, 2023-01-03 06:01:54,
In early 2020, an Aboriginal artist urged the owners of a new music venue in town to change its name.
It was called Winnebago, after the street it stands on. Many of the natives and allies told the owners that this was not the best name for a white-owned music venue. One of them was nibiiwakamigkwe, also known as Kay LeClaire, a founding member and co-owner of the Indigenous Indigenous Artists Collective, and emerging leader of the Madison Indigenous Arts Community.
It took several months, but the place eventually fell through and was renamed The Burr Oak.
“I’m glad the owners have decided to no longer profit from Aboriginal identities,” LeClair wrote. Editorial for Our Lives Wisconsin. “I am glad the name is going, but I am not happy that the institutions that allowed theft in the first place remain. For more than 500 years, indigenous peoples have not controlled our narratives and representations. Our exclusion has been built into the inclusion of others.”
One problem with this narrative: LeClaire was not Indigenous, and was in fact tapping into Indigenous identities.
Since at least 2017, Métis, Oneida, Anishinabe, Hodenosone, Cuban, and Jew have been claimed by Kay LeClaire. In addition, they identify as “two spirits,” a term used by many indigenous peoples to describe a non-binary gender identity. In addition to being a member and co-owner of giige, LeClaire has received several artists’ salaries,…
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