Canadian Pop Star Justin Bieber Believes He's Indian Enough to Get Free Gas


In the August issue of Rolling Stone, pop star Justin Bieber reveals that he believes he has Native heritage. The claim is not a central part of the article -- indeed, it's a comment so brief the writer has it in parentheses:

He's wearing a Chicago Blackhawks cap ("I'm actually part Indian," he says—"I think Inuit or something? I'm enough percent that in Canada I can get free gas"), a blue short-sleeved shirt and khaki shorts that hang all the way off his butt.

The "free gas" misconception is a common one, and stems from a policy described on Ontario's Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs website:

In Ontario, there is a tax of 14.7 cents per litre on gasoline. First Nations people with a gas card do not have to pay this tax if they buy gasoline for personal use from an authorized service station on a reserve.

It is perhaps a sign of greater awareness that Bieber, the most mainstream celebrity imaginable, is being razzed by mainstream press and bloggers over these comments.

DListed, a celebrity-ridiculing site that exists for just this sort of moment, unleashes a string of digs, and concludes with the thought that Bieber "also probably thinks he doesn't have to open his own mail because he's a Pieces [sic]."  (Bieber's astrological sign is Pisces.)

The Onion AV Club raises the point that ignorance from a person as famous as Bieber can be dangerous because legions of fans are likely to believe (or Beliebe as they say) whatever comes out of his mouth -- sarcastically speculating that "tens of service stations could be getting ripped off across the Great White North, just because this recent high school graduate doesn’t know his own heritage."

PopGoesTheNews points out: "Adding insult to Bieber's ignorance, if he did indeed have Inuit ancestry, he would not be entitled to a Status Card since the Inuit are not covered by the Indian Act."

Torso and Oblong delves into the curious chain of logic vocalized by Bieber -- and so many others -- who've been told they have Native heritage: "Invariably, the conversation then moves onto the perceived bonanza of mythical scholarships that would become available to them if they just had the documented evidence that demonstrated this ancestry. Accompanying this is the rough grumbling that their damned White genetic heritage is now a liability for getting ahead."

And that's perhaps the most worthwhile thing to ponder here. It's possible that Bieber really has Indigenous heritage, and it's clear he doesn't know much about Native people -- and neither of those things is inherently important to the average reader of Rolling Stone or ICTMN. What might matter, or ought to matter, to both readerships is that Bieber is an 18-year-old with an estimated net worth of over $100 million, and yet even to him the concept of "Indian or Inuit" is closely tied to the concept of "free gas."

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andre's picture
Submitted by andre on
Terrible the sense of entitlement that some individuals have. He has about as much true native blood as George Bush. No tribal enrollment card, not waiver on the gas tax.

waprog2's picture
Submitted by waprog2 on
It's sad that instead of asking, "How can I help?", others with Native Ancestry too often ask, "What do I get?" My ancestors wouldn't sign anything, so we get nothing, but we can still help.

perryjack's picture
Submitted by perryjack on
"FREE GAS" LOLOL what a ****** loser. Nobody gets free gas, IDIOT! I'll give him some gas to huff to death!!!

roseannritchison's picture
Submitted by roseannritchison on
I do not believe the press has the audacity to do this to Bieber. He may be Native and just learning proud that he is now aware of his heritage a a fellow brother to the earth and now he will see in a new light. I am 33 years old and just learned last month that I am part mexican. It is sad how the press can crush a persons spirit!!

hapankinyewakan's picture
Submitted by hapankinyewakan on
Ignorance is not an excuse! Dangerous because many like myself thought I need to know then realized his ignorance towards Canadian Aborginal peoples. 'Free gas?' what about mentioning hundreds of missing & exploited Aborginal girls & women here! 'Free?' negative stereotypes is what he just created!

blossomingojibway's picture
Submitted by blossomingojibway on
Wondering if Justin Bieber is in need of more fans the reasoning behind him saying he has Native Hertigage?. Painting this picture once again of the Natives getting a "free" ride. I don't believe once that I have gotten free gas. Does being Native mean there is "free gas" somewhere to buy?. When being native is more than seeing what is out there for one to obtain. I usually don't get upset with statements of this type as I hear it all the time. However, when one is famous and says this type of statement for popularity purposes just to gain more $$ and fans, doesn't say much for themselves

nanaiya's picture
Submitted by nanaiya on
perhaps Justin Bieber should pursue an getting an education. That will hopefully prevent him from making such ridiculous statements in the future..

ghetondashertzer's picture
Submitted by ghetondashertzer on
i certainly don't want the little twerp in my teepee!!!!i think he is an arrogant know-it-all,,he can keep his money,,thank you kindly!!!

rawblue's picture
Submitted by rawblue on
Everyone want's something for nothing.

jennifersmith-cottrelle's picture
Submitted by jennifersmith-c... on
I honestly think we deserve a public apology...I've never been able to get free gas...our gas cards say on them that our cards entitle us to get gasoline exempt of Ontario tax...not FREE...we deserve a public apology for his uneducated comments. I think all that time being on the road with his home schooling hasn't done him too well...Beiber, please take some time to go to a real school n crack open a book. Maybe you'll learn a little something you have knowledge about instead of something you THINK you know :)

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
Why doesn't he stand up for whats happening to First Nations in Canada right now with Bill C-45?

Nawishmal's picture
Submitted by Nawishmal on
He is a pop star why does he need free gas he can afford 20-40 bucks of gas he's just sel-fish nd he doesn't even know what kind of native he is or his “tribe” why didn't he say anything about being Native American before why start to mention it know?!?

pardeep's picture
Submitted by pardeep on
I'm actually part Indian," he says—"I think Inuit or something? I'm enough percent that in Canada I can get free gas"),