In this essay, Michelle Cyca asks questions about Gina Adams — and her claims of Indigenous heritage. It’s a gripping read that exposes the rise of the “Pretendians.”

The message was clear: being Indigenous was tragic or shameful. Or it was mystical and noble, a warrior on a horse, somehow untouched by colonization. Middle-class and easily sunburned, I didn’t fit with any of the stereotypes I saw or heard.