I've been reading all of this since last night and it still causes me quite a bit of anxiety. So I'm going to post what's on my mind and hope no one is too angered by it.

The original premise of the thread has to do with who is 'allowed' to portray First Nations characters in their books. In the US (where I was born and raised) this... this isn't really a thing a lot of people had to think about. I mean, if you're trying to portray a character accurately you do your research. I honestly believe that most people want to portray characters as accurately as possible, keeping in mind that, no matter what the color of skin, the person is still just that, a person, a human.

I didn't think much about First Nations until I married my husband and moved to Canada. That's not because I didn't care about them, but the area where I grew up was mostly black and Hispanic, so I thought and cared a lot more about that. But once I moved here I realized that this is really a different country. I live in a small town surrounded by Meti settlements and Cree reservations (all different bands). The fact is... you can be considered "not Native enough" (by the band) if your ancestor, five generations back, married someone from a different band. Even if everyone after that married someone from the 'right' band.

I'm explaining all that to express that I think the original intent of the poster was to express frustration that his work may be attacked because he's not Native enough. It's an unfortunate thing. I have two friends who have to keep proving their genealogy because their bands try to cut them out for not being Native enough, or the "right kind" of Native. You can lose treaty status for this sort of thing. The problem is that if it invades literature as well then it becomes the fear of writing anyone who isn't your skin color for fear of major criticism and the destruction of your work because it's seen as not the right kind of portrayal.

I agree that anyone who writes a character from a different culture should extensively research it and talk to members of that culture. Stereotypes have roots, but no one is a complete stereotype and no character should be written as such.