Joseph Boyden’s Identity Crisis

Women’s voices on determining identity.


This week I sat down with Sadie-Pheonix Lavoie and Jacqueline Pelland, who both have mixed Indigenous identity and have positions on the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association, to talk about the recent controversy around Joseph Boyden’s claim to indigenous identity. On December 23, APTN released a long article debunking Boyden’s claims to Indigenous identity. Boyden has been paid to speak as an Indigenous perspective previously, and the article opened up a national conversation on identity politics. Here we talk about how Boyden takes space away from others in the conversation, where these conversations would be most fruitful, and how news media continues to limit the range of voices being heard on the issue.

The conversation at hand today is mostly being controlled by male voices, either white or Indigenous in terms of news media and social media. To have a variety of voices provides perspectives that can be crucial to how we form community and who we share space with. What’s missing from the conversation at hand is a lot of historical context, and the impact that having this big conversation has on voices that continue to go unheard. As a public figure, Boyden had the opportunity to share his platform with a number of people and amplify a number of voices. But that hasn’t happened. Listen for more…


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