A news article just came across my feed and I needed to share it with you. For context, Indigenous means American Indian, or Native American, or whatever term isn’t considered racist this week on Twitter. Emily Carr University is a school of of Art + Design in Vancouver, Canada.
Artist Gina Adams, whose claim to Indigenous identity raised doubts, has resigned from her post as assistant professor at Emily Carr University, according to a statement released by the school yesterday, September 6. Adams, whose multimedia work explores themes of heritage, ancestry, ritual, and land, was hired in 2019 at Emily Carr as part of a targeted cluster hire of new Indigenous faculty members….
“Emily Carr University takes very seriously the allegations that a member of our faculty made a false claim to Indigenous identity,” the school’s statement reads, adding that an “Indigenous-led external review” would be initiated to establish better procedures for confirming the veracity of claims of Indigenous identity in their hiring process.https://hyperallergic.com/758937/artist-accused-of-faking-indigenous-identity-quits-university-post/
So, right off the bat, this school has such racist hiring policies that they feel the need to check your family background to make sure you are the race you are claiming to be. Because, it SEEMS, they are hiring based on race. Which, correct me if I am wrong, is the very definition of racist.
But beyond that, I feel that, had she simply self identified as a woman but was discovered to be a man because, perhaps, one of the college girls saw her/him in the locker room showers, they would not have forced her/him to resign. This is my major issue with this incident. It SEEMS that you can lie about your actual, biological gender and no one is allowed to question it even if you have a full beard and have fathered several children. But if someone on the internet questions the “race” of your grandfather, your job is in jeopardy.
But I have more questions than answers, and so I left the following comment on their FaceBook page. I look forward to their explanation, or, more likely, their icy silence.
Greetings Emily Carr and friends,
I saw the news report about Gina Adams resigning because her self identity as an indigenous person was called into question. Neither the article nor the school’s open letter about the incident was very specific, so I have questions:
1. Did she admit to having lied on her application? Is that why she resigned?
2. Was she hired BECAUSE of her racial self identity and not her qualifications? Is that why she resigned?
3. Does she still self-identify as indigenous? If so, who has the authority at your school to reject a person’s self racial identity? And how do they make that determination?
4. Had she identified as male, would she likewise have been forced to resign, or does the school make allowances for gender identity that it does not for racial identity?
I’m writing an article about the incident, and your answers will be most helpful.
A week later, they had not replied. But I must say I remain curious as to how they would answer. If any of you hear anything, do let me know.