May 30, 2024:




A National Magazine Award–winning investigation, in book form for the first time.

In 2019, an Ojibwe artist named Gina Adams was hired by Emily Carr University as part of a concerted effort to bolster the school’s Indigenous faculty.

Less than two years later, however, doubts about Adams’s identity began to surface.

Was she Indigenous at all?

How did the university know?

For Michelle Cyca, an Indigenous writer then working in Emily Carr’s communications department, the controversy was more personal.

Her investigation of Adams’s case—and the “Pretendian” question more generally—is nuanced, provocative, and compelling at every turn.

Where to find

Hingston and Olsen

About the author

Michelle Cyca

Michelle is a journalist and essayist living on the unceded homelands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

She is an editor with The Narwhal and a contributing writer to The Walrus. Her writing can often be found in Maclean’s, Chatelaine, The Globe & Mail, and any outlet that will let her write about roller skating.

Previously, she was the editor-in-chief and co-publisher of SAD Mag. Her feature story, The Curious Case of Gina Adams, received a National Magazine Award in 2023 for investigative journalism, and was published in April 2024 as a limited-edition hardcover. 

She’s a member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Treaty 6, Saskatchewan. 

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