How much or how little that I speak on this issue is dependent on the energy I have to put toward it. Thus, this may end up being more of a small series.
While I have not spoken previously on this ‘alleged pretendian list’, I am aware of it. I’d meant to look into it since it was such a polarizing issue. Of late, my personal life has been quite volatile, so I haven’t committed any time or energy toward the issue, but I have been thinking of it.
Long story short, I was not consulted about the inclusion of one of my articles being used as a resource for the alleged pretendian list.
The only explanation I can offer about the article is that my website is not a genealogical website, I am not a genealogist and those individuals that are included in the ‘Pretendian’ section of my website are people to whom public information suggests their claims are false strongly enough that I feel confident in calling them out. I don’t deep dive, private investigator type investigate; in fact, I believe most or all my research is in the articles. Inclusion of my article should not be construed as support or endorsement of the alleged pretendian list, nor should it be considered legal proof as I’m not a lawyer either.
Now about that list.
This is only based on what I’ve seen thus far. I have not read every tweet about it, nor have I read any media articles about it. Generally speaking, I need time to research and stew about things before I offer an opinion and that’s rarely a rapid process. I will do some more digging and update as needed. There are a few areas that I want to explore and it’s important that I share the processing that I’ve done thus far, please be patient.
Before we begin, while this piece is meant to be seen by and considered by Indigenous peoples, I am also attempting to relay information that hopefully helps clarify certain elements for non-Natives as I have seen non-Natives weighing in on this topic with hostile and ignorant takes.
- What is a Pretendian
- Real world harm of pretendians
- Two camps, two priorities
- What is a Pretendian revisited
- Blood quantum, sovereignty
What is a Pretendian?
Pretendian is an older term that seems to combine ‘pretend’ and ‘Indian’. As the two words convey, this is a non-Native person pretending to be Native either passively or actively. Let’s break that down a little more than that.
A passive pretendian would include those with family lore. The old, “my great great grandmother”, “the courthouse burned down”, “ancestor refused to enroll” vague tales that can’t be immediately, or often easily, proven. Yet despite the lack of genealogical evidence, way too many Americans are part of this interesting phenomenon and think that if they claim to be Native, then they must be. It is utterly fascinating if you dwell on it.
An active pretendian has crafted a whole history and ancestry designed to pass themselves off as a Native or “Native descent” individual. The active pretendian knows that they are not Native, yet will adamantly adhere to their claims. While I have quite a few thoughts as to why that might be, let’s cover it in the revisited section.
Whether passive or active, pretendians will most often become defensive about their ancestry and either remain vague about it or refuse to elaborate as to their supposed connection. It becomes a secret that needs to be protected. Those really entrenched in their lies may never elaborate solely for this reason. Because it puts the onus of belief on all of us, not them. Thus, when some believe and some don’t, those two sides are now fighting while the person they’re fighting over or about doesn’t have to expend any energy to defend or prove their claims. It never has to end. This is also super frustrating.
Real world harm of pretendians
Falsifying a Native identity, whether passive or active, is harmful to Natives. It may seem like a fake or two would be no big deal, but it is. It’s a nationwide phenomenon in the United States and Canada at the very least. A more recent example is the millions of dollars in contracts stolen by people who have claimed fake Cherokee tribes. Millions! To date, there are hundreds of fake Cherokee tribes and many fake tribes based on other tribes as well. There are fake tribes in Germany even (it’s global!).
Another example is the Washington Post poll about the Washington r-word team name. Per the poll, 9 out of 10 Natives had no problem with the name. It’s an interesting result that immediately dismissed the DECADES of previous generations’ protests. The majority of those polled -and this is important- self-identified as Native American. They didn’t have to prove it, nor did they have to really believe they were Native. They just had to identify as Native American to basically tick a box on an internet poll.
This bit is a personal judgment, but I 100% believe that non-Natives voted in the poll just to weaponize the ‘overwhelming’ data to silence any protest at all. In fact, if memory serves, the organization even cited the poll quite a bit. Having their way was more important than actually listening to Native voices, and it’s this attitude that makes fakes palatable, or even promoted when it can override our concerns.
When asking the general public anything about any topic that relates to Natives, if you give them the option to self identify as Native American, I would wager both a passive and active pretendian would identify as Native American without guilt. Native Americans are roughly 2% of the United States’ population. That means that voices being heard in public polls and representing our people aren’t our people, therefore we are not publicly self-determining our own issues. It isn’t a fad or non-issue. Being protective of that identity is very important.
