Woman who faked Native American heritage resigns from Wisconsin university residency
, 2023-01-29 15:30:00,
The University of Wisconsin-Madison awarded a $5,000, 10-week residency to an art scholar who pretended to be of Native American descent, so the scholar could develop a “toolkit and curriculum around cultural appropriation,” before resigning.
Kay LeClaire, who uses they/them pronouns, labeled themselves as “two spirit,” an Indigenous term used to describe those who identify with both masculine and feminine qualities.
LeClaire had, for years, falsely claimed “Métis, Oneida, Ojibwe and Cuban heritage” and had even adopted an Ojibwe name, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
LeClaire also co-owned an Indigenous and queer art and tattoo parlor, they held a spot on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force and garnered recognition as a prominent Native American voice before the controversy emerged.
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LeClaire, apologizing for the dustup, said “I’m sorry” in a statement. They didn’t mention their race, but added that they would no longer use the Indigenous name taken in place of their real one and would abandon all projects or positions geared toward Indigenous identities to atone for their actions.
Aside from being awarded the paid residency, LeClaire got involved in other topics concerning the Indigenous community on UW Madison’s campus, including…
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