‘Native American’ forger Kay LeClair ‘made up ghost tales’


There have been already accusations of fraud shadowing Kay LeClair as they showcased their intricate bead and basket work on Etsy and social media for the previous two years. The posts described the “visions” and desires that led the Wisconsin artist, who identifies as non-binary and Native American, to create elaborate items of artwork.

However greater than as soon as, the unique authors of the work have come ahead to assert items that LeClair, 28, has tried to acceptable, stated a Native American administrator who has recognized LeClair since 2020.

“[LeClaire] Individuals handed off crafts as their very own and made up tales of apparitions,” stated John Grinder, Well being and Wellness Coordinator for the Ho-Chunk Nation in Black River Falls, Wis. “On this means they did extra harm than any European colonizer did in historic instances.”

This week, LeClair, who since 2017 has claimed to be of Métis, Oneida, Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Cuban and Jewish heritage, was accused in a web based discussion board of truly being white. studies Madison365 On Tuesday.

LeClair is also accused of having
LeClair can be accused of “passing off folks’s crafts as his personal and making up tales of visions.”
nedahness rose greene

Grinder, a former chairman of the Ho-Chunk Nation, a tribe of greater than 8,000, informed The Publish that members of his neighborhood had been shocked by LeClair, who has written tutorial papers and spoken at conferences protesting the neighborhood’s lack of indigenous tradition. towards appropriation. occasions in Madison and different components of the state.

LeClair, who identifies as “two-soul,” a time period many Native folks use to explain a non-binary gender identification, additionally held a paid residency on the College of Wisconsin and board membership on the Lacking and Murdered Native Ladies’s Job Drive. On the Wisconsin Division of Justice. The group works to finish the abductions and murders of indigenous girls within the state.

John Grinder, Health and Wellness Coordinator for the Ho-Chunk Nation in Black River Falls, Wis.  He has known LeClair since 2020 and says:
John Grinder, Well being and Wellness Coordinator for the Ho-Chunk Nation in Black River Falls, Wis. He has recognized LeClair since 2020 and says:
Fb/ Jon-Jon Greendeer (Mą:

“I feel it was extremely misleading,” Grinder informed The Publish of LeClaire’s allegations. “They focused the very folks they had been attempting to raise up … I can solely suppose they’ve critical psychological well being points.”

Along with mendacity about indigenous crafts, LeClair claimed to have labored tanning animal hides, Grinder stated. However Grinder, skilled tanner, knew that LeClair had no expertise. The 2 had met when LeClair approached Grindr for scraps of leather-based for artwork initiatives they stated they had been engaged on.

“I’ve by no means seen them work on any artwork initiatives,” he stated.

LeClaire identified as
LeClair recognized as “two-soul,” a time period many Indigenous folks use to explain a non-binary gender identification.
nedahness rose greene

Based on Grinder, LeClair was in a position to grow to be Native American by profiting from the “welcoming and open” nature of Wisconsin’s Native communities.

“They fooled lots of people, despite the fact that a number of what they had been speaking about was Google and Wikipedia data,” Grinder stated. “They had been masters when it suited them, however they created a home of playing cards.”

That home of playing cards started to unravel a couple of years in the past when LeClair helped discovered a collective often known as giige, Native American tattoo artists, in Madison.

“They fooled lots of people, despite the fact that a number of what they had been speaking about was Google and Wikipedia data,” Grinder stated of LeClair’s native data.

“Proof has emerged to indicate that Kay LeClair made false statements about their heritage, their artwork and their standing in the neighborhood,” giige stated in a press release relating to the group. Instagram web page, was revealed on Tuesday. “It’s with nice aid and a authorized feat behind the scenes that the Giige staff declares our parting with co-founder Kay LeClair, efficient 12/31/2022.

“They had been a monetary drain on us,” Nipinet Landsham, a member of the Giige staff, informed The Publish Wednesday in LeClaire. “We paid them and so they did not come to work.”

LeClaire reportedly earned $750 every week doing administrative work for the group, not together with promoting jewellery or crafts.

The artist helped form a collective known as giige, made up of Native American tattoo artists, at this Madison studio.
The artist helped kind a collective often known as giige, made up of Native American tattoo artists, at this Madison studio.
Google Maps

LeClair didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark Wednesday. They apologized in a press release to Madison365 earlier this week.

“Quite a lot of info has come to my consideration since late December,” LeClair stated. “I am nonetheless processing all of it and I nonetheless do not know reply adequately. What I can do now could be counsel a change. Transferring ahead, my efforts will likely be targeted on minimizing hurt by following the steerage given by members of the native neighborhood and proxies inside the neighborhood. At present, because of this I don’t use the Ojibwe title given to me and withdraw from all neighborhood areas, positions, applications and grants and won’t search new ones. Any culturally associated objects that I’ve are redistributed in the neighborhood…”

Giige Collective member Nipinet Landsham (who runs this store) told The Post of LeClaire:
Giige Collective member Nipinet Landsham (who runs this retailer) informed The Publish of LeClaire: “We paid them and so they did not come to work.”

The artist, who was one of many group’s unique founders, labored as an administrative assistant and occasion planner, however didn’t work on any tattoos, Landsham informed The Publish.

Employment points with LeClair predate current revelations that LeClair is white, Landsame stated.

“We had been already in mediation with them,” Landsame stated, including that giige members had been attempting to take away LeClair from their group since October.

LeClaire, left, also goes by the native name Nibiiwakamigkwe.
LeClaire, it is true, additionally goes by the native title Nibiiwakamigkwe.

“They had been abusive, very tough to work with and all the time performed the sufferer,” Landsham stated of LeClaire. “They did an important job of constructing everybody really feel dangerous. I can’t stress sufficient how good liars they’re. That is somebody who’s extraordinarily intentional.”

Landsame informed The Publish they found LeClair’s alleged duplicity when a giige buyer got here ahead after seeing the November weblog put up. LeClaire’s previous. A Fraud Alert on a web site referred to as newagefraud, which has since been taken down, states that LeClaire “created and perpetuated a false identification and fraudulently resold different artists’ crafts as their very own, in direct violation of the 1990 Indian Arts and Crafts Act. Act.”

“None of us knew who Kay LeClair was,” Grinder stated.
Fb/ Jon-Jon Greendeer (Mą:

Kay LeClair, also called Catherine LeClair and Kathy LeClair, is married to Adam Pagenkoff, a analysis scientist on the College of Wisconsin, who graduated with a level in biochemistry in 2014. LinkedIn: the profile. The couple has been married since 2018, Landsame stated, including that he has not spoken to LeClair since information of their alleged duplicity broke earlier this week.

“Did Kay get married?” stated Grinder. “It simply goes to indicate that I do not know something anymore. None of us knew who Kay LeClair was. I do not know what they did and what they really did.”

LeClair is married to Adam Pagenkopf, a research specialist at the University of Wisconsin.
LeClair is married to Adam Pagenkopf, a analysis specialist on the College of Wisconsin.
Adam Pagenkopf/Twitter
Kay LeClair's wedding
Grinder stated he did not know Leclair was married.
Molly Jean/Fb

For Grinder and others, there is no such thing as a regret that may deliver LeClair again to the Native American neighborhood he tried to deceive, he stated. “Reconciliation is unattainable,” he stated. “They’ve misplaced the religion of the neighborhood.”

LeClair’s state of affairs echoes that of College of Saskatchewan professor Kerry Bourassa, who handed as Inuit and a member of Canada’s First Nations for many years till unmasked final 12 months by Canadian journalists.


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