There are plenty of other areas, such as academia, in which pretendians steal money and a voice from Natives. It doesn’t matter your industry. Ask enough people and you will find a handful who claim to be Native. Ask them what tribe. Try it, it’s ‘fun’.
So that’s theft of money meant for us and voices being heard that are meant to be us and aren’t. Wait till we get to land; but that’s another topic.
Two camps, two priorities
In this instance, the two camps are Natives and non-Natives. Native priorities are our identity and their lack of priority as it pertains to us. Their priority is whatever serves their agenda.
Identity, representation and respect are important. It would be bizarre for a strange family to move into one’s home, steal your food and tell all far and wide that they’re part of your family. Worse, they start telling strangers how to treat you and pick priorities that aren’t yours, but the only voices that can be heard are theirs, which all but renders your family powerless. It can lead to an understandable negativity about them. Anything from rolling one’s eyes to outright hostility. It’s made even more volatile, in my opinion, because it ties into blood quantum, which we’ll discuss in a bit.
That being said, this next statement starts out broad and sweeping, yet I would like it noted that there are complexities within our communities, and I think that bears on how white people view our identity. All while being confused about those complexities without acknowledging that they have helped snowball them by being inundated with pretendians who are speaking for and to both sides. Because those fakes are in both camps. We are also over 500 diverse tribes with very diverse customs, therefore such a general statement comes with the caveat that the methods and opinions herein will be different between cultures. Plus, I can only speak from my experiences based on the teachings of ma, aunts, uncles and grandparents, which is largely Lakota based. And even among Lakota… you get the idea.
Indigenous peoples have our own ways of identifying who is one of us, yet we define who is Indigenous in two ways – a traditional way and a ‘white way’. A more traditional approach is through community and kinship ties. Very much a ‘we determine who we are’. We expect that those who identify as Native will be able to tell us how. Family and history are important for many reasons. You meet a stranger who could be a relative. Someone at the pow wow caught your attention and you need to make sure there’s no relations (if you thought of a joke about this, share). For many, it’s basically forward extending courtesy and reciprocity. I want to believe you and I want to see if we have anyone in common.
The white way is the federal government who identifies us in two ways as well. Stringent requirements when it comes to any federally regulated programs or services and crickets among general white society when it’s anything else. This means that pretendians can be fake to us and everyone else – just not to the federal government accessing treaty rights or benefits. Otherwise, the government doesn’t care and it’s an ‘our problem’ thing. This two way approach makes them accountable for establishing identity of the Natives who survived genocide, but basically only when they feel like it. And because the dominant society views our 2% of the population as little more than trophies of war, they get to pick and choose what, or if, they respect any aspect of us. On the non-federal side of it, they expect us to identify ourselves by their methods, but when pretending to be us, purposely don’t have any ties to being outed through federal means. They game the system and because they helped to establish it, hold no self accountability over falsified identity. Then because it doesn’t pertain to recognized federal status, the lie, regardless of the dollar amount of the identity theft, is not a crime. Small organizations, community groups, charities, non-profits, businesses, etc., have no recourse for being defrauded either. The ripple effect of victims is astronomical when considered in those terms.
Therefore, it could be argued that we are currently defined in three ways. Our ways (hereafter “Traditional”), a shared way with the federal government (hereafter “Shared”), and an anything goes attitude (hereafter “Open”). You can see the reason this can be such a confusing, frustrating, and volatile topic.
What is a Pretendian revisited
While a lot of what has been said previously about non-Natives does pertain to non-Natives in general. When it comes to identity in general society, because it is based on the views and determinations of white men in the past and those determinations are what we work with today, it is still basically a white society.
White culture is ingrained in entitlement and greed. Actually, white culture is based on the antithesis of the ten commandments because they needed a guide that counters their nature. It hasn’t been going well.
One thing I’ve wondered since childhood is why anyone who isn’t us wants to be us. Growing up between the city and different reservations gave a pretty good indication that our preferred state by white society was being dead. Because as ‘dead and gone’, it meant any re-writing of our history or cultures could be done so without consequence or regard. It’s created a vicious cycle of claiming, asserting, defending, attacking.
I think pretendians do it because they’re attracted to the ‘shiny’ parts of our culture and pick through it like some kind of cultural buffet -regalia, jewelry, smudging, those wicked cool black and white photos- but they don’t want the whole, ‘you should be dead’ vibes and hostility. They view land stewardship and our way of living as some mystical thing rather than actions based in logic and reasoning. They name their vehicles after our people and ancestors over ideals of ‘strength’ without applying that to the living people today. Their idea of what Natives are, however wrong, are also what drives them to keep pushing. Because the mystic idea of the noble Savage that resides within them like that two wolves story is more attractive than the horrific reality that we historically have gone through. And continue to go through.
