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Professor angry at Jodi Rave for questioning heritage
Thursday, February 3, 2005

Controversial University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill was furious over an article written by Native reporter Jodi Rave Lee that questioned his Indian heritage, The Denver Rocky Mountain News reports.

Rave was a student of Churchill's when she was assigned to write a profile. She chose him and confronted him on his claims of having Indian ancestry. She discovered he was enrolled in the United Keetoowah Band of Oklahoma under a program that let almost anyone become a member.

Rave said the article angered Churchill. "There's no denying what he writes resonates with a lot of people, but when he says this is something he's experienced as a Native American man, that's fraudulent," she told The Rocky Mountain News. She said her grade in his class went from an A to a C-minus.

The UKB eventually stopped the open enrollment program and Churchill is listed as an associate member, but not a full member, because he couldn't show at least 1/4th Cherokee blood. According to various reports, he has claimed Cherokee, Creek, Cree and Metis ancestry. He told The Denver Post he is 3/16th Cherokee.

Churchill was due to speak at a New York college but the talk was canceled when controversy erupted for an essay he wrote linking the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack to Nazis. The Colorado Legislature passed a resolution denouncing him.

Churchill stepped down as head of the ethnic studies department on the CU-Boulder campus but remains as a professor. The CU regents said they would not try to fire him.

Get the Story:
Prof's Indian roots disputed (The Denver Rocky Mountain News 2/3)
CU prof affirms Indian heritage (The Denver Post 2/3)
Regents won't fire Churchill (The Denver Post 2/3)
State lawmakers denounce CU prof (AP 2/2)
Text of House resolution on Churchill (AP 2/2)

Read the Essay:
"Some People Push Back" On the Justice of Roosting Chickens (Pockets of Resistance September 2001)

Related Stories:
Speech featuring controversial professor canceled (2/2)
College professor quits post over 9/11-Nazi essay (2/1)
College professor faces action for 9/11-Nazi essay (1/31)
Professor sparks controversy with 9/11-Nazi link (1/28)

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