"Award-winning Canadian novelist Joseph Boyden is defending his right to identify as an indigenous person, after an aboriginal publication raised questions about his background and name-callers on Twitter labelled him a 'pretendian.'
"'I once said that, ‘A small part of me is Indigenous, but it is a huge part of who I am,' the Giller Prize-winning author wrote in a statement published on Twitter. 'This remains true to me to this day.… I do belong.'
"The statement came in response to a 2,700-word article probing his background, published two days earlier on the website of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. The article says Mr. Boyden’s indigenous heritage “has been an ever shifting, evolving thing. Over the years, Boyden has variously claimed his family’s roots extended to the Métis, Mi’kmaq, Ojibway and Nipmuc peoples.' The article does not reach firm conclusions, but says it is difficult to pinpoint where his aboriginal heritage began on either his mother’s or father’s sides of the family.