That two wolves tale isn’t even Native, by the way. File away that little nugget to share sometime at the next gathering.
One of the phrases that I associate with ma for as long as I can remember is this. ‘This is not meant for white people.’ It came with teachings and even stories of her youth. Another was ‘white people don’t have culture, that’s why they want to take ours.’ Maybe not a phrase verbatim per se, but you get the idea. I have thought about both quite a bit in my life. I’m sure there are other phrases, but these two in particular came to mind over pondering this alleged pretendian list and the potential ramifications of it.
The ‘white people have no culture’ aspect is what I have been dwelling on. In this age of social media and people willing to put the most embarrassing truths out for all to see -remember how many people confessed to not washing their legs?- make it difficult to determine exactly what ‘white culture’ is outside of white supremacy. Just in the last couple of years, I have seen photoshoots of white women posing seductively with a bear and learning about the worst published book in Canada. I’ve learned that white people do maternity photo shoots for their dogs and make ice cream treats in a toilet. I have seen horrifying cooking videos and lack of seasonings. There are some concerns.
Jokes aside, let’s examine a little the origin of white Americans.
Europe. A whole lot of England to start.
After the ‘discovery’ of the new world, the widely accepted ‘truth’ of settling what became the United States was fleeing religious persecution. It’s a euphemism for ‘I’m not getting my way, so I’m bouncing to a place where I can.’ To this day, it’s the American mentality. ‘My way’ is white American culture.
Flexibility on identity is a Tuesday.
Elizabeth Warren claimed to have Native ancestry for a very long time. By genealogy, no Native ancestry could be determined and as a last resort to claiming a Native identity, took a DNA test. The results of which cannot determine who is or is not Native, yet she maintains that she’s not enrolled, but ‘I know who I am.’ Non-Natives, despite being debunked, have some extraordinary difficulties of letting go of the claim.
Kaya Jones. …just check previous articles on this one. Kaya Jones was a backup singer for the Pussycat Dolls and has claimed to be Native American for a position on a diversity council. Her own ancestry dot com genealogy verified that she wasn’t Apache, yet if you ask her today, she’ll tell you that she’s half. Also Chinese with African ancestry among other things.
I would wager that many Natives do not understand why anyone would claim an identity that isn’t theirs, therefore we have no basis of countering it. Even that is somewhat of a comical assertion, but it illustrates well how this level of identity theft is not part of our cultures.
‘My children’s father says he’s Cherokee, therefore I will now write a Cherokee story for children.’ That happened. A white woman decided to speak on behalf of a whole people that she didn’t know, let alone understand, yet her story was only a judgement against the very people that she claimed to admire and she maintains that somehow it’s respectful to Cherokee people.
Honestly, when you consider the genocide, the continued genocide, the inability to be ourselves, let alone practice our own cultures until recent decades, residential schools, mascots -all of that. If all those negatives were put before you as an enthusiastic choice to exist, would you have a burning need to be part of that? But take the ‘prettier’ parts of our existence and suddenly there’s a powerful need to be part of that. It’s like forcing someone to be your teacher and then telling them that even as a student, your opinions are more valuable than their knowledge.
Blood quantum, sovereignty
For traditional methods of kinship, and because they’re more of a ‘between us’ type of communication, I won’t go too much into them. I will give a few examples of kinship as it applies to my life.
My mother’s side of the family is Oglala Lakota. It’s how I grew up. Ma adopted a Papago sister and her sisters adopted us in return. I have Papago aunties. We are family. No one gets to say otherwise. But on the outside non-Native perspective, we are not blood relations and therefore not considered family. That’s two ways of looking at kinship and they’re both correct through the cultural lens of the person viewing it. But the non-Native means of definition doesn’t apply to me and therefore, I do not consider it applicable to that situation. Yet to a non-Native, it is an unequivocal truth.
This might suggest that family is therefore an opinion. “I claim this person who isn’t related by blood or marriage as family” doesn’t sound too far off from, “I claim myself to be Native even though I can’t prove it”. But it isn’t the same. When Natives speak of kinship, it isn’t a connection that can be spoken about lightly.
