February 4, 2005

Professor not what he says he is...

Now isn't that special -- from the Rocky Mountain News: bq. Prof's Indian roots disputed The United Keetoowah Band Cherokee says University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill is not a member of their tribe. bq. "He's not in the database at all and is not a member of the Keetoowah," said Georgia Mauldin, the tribal clerk in Tahlequah, Okla. bq. In his books and articles, Churchill has described himself as a member of the Keetoowah Cherokee tribe in Oklahoma. In past interviews, he's claimed to be one-sixteenth Cherokee. bq. But the Keetoowah say that's not true. And here is the delightful story of a student who challenged Churchill's pedigree: bq. One Montana woman has an especially personal tale of confronting Churchill on his claim to American Indian heritage. She was taking one of Churchill's classes at CU in 1994 when she wrote an article for the Colorado Daily newspaper, saying there was no evidence he had any American Indian background. bq. "For so long it was whispered on campus that he really isn't an Indian," said Jodi Rave, who studied journalism at CU. "Here you had the director of the Indian studies program and he's not an Indian." Classic -- if he was a math professor and claimed to be one sixteenth Indian, that would be bad enough but here the dude is the director of Indian Studies. This is grounds for dismissal -- regardless of how good a teacher he is. The woman who challenged him is who: bq. Rave is a Mandan-Hidatsa Indian originally from North Dakota. Today, she is a reporter and columnist with the Missoulian newspaper in Missoula, Mont. She was recently a fellow in the prestigious Nieman program for journalists at Harvard University. Decent creds and a real Indian to boot. And when her article came out: bq. When her article came out, Rave says Churchill was furious and insisted that he did have American Indian lineage. bq. "He called me and said, 'Jodi Rave, this is your professor and I need to talk to you right away.' He was surprised I had a story published that called into question his identity." bq. He also defended his American Indian background and said her story was unfair. bq. Rave said she was enrolled in one of Churchill's classes when the article came out, and her grade went from an A to a C-minus. This guy is a real piece of work. Say bye bye to your career (if there is any justice in this world). Academia at its finest -- never own up to anything and play dirty when you are challenged. And one of Churchill's colleagues had this to say: bq. "Tracking blood lines is the business of Nazi Germany and South Africa (under apartheid)," said professor George Tinker, who teaches American Indian culture and religious tradition at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver. "That's not an Indian issue at all." Godwin's Law just got invoked... Posted by DaveH at February 4, 2005 5:39 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?