Jordan Peterson is a bit touchy

Jordan Peterson is quick to deflect accusations of bigotry by standing tall, throwing his shoulders back, and declaring that he was made a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw tribe, and he’s also quick to complain if anyone questions it.

Unfortunately for him, though, all those protestations motivated Robert Jago to actually investigate them.

What first drew my attention to Peterson’s ties to the Kwakwaka’wakw, however, was the way he seemed to be exploiting that “friendship.” He appeared to be deploying it as a talisman to ward off any social consequences for helping spread racial stereotypes about Indigenous people. It was a defence rooted in identity politics—his language was okay, because he is, after all, an “Indian” through his connection to Charles Joseph. Yet Peterson himself, in a Youtube video, called that “whole group-identity thing” a “pathology” and “reprehensible.”

So he did the obvious thing: he asked the Kwakwaka’wakw people if Peterson was a member of the tribe. Whoops, he’s not. Everyone agrees he’s not. He’s been formally recognized as a good friend of one family, which is nice, but that’s it.

Peterson’s Twitter outburst against what he called Mishra’s “lies and halftruths” has ignited a heated debate within the Kwakwaka’wakw people. The debate isn’t about whether or not Peterson is truly a member of the tribe. I spoke to community members, and each confirmed that the naming ceremony that Peterson took part in does not grant him membership. Instead, there is concern about the harm caused by the way he has boasted of and exaggerated his Kwakwaka’wakw connections. Juli Holloway, a Kwakwaka’wakw community member whose family is in the process of arranging for a similar adoption ceremony for a non-Native friend, describes how she sees the problem: “It’s the lack of humility that bothers me the most, I guess. It should not be a badge of honour. It’s for within the community, not for without.”

#NotYourShield, Dr Peterson.

Peterson has posted a “rebuttal“, only it’s not, not at all. He posts a lot of photos of his naming ceremony, which no one disputes happened, and tells of his long friendship with a Kwakwaka’wakw artist, which no one has denied, but it doesn’t address at all the accusation that he has misrepresented the purpose of the ceremony. He does declare that Jago is “chock full of underhanded allegations” and was “a muckraker with an agenda and not to be trusted”. I guess that settles that.


  1. zenlike says

    But remember everyone, Person lashing around and flailing is somehow a fault of his detractors. Not of himself.

    At least, that is what his apologists claim.

  2. Onamission5 says

    So if I have this straight, he’s claiming the ceremony means what he says and not what the tribe says it represents for them, and because it means what he says he can do whatever he likes with it. You know, the people who invented the naming ceremony would presumably know what they invented it for, and therefore should be consulted on matters like what does the ceremony really mean and how should one’s association with the tribe/ceremony be used. Peterson is essentially trying to colonize the Kwakwaka’wakw naming ceremony. What a shocker.

  3. mailliw says

    Surely Peterson must agree that the reason post-modernist neo-Marxists dominate in many academic disciplines is because of their evolutionary superiority over social scientists lacking the deconstructionist and class war genes and who are therefore doomed to submissiveness and eventual extinction?

    After all, many lobsters are neo-Marxist and are avid followers of Jean Paul Sartre:

  4. whywhywhy says


    I love muckrackers.

    I guess he is using, muckraker, in much the same way as, social justice warrior. Both are being used as if they are insults but from my vantage point they are complements.

  5. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    I understand why Peterson guards his integrity so intensely. After all, for him it is a very rare commodity.

  6. consciousness razor says

    You say “Newton claims F=ma” Just what do you mean by “claims” you peddler of nasty, underhanded innuendo, you dealer in lies and halftruths?

    Yep, nothing new here. He’s still a blustering idiot.

  7. rietpluim says

    He is posting a rebuttal against the only people who can tell with authority whether he is one of them or not?

    Boy, the guy is even more pathetic than I thought.

  8. Rob Grigjanis says

    Kwakwaka’wakw is not a tribe. It’s a group of nations whose people speak Kwak’wala. Jody Wilson-Raybould, Canada’s Minister of Justice, is a member of the We Wai Kai Nation, of the Kwak’wala-speaking people.

  9. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin has just awarded the first ever Perpetual Peterson Prized Phony Perfessor Pulling Posterior Putrid Poopycock to the eponymous exceptional eejit. The PPPPPPPPP is ideally suited to said eejit, as it can only be awarded to him and means whatever he wants to mean. For instance, the Perpetually Brilliant Prize Honoring Professor Peterson.

  10. chigau (違う) says

    blf #14
    Sometimes, I question the mdp’s judgement.
    But “The PPPPPPPPP” is sniny.