Now. Tribes don’t get to tell you who your family or community is either. So I can have Diné relatives and my tribe doesn’t get to tell me that they’re not family either. In fact, some tribes do honor people who have been adopted by tribal members, but that doesn’t change their genealogy or status to being tribal members. The tribe, however, does determine who is and isn’t a member of that tribe. The slippery slope on this is that there are a whole lot of fake tribes out there, too, and they will adamantly defend their ancestry claims. There does not exist a means of tribes establishing their own means of enrollment either; for example, utilizing our tribal ID and/or documents as a passport of sorts for federal programs, and the tribe has their own citizenship system that respects a more traditional aspect. So even if someone can’t access federal services, they’re still claimed.
Bear in mind that these non-federal connections so far are all without documentation. We know and that’s that. Sometimes you don’t want to know that cousin who was a jerky fool, but they’re still Native. Tribes have expelled tribal members, yet adding or maintaining connections to more traditional methods don’t seem to be currently available.
On the white society side, blood quantum following enrollment throughout the generations are how we are identified to them to this day. That any Native can claim to be ‘full blood’ seems difficult, but blood quantum has also adjusted how Natives identify, too. Growing up, I have heard many a Native parent admonish their youth, or even me, to marry back into the tribe. The idea of having little to no choice as to a potential partner and co-parent as a responsibility to justify our existence weirds me out to this day. Even as kids between the siblings, we joked about being pedigreed. This is not a positive.
Blood quantum in relation to Natives is the perceived or ‘actual’ “Native blood” that one has based on fractionated values that originated in establishing ancestry by government rolls. If there were a non-Native somewhere in your ancestry, by blood quantum standards, you were “less” Native. Say your Native parents divorced and one married a non-Native and had a kid. By Lakota culture, that’s my sibling too. Not half, just sibling. They could grow up just as traditionally as me, but by blood quantum, they’re “only” half and, by white society, considered ‘less’.
There are many a theory as to why this method was established rather than genealogical, but let’s consider a few things. The government will give their white settler founders and their descendants the means of keeping wealth and property via inheritance, but when it came to Natives and identity, blood quantum means that at some point, there will not be any “Native blood” left to call “Native” and the resources meant for our people by treaty will no longer be available no matter how many descendants we may have. This is intentional and meant to complete the genocide, at least in federal terms.
Nevertheless, there will still be descendants of ours down the line.
Thus the question of identity is incredibly important.
A lot of this issue breaks down into a few areas of our Indigenous population. Urban and Rez have different priorities about identity. I feel that many of us have a traditional and non-traditional side to us that I’ll expound on shortly. You can be urban and traditional and those viewpoints will have a different priority than a non-traditional Rez. There are also differences in what social media savvy Natives prioritize to those less or not online.
That’s a long winded means of saying that when I offer this opinion, it will be based on my history and connections. This last bit has a few branches too. I offer them as consideration, not as concrete.
- Is identity important?
- Who gets to determine identity?
- Where is that important?
- Thoughts on the alleged pretendian list
Is identity important?
YES. Absolutely it is. Imagine someone cruising up to and dictating that you can only identify as an amoeba and you have no choice about it. Identity is so important to so many communities that I hope that it doesn’t need additional expounding.
Who gets to determine identity?
Ah, that depends on the situation, whether you like it or not. Is it a treaty, service or program by the federal government up for consideration? Identity must be established. If it’s not federal, the government couldn’t care less.
When it comes to tribes in terms of interacting with the federal government in that Shared aspect, only the federal definition applies in every aspect of those interactions. In this arena, it is 100% one or the other – you are or are not Native. Tribal governments are essentially scouts on the federal side. They need to be a voice for our people, uphold and promote our traditions and culture to us, yet protect us from invasive outsiders. That’s a tough position.
On a tribal level in terms of government as a middle man, and basically a translator, only the federal considerations go toward the federal level. Any other claim is up for acceptance or rejection on that federal level.
When it comes to general society, we’re all pretty much left to opinion. We could utilize the already existing Shared Way between tribes and government, but we aren’t even really entitled to enforce that method, nor does it include any aspect of a Traditional Way, thus will exclude a lot of people. A more Traditional Way offers trust and acceptance that leaves us vulnerable to being defrauded. Even well meaning people can defraud society by not realizing that they’re a passive pretendian. While it would be the ideal way, we don’t live in a society with a foundation of trust. The rampant “Open Way” of basing on opinion means that anyone can simply decide one day that they’re Native and they will be accepted as such by non-Natives so long as the claim doesn’t reach the federal level.
So who gets to determine and what is the best way that can be universally accepted?
