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Native American artists’ collective founder revealed to be white: Report

This Oct. 9, 2013 photo shows an art display at the Red Earth Museum in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma is home to 39 Native American tribes. Visiting each of the tribal headquarters within the state makes for a daunting task, but their influence is felt throughout Oklahoma City, including at the Red Earth Museum, a small nonprofit gallery in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) Sue Ogrocki/AP

Native American artists’ collective founder revealed to be white: Report

Jack Birle

January 03, 09:18 PM January 03, 09:18 PM

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A woman who co-founded an LGBT Native American artists’ collective has left the organization after it was reported she was actually white.

Kay LeClaire, who went by nibiiwakamigkwe, says she has left the art collective, called giige, after reports surfaced accusing her of being of German, Swedish, and French Canadian ancestry.

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“I am sorry. A lot of information has come to my attention since late December. I am still processing it all and do not yet know how to respond adequately. What I can do now is offer change. Moving forward, my efforts will be towards reducing harm by following the directions provided by Native community members and community-specified proxies. Currently, this means that I am not using the Ojibwe name given to me and am removing myself from all community spaces, positions, projects, and grants and will not seek new ones. Any culturally related items I hold are being redistributed back in community, either to the original makers and gift-givers when possible or elsewhere as determined by community members. Thank you,” LeClaire said in a statement to Madison365.

In a lengthy statement on Instagram, giige confirmed LeClaire was no longer with the collective and wished to extend its “gratitude and utmost sympathy to the Indigenous community.”

The case of LeClaire reportedly faking a Native American identity comes months after Indigenous activist Sacheen Littlefeather, who famously rejected Marlon Brando’s Oscar on his behalf in 1973, was accused of not being Native American by her siblings weeks after her death.

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