APTN National News
Well known TV host and filmmaker Lisa Meeches said she plans to adopt Joseph Boyden as her spiritual brother later this week.
“We’ve been chosen and he has agreed to be my brother and so when you adopt somebody, they’re chosen and that means it’s that much more special,” said Meeches.
Boyden has been facing a lot of social media scrutiny after APTN delved into his heritage before Christmas.
APTN has invited Boyden to speak to his ancestral claims but he has declined.
The acclaimed author has won many accolades under the assumption that he has an Indigenous lineage. But Boyden has been unable to prove his bloodline.
Boyden has in the past claimed he is Métis, Mi’kmaq, Ojibway, Wendat, Nipmuc and Darthmouth Indian.
Over the years Boyden has coined his own phrase “a small part of me is Indigenous, but it is a huge part of who I am.”
Meeches said she’s kept up on all the online commentary and is prepared for some backlash for her decision to adopt Boyden in a traditional adoption ceremony. She said it feels it’s meant to be because of the recent loss of her brother Vernon Meeches.
“I’ve asked him to be my brother because I’ve just lost my brother, one of my biggest inspirations on December 21, and as it turns out coincidentally, Joseph Boyden’s Spirit Name is Blue Thunderbird and that was my brother’s Spirit Name,” she said. “How much I love my brother and how much I respect and appreciate Joseph, it just happened and aligned itself in that way”.
Many Indigenous authors, politicians, comedians and actors have taken to social media with their opinions about the situation over the past few weeks.
Manitoba provincial politician Wab Kinew declined to comment on the recent adoption announcement but told APTN in an interview two weeks ago that while there are questions, he can still be a part of the community.
“There is a place for Boyden in our community, but if he wants that place he has to come back and he has to answer some of these questions that a lot of the people in our community have been asking for the past couple weeks,” said Kinew.
Meeches is best known for her work in film and television and as the head of the Manito Ahbee Festival.
She said she’s been friends with Boyden for quite some time now and that her move to adopt him into her ceremonial family comes from a good place and hopes the public will recognize that.
Meeches suffered a stroke last summer and is also recovering from a bad fall.
“When you nearly lose your life it just opens up a whole new realm of how you see things and I hope that they can respect my choices, I certainly respect all of their opinions and all of the comments,” Meeches said.
The adoption ceremony will take place privately later this week and will be conducted by Elder David Courchene Jr.