. If having Scottish Ancestry gave me access to Housing, I wouldn't be whipping out the bagpipes, because my experience is INDIGENOUS! Descendians - your experience is something else and NOT Indigenous.

It is important to note: If you do have Indigenous Ancestry and want to have it be known when applying for housing, education, grants, benefits or ANY type of resources that are designed SPECIFICALLY for Indigenous People ---> do not adopt the term INDIGENOUS and wear it, use it and market it indiscriminately!!!

Be transparent and here is an example "My last Indigenous Ancestor was six generations ago but I would like to be considered for (this Indigenous Resource)."

We cannot implement the Model of Three Generations, because we have no mandate, no authority and no jurisdiction, anyway. We felt it important to talk about it and promote it.

We hope you take this article and consider it and honour it.

Thank you. Crystal Semaganis Nehiyaw Iskwew & Leader of the Ghost Warrior Society Against Indigenous Identity Fraud

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