United Conservative Party Leader and Premier Danielle Smith celebrates her win in a byelection in Medicine Hat, Alta., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. The Alberta premier has claimed Cherokee ancestry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Alberta chief critical of Premier Danielle Smith’s claim of Indigenous roots

A First Nations leader in Alberta is questioning Premier Danielle Smith’s claim of Indigenous heritage.

Smith has said she has some Cherokee roots and, in 2012, declared herself as a person of mixed race.

Chief Tony Alexis of Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation says that a true Indigenous person would not go against treaty people.

He made the comment at a news conference where leaders of Treaties 6, 7, and 8 say they oppose Smith’s plan to introduce an Alberta sovereignty act that would allow her government to opt out of federal measures deemed harmful to provincial interests.

An investigation by APTN this week of Smith’s family tree found no evidence of Smith being Indigenous.

The premier’s office said in response that Smith is proud of her roots and, like many Canadians, had heard of her ancestry from loved ones, adding that she has not done a deep dive into her lineage.

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