This is where I have been stuck because I don’t see a solution. The easiest would be to utilize the federally recognized method, but there are numerous flaws with the system already with non-Natives infiltrating government rolls to steal resources from Natives and their descendants are still declaring themselves Native because of it – even if they learn that their ancestor wasn’t Native. This is a fascinating phenomenon to me too.
An additional concern is that we would collectively have to accept some kind of ‘universal’ means of proving identity, but it would still be rooted in a government system that was meant more to monitor our dwindling numbers via ‘dilution’. This is not remotely ideal. Federal enrollment and blood quantum already dismisses a lot of our people for not meeting current requirements. I don’t know if that system would even be fixable in terms of identity.
A more Traditional Way would mean that general, ‘white society’, would have to accept the methods that we choose to identify. This society couldn’t even let go of a racist name for a sports team. Our voices aren’t respected when it comes to preservation of our resources or access to resources. I cannot fathom this society respecting us enough to follow something more Traditional. At that, I’m sure plenty will still try exploiting the smallest vulnerabilities in something more Traditional.
Where is that important?
The sheer number of fake Natives in the United States and Canada is much larger than non-Natives are prepared to consider. Because growing up and to this day, strangers will still approach me to gush about some mystical ancestor as though that will suddenly make us friends or I might sprinkle them with some magic before going on my way. Think about what a passive pretendian is and how often those stories are vomited as replies to every issue so much as hinting at anything Native that comes up on social media.
“I’m part Native and this doesn’t offend me” is a phrase you will see practically verbatim in the comments and replies of news articles on Native issues. Go check it out.
Funds and services by private and commercial entities meant to promote Native inclusion are being stolen by non-Natives through claims to fake tribes. There is no recourse for being defrauded. Pretendians are impersonators, impersonators are criminal, yet once outed, a pretendian doesn’t have to pay back any funds or resources they’ve gained. It’s not a victimless crime, but it is one that has no punishment. At best, we might hear some type of apology and a promise to do better. They get to go on with their lives without a look back over the little pocket of destruction they’ve caused and the people that they’ve hurt.
Thus far, this piece assumes that the reader is aware of the alleged pretendian list, and at the very least, the list’s primary author, Jacqueline Keeler. Brief background is that an individual created a list alleging that claims to Native identity and/or ancestry by those on the list are false. There has been backlash about the list for including people that some assert have established ancestry.
Going into one person would mean researching them all, but it’s my opinion that it’s not so much the existence of a list as it is the lack of transparency and what feels like the release of an idea still in concept phase and without a whole package, assumptions about its intent have led to a lot of strong emotions and reactions.
Now about the article of mine that appears on this list as a resource.
When you go through those listed in the Pretendian section of this website, you will find a whole article about the individual, the public histories that have shown their lies. Links point to articles or whatever public source that I found so the reader may examine and make their own determination as well.
These articles exist to educate about pretendians, harms caused, and who to not support, or who can be called out. They’re meant for Indigenous people and allies. I am confident in the research that I have done and when I say that I determine this person to be a fake Native, I mean it. At the same time, should someone bring up some compelling evidence, I’m open to updating an article, though in all likelihood, I’d keep the article up and add the information. Though, if you read through those in the Pretendian section here, I doubt that would happen.
So it could be argued that I have a Pretendian list, as do others. I’ve thought about this a lot as well. There are websites and social media accounts that call out pretendians. There hasn’t been a huge fuss for those of us who have articles or posts about fake Natives. I think this may be an important aspect as to why this list has been so polarizing.
Information shared on this site and others as it pertains to pretendians are rooted in education and at best, encouragement not to support the individual’s fraud.
The alleged pretendian list isn’t education. It’s judgment. Or at least, that’s what it came off like to me.
This is why I feel like it was a rushed release of a concept idea at best. While the author has updated about their intentions, it’s not packaged with the list in a full project and unless you knew about the update, you’re still only left with this list.
To really understand the potential ramifications of the list is to really understand what a pretendian is, the complexities of Native identity between traditional, shared and ‘free for all’ ways, and fraud without justice. While I do not assume that all non-Natives won’t understand all of this, I would nevertheless encourage non-Natives to spectate more than enter discourse as it pertains to the list.
Is the list necessary? I have pondered this quite a bit as well and I think the answer is rooted more in where would it have a potential effect, positive or negative. Will it force universities to make permanent determinations on how they treat Native identity when hiring? Universities still resist retiring Native mascots no matter what we say. I doubt many would dedicate a committee to determine policy. Maybe discourage hiring Natives to avoid the trouble.
