I believe it’s because I emerged into consciousness with no backstory that I’m so emotionally involved in the Buffy Sainte-Marie story. This is some text from a recent news item on CNN:
Canada’s Indigenous Women’s Collective is calling on the Junos Awards Committee to rescind her (Buffy’s) 2018 honour for Indigenous album of the year.
“We understand that traditional adoption comes with great responsibilities, it does not provide anyone permission to falsely claim Indigenous origin identity,” the collective said in a statement. “Being adopted into an Indigenous family and community does not authorize anyone to speak on behalf of all our people.”
The Indigenous Women’s Collective also condemned Sainte-Marie for what they called her appropriation of the trauma that many Indigenous people have experienced.
A 2022 report by Métis lawyer Jean Teillet for the University of Saskatchewan suggests that tens of thousands of people in Canada are pretending to be Indigenous, and that the number is growing.
TallBear* said she hopes that the CBC’s investigation into Sainte-Marie and similar cases in recent years will prompt institutions to more thoroughly vet claims of Indigeneity, rather than taking people at their word.
“Now what we really need to do is at universities, different professional organizations, go beyond self-identification. You can’t just check a box. You have to provide some sort of testimony or documentary proof that you have citizenship in or kinship relations with a First Nation or a tribe,” she said.
· Kim TallBear (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate) is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience, and Society, Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta.
Wednesday was brutal. I left here at 8:30 am to walk Sheba before lining up for the 9:20 ferry. It was dismally dark, damp and cool. Once on the big island, I went to Budget Glass to buy my second piece of ceramic glass for five hundred bucks. Fixing my fireplace has cost me a thousand dollars, but now, I’m confident, it is fixed and will last. Plus, I have a template to keep should the glass break again.
Then we went to Wallmart for more pet supplies before heading back into the city to first walk Sheba again, and then to meet Bev for lunch at a new restaurant I had discovered online called Melange. I was not confident that Bev would be there or that the restaurant would be open. Plus, it was a bitch to find parking. I was stressed to the max as I hurried to the place. But it was open, and she was there.
Lunch together was wonderful. The restaurant is lovely, slightly hip, and quiet. Quiet is essential for me if I am going to be able to talk. We had a great time; we loved our server, and the food was wonderful. Then I was off to the eye doctor. My appointment was for 2:35. I saw him at 3:50 and I was stressed to the max from the waiting. Sheba had been alone in the car too much by then.
Finally, it was over, we made a bee line to the ferry and just missed one, so we went for a walk and caught the next one, getting home at 5:15. It has been a long day. I had to feed all the pets and then I put the glass into the door. It was an excellent fit, and so then I built a roarer of a fire to heat my cold house.
In the evening, I wrote my essay for Dr. Shoja, whom I see on Monday via Zoom. I’m really pleased with what I have written, but I have time to refine it before our appointment.
Today will be spent enjoying every second of being home and not having to do anything but what I want. I absolutely crashed last night when I got home. It was classic me. I get myself through all that I need to do, and then I go to pieces once all the demands are met. I felt like I was going to explode last night. I wanted to sell this place and move to where I don’t need wood for heat, a generator, a splitter and where a strata council handles all repairs. I felt completely overwhelmed by life last night. So, today is about rest and relaxation. I’ll also attend to little things around the house needing doing.
But most of all: R&R!