Out in the Open

Indigenous woman who passes as white struggles to own her identity

As someone with fair skin and freckles, Haley Lewis says people often read her as white. After being ridiculed for being Indigenous as a kid, she decided to ignore her heritage for a long time. Now, she's trying to reclaim it.

Haley Lewis is trying to reclaim the heritage she once ignored, but grapples with 'taking up space'

Haley Lewis, whose mother is of Scottish descent and father is Mohawk, says people often read her as white. (Submitted by Haley Lewis)

This story was originally published on September 20, 2019.

Haley Lewis's mom is of Scottish descent and her dad's Mohawk.

As someone with fair skin and freckles, she says people often read her as white.

After being ridiculed for being Indigenous as a kid, she decided to ignore her heritage for a long time.

Lewis tells Out in the Open host Piya Chattopadhyay how she's now trying to reclaim her roots, but also struggles with taking up space among fellow Indigenous people.


This story appears in the Out in the Open episode "Come to Pass".

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