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CBC to Air THE PRETENDIANS This Week

The documentary investigates why someone would fake or counterfeit an indigenous identity.

CBC to Air THE PRETENDIANS This Week

Drew Hayden Taylor (Going Native, Cottagers & Indians, Searching for Winnetou, Mixed Blessings) and Paul Kemp (Nike's Big Bet, Going Native, Cottagers & Indians, Searching for Winnetou of Paul Kemp Productions are pleased to present the documentary, The Pretendians, on The Passionate Eye, Friday, September 30 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC and CBC Gem. No repeats planned at this time.

In Canada names like esteemed novelist Joseph Boyden, acclaimed film director Michelle Latimer, and former University of Saskatchewan Health Expert Carrie Bourassa have all been front page news for one reason: each has been alleged to be a "Pretend Indian." In other words, someone who claims distant indigenous identity but upon deeper scrutiny has been accused of stealing jobs and opportunities from real natives.

Which leads to a bigger question: Why would someone fake or counterfeit an indigenous identity?

In The Pretendians, Drew Hayden Taylor journeys across Canada to tackle the explosive issue of who, and why, indigenous identity, culture, art and even tribes are being counterfeited by those who are not First Nations people.

Taylor goes on the hunt for knock-off west coast indigenous art. He witnesses an explosion of dubious Eastern Canadian indigenous Status Indian Claims. He unpacks where, and how, the claims of blood-quantum come from (ie: that one drop of Indian blood is enough to claim indigeneity) and speaks with people truly exploring if they are indigenous -- or not. Taylor meets a university teacher fighting Pretendian persecution. Importantly, Taylor also witnesses an American Cherokee woman, an "Indian fraud-buster", as she tries to track down and confront one of the most notable fake indigenous claimants in Canada.

In the end, Taylor tackles The Pretendian situation with curiousity, openness, but also an investigative tone.

The film is commissioned by CBC's The Passionate Eye documentary series, with financial support from the Canada Media Fund, Ontario Creates and the Canada Audio-Video Certification Offices.

ABOUT DREW HAYDEN TAYLOR

Drew Hayden Taylor is an award-winning playwright, novelist, journalist and filmmaker. Born and living on the Curve Lake First Nation (Anishinaabe) in Ontario, he has done everything from stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C. to serving as artistic director of Native Earth Performing Arts, Canada's leading Indigenous theatre company. The author of 34 books, Drew likes to travel the world, spreading the gospel of Native literature and storytelling.

ABOUT Paul Kemp

Paul Kemp Productions is a multiple award-winning TV series and feature documentary film company based in Toronto. With over 50 films and series produced over the years, and with sales in over 140 countries, some of the company's notable productions include: Canada Screen Award Winner Nike's Big Bet (CBC, Peacock, Sky UK, Amazon), Searching for Winnetou (CBC), Transformer (CBC, Netflix USA), The Rise of Jordan Peterson (CBC, SKY UK, Amazon), Village of the Missing (CBC, Sundance Now), Cottagers & Indians (CBC), The Science of Sin (Discovery International), Rise of the Trolls (Amazon + 80 countries) and Infestation (UKTV, ZDF-GERMANY).

Photo Credit: Sara Cornthwaite


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