Move over, Lizzie Warren – there’s a new fake Indian in town.
A college dean in Canada quit her job after she was accused of lying about her Native American ancestry (since, as it turns out, she’s whiter than the driven snow – whoops!).
According to this, Gina Adams, a 57-year-old Connecticut native, got her job as a professor of art and design and dean at Emily Carr University in Vancouver in 2019 as part of an "indigenous persons" hiring spree after claiming to be a member of the White Earth Nation in Minnesota. She gave speeches about her ancestry and spun elaborate - but ultimately unverifiable - about her family's historical struggles. She claimed her great-great-grandfather was a famous chief, said she grew up speaking the indigenous language, and even sold “authentic” Native American quilts she says were inspired by nightmares she had about the violence her ancestors endured – for about $35,000 a pop, of course.
The Daily Mail reports that “Adams claimed her grandpa was taken from the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota and forced into a Pennsylvania boarding school which was designed to 'assimilate' indigenous children into the American way of life.”
And the lie detector test alleges…all that was a lie.
It turns out Adams might not be descended from White Earth ancestors – or any Native Americans – at all. In fact, some internet sleuths discovered that contrary to Adams’ claims of non-white lineage, she’s actually the daughter of a beauty pageant queen from Maine who’s about as white as printer paper.
And Adams’ super-white pedigree doesn’t stop there. Instead of being the great-great-granddaughter of a well-known indigenous chief, she’s actually reportedly descended from a whole slew of white folk, including some white guys born in Massachusetts. In fact, there’s not a whole lot of evidence – none at all, according to online investigators – that Adams comes from any Native American background whatsoever.
Of course, that’s a claim she’s disputed – without providing any actual proof that she’s telling the truth (her ancestors, conveniently, didn’t have any paper records – bummer).
In the meantime, Emily Carr University confirmed that Adams resigned from her on August 25, 2022 amid the controversy, while the White Earth Nation says they've declined her membership request after being unable to verify that she has any genetic link to the tribe.