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HomeWorldPocahontas 2.0?: Canadian indigenous health boss Carrie Bourassa suspended over claims she...

Pocahontas 2.0?: Canadian indigenous health boss Carrie Bourassa suspended over claims she is white

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A Canadian health boss, Carrie Bourassa, has been suspended from work without pay over a scandal some are dubbing ‘Pocahontas 2.0’.

Bourassa was the scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health, and had been appointed to the high-stakes job partly on account of her claimed indigenous ancestry. She was also a professor in the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, her role there also suspended.

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However, an investigation by Canadian national broadcaster CBC showed her ancestry was not indigenous at all, but entirely of European origin.

Bourassa claimed she was of the Métis, Anishnaabe and Tlingit communities.

Following the suspensions Bourassa insisted she was not lying and intended to fight the claims. ‘I find it appalling that a national media outlet is choosing to spin a story about Indigenous identity fraud and using my name to do so,’ she said.

‘This entire smear campaign stems from lateral violence and I refuse to allow myself to be further abused in this way. True journalism should be a vessel of empowerment for Indigenous women as we are the most vulnerable in this country we call Canada. But, rather I have been used as the next target in a public attack meant to cause me harm in what is nothing less than tabloid journalism at this point,’ shes said in a statement.

Social media was full of comment about the case, characterised by some as ‘Pocahontas 2.0’ with reference to Donald Trump’s exposure of Democrat Elizabeth Warren’s claimed Native American roots.

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