That sounded like it was going into an argument, didn’t it? That’s an assumption, but it’s not too wild of one either. As I pondered this list, ramifications of good or bad, intentions, etc., I realized that the only thing I can try to do at the moment is to reserve judgement until the whole package is revealed. If this is it, I would be very concerned. Especially since I read the update when I started writing on Monday and I already can’t remember what was in it. Which for me, is another demonstration about the rushed feel aspect.
There are so many questions that I have about this list and its intent because it would need to address how Native identity is determined for purposes of the list and for an endeavor of this size, I’m guessing it won’t be anytime soon. Which is probably why it should not have been launched.
That the list is causing harm even now is hard to ignore. A tweet resonated with me when someone jokingly questioned their own ancestry despite growing up with their culture. Not gonna lie, I have thought about identity and mine a lot of late and so many ways. Connection and kinship. How even with this site, that public information is dependent on the Shared Way of identity. I think it’s the most comfortable means as the information is meant to also be read by non-Natives and it’s like using the language we have in common. But using that Shared Way won’t apply in every situation. I think a lot of us use this Shared Way because it applies to people who are exploiting our people, culture, resources, etc., and, for example, not reconnecting Natives who may not have their complete info or are connected in a Traditional Way, nor would that apply to those who were stolen, adopted out and otherwise don’t have a Shared Way means of proof. This doesn’t cover everyone, but you get the picture.
Overall, this list feels more like a personal project. Suggesting or assuming it will harm the livelihood of anyone on the list is a bit of a stretch; historically, it’s rare that a pretendian is punished beyond maybe not calling themselves Native. No one’s website or social media accounts calling out fake Natives have changed more than a few non-Native minds while simply becoming resources that we refer to among ourselves. Information is there and leaves the reader with a lot to consider.
There are no means of holding anyone accountable for their fraud in the white society that spawns most of them. The only time non-Native entities act is when the issue becomes so huge it finally bursts and they shrug and go, ‘oops’. Otherwise, there are still fake Natives being hired and passed off as Natives in Hollywood today no matter how many websites or how many Natives might speak up. Because this isn’t an issue where we can affect the most change. It’s the dominant society telling their kids fantastical tales of some mystical Native ancestor that needs to start changing, along with a means of holding a fraud accountable for their fraud.
That’s not to say the efforts of so many of us calling out fake Native is pointless. It’s very important. I am, however, suggesting that claims about the potential societal harm that may arise because of this list are a bit of a stretch. I will agree that the way this has unfolded has caused a lot of confusion and hurt about identity. There are a lot of valuable critiques about the method and execution so far.
Why is it us who are having to fight this hard about identity? Americans will declare, ‘pics or it didn’t happen’, but when asked to detail their ancestry, they don’t need it. This hypocrisy is part of the foundation of this country too, though. It’s one of the roots of “my way”. Americans explore your roots before declaring yourself Indigenous challenge.
Now let’s get into the real gritty area; that of anti-blackness and smear campaigns.
Even for Natives, I think this has been something many of us have been watching. Not necessarily adding to the discourse, but most definitely following.
Anti-blackness in Indigenous communities is a serious issue. Allegations of anti-blackness against Jacqueline have been documented and widely shared. It does suggest that the motivation of the list is based in anti-blackness, but I think all of us watching this need to also acknowledge that these are based on assumption and that the majority of allegations about intent and potential application are likely assumption due to lack of information. Because there isn’t a whole clear package though, such musings aren’t that far-fetched and really not that surprising.
I suppose at this point, we can re-consider that question of whether or not this list is necessary. In its current state, with all of the uncertainty and lack of transparency, this particular rendition is likely not redeemable. It really needs to be pulled, completely thought out and planned. As mentioned previously, there are other websites and social media accounts calling out pretendians, including this site. Speaking for my own motivations and intent, though I haven’t explicitly stated as such, I think most visitors to this site read the information about pretendians and learn. When I’ve seen other social media or website blogs and articles about pretendians, there is a lot of information to consider and reasons not to support the person. Because this list is just a list and not education, its current state comes off more hostile to both Natives and non-Natives. And yet again, any pretendians on this list aren’t going to feel what the rest of us are feeling in watching all this develop.
In terms of my article appearing as a resource for the alleged pretendian list. No other entries seem to have my work included.
Should anyone have questions about the pretendian section of my website, please feel free to @ me @aliwatson117 on Twitter.