A Canadian indigenous health professor was exposed as being descended from Europeans, contrary to her claims of Native American ancestry.
Professor Carrie Bourassa is well known as a Native American activist in her Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Bourassa teaches indigenous health at the University of Saskatchewan. She is also Scientific Director at the Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health and Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health.
Bourassa also owns Infinity Consulting, a firm that offers “Indigenous strategic planning, Indigenous health consulting and research, education and development.” The disgraced professor also use the name of “Morning Star Bear”, the name she introduced herself with at a 2019 TEDx talk at her university.
“My name is Morning Star Bear,” Bourassa informed the audience before tearfully claiming Native American ancestry.
Caroline Tait, a Métis professor and medical anthropologist reportedly worked with Bourassa for more than a decade. Bourassa only identified as Métis earlier in her career but recently began claiming to also be Anishinaabe and Tlingit, according to her colleague.
Tait and other colleagues of Bourassa became suspicious after her she expanded her claims of Indigenous ancestry. Bourassa’s sister reportedly stopped claiming to be Métis after she examined her genealogy.
When Tait heard that Bourassa’s sister stopped claiming to be Indigenous, she and another University of Saskatchewan professor decided to review Bourassa’s genealogy for themselves. Winona Wheeler, associate professor of Indigenous studies said the exposed professor’s story is built on a fundamental lie.
“When I saw that TEDx, to be quite honest, I was repulsed by how hard she was working to pass herself off as Indigenous,” Wheeler told a Canadian Broadcast Company reporter. “You’ve got no right to tell people that’s who you are in order to gain legitimacy, to get positions and to get funding. That’s abuse.”
The two professors discover Bourassa’s ancestors were from Eastern Europe, who cam to Canada to settle and became farmers.
Tait said genealogical records show that Bourassa’s supposed Indigenous ancestors were of Russian, Polish and Czechoslovakian descent, according to the CBC.
“There was nowhere in that family tree where there was any Indigenous person,” said Wheeler.
The CBC expose said their reporters has passenger manifests showing Bourassa’s great-grandmother Salaba left Russia in 1911 with her mother and sister to connect with her father, who had been granted land in Saskatchewan’s Punnichy area, where many Eastern European people settled.
“Census records identify Salaba as a Czech-speaking Russian, unable to speak English.”
Bourassa has been suspended from both her university and Institute positions, according to a Daily Mail report.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.