Vianne Timmons, the president of Memorial University of Newfoundland, has been placed on paid leave over questions about her claims of Native American heritage.
Paging Elizabeth Warren!
Timmons has apparently claimed to be descended from the Mi’kmaq Indians, but the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation did a little digging and the story began to transform into a scandal.
University President on Paid Leave After Claiming Indigenous Identity
The president of Memorial University of Newfoundland went on paid leave after she became caught up in a scandal surrounding her claims of her Indigenous heritage.
President Vianne Timmons’ paid leave from the university came after a report from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) that questioned claims that Timmons was of Native American descent. The report was “prompted by questions raised by individuals, including those in Indigenous communities, across Canada,” it state. Specifically, the article was aimed at figuring out if Timmons’ Indigenous identity opened any doors for her professionally. In the article, she claimed that it never did.
After the article questioning her heritage was released, Timmons issued a statement where she apologized and said that she will step back from her role from the university temporarily.
“While I have shared that I am not Mi’kmaw and I do not claim an Indigenous identity, questions about my intentions in identifying my Indigenous ancestry and whether I have benefited from sharing my understanding of my family’s history have sparked important conversations on and beyond our campus,” Timmons wrote in a statement released this week. “I have been reflecting on this feedback from the Indigenous community, and I sincerely regret any hurt or confusion sharing my story may have caused. That was never my intention and I deeply apologize to those I have impacted.”
Why does this happen so frequently?
Memorial University President Vianne Timmons is now on voluntary paid leave after igniting controversy over her claim that she has Indigenous heritage. https://t.co/b0UzUhe8PM
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) March 15, 2023
For @guardian, I wrote about Vianne Timmons stepping down due to questions around her claims that she has Indigenous heritage.
There have been multiple recent cases at universities involving alleged fraud by faculty. https://t.co/v3LY7085JN
— Olivia Rania Bowden (@OliviaBowden__) March 15, 2023
People who make these claims almost always seem to rely on something one of their family members once told them.
That’s just not good enough.