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Justin Bieber takes heat for saying he's part 'Inuit or something'

David TrifunovGlobalPost.com
Georges Biard photo

Justin Bieber might be part “Inuit or something,” but his recent comments to Rolling Stone magazine are all ignorant, Native Canadians say.

The 18-year-old teen heartthrob, who was born in Stratford, Ontario, appears on the magazine’s August cover.

Inside, he tells the magazine, “I’m actually part Indian. I think Inuit or something. I’m enough percent that in Canada I can get free gas.”

That’s troubling the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples for a couple of reasons.

First, nobody -- Native or not -- gets free gas in Canada, Congress spokeswoman Betty Ann Lavallée said.

“These kinds of remarks are another example of what Aboriginal Peoples in Canada struggle with every day,” she said. “It promotes the misconception that we are somehow getting a free ride. This simply is not the case and we are concerned that many people may believe what he said.”

Second, Native Canadians want to know why Bieber doesn't know more about his heritage.

At least he is getting some help on this one; the congress offered to help him trace his roots.

“It’s important for someone to know where they come from, which helps give them a better understanding of where they are going,” Lavallee said.

Toronto’s Museum of Inuit Art reacted by offering free tours in August to help everyone get to know the Inuit (some of the most misunderstood First Nations people in Canada) better.

The free tour offer extends to The Biebs, but one Native Canadian entertainer suggests we skip the drama.

“I know there are a lot of people waging online war against Bieber, inviting him to the communities to come and see the poverty,” Native Canadian comedian Ryan McMahon said recently. “The reality is, our struggles are on the ground, and I always think that is where our focus should go first.”

By the way, gas in the Northwest Territories – where many of Canada’s Inuit reside – is about $1.40 per liter.

Get ready America, that’s about $5.29 per gallon.

Not that Bieber needs free gas; he drives an electric-powered Fisker Karma.