Education | National

Head of Native program at Dartmouth won't discuss heritage

Susan Taffe Reed. Photo by Eli Burakian / Dartmouth College

The new director of the Native American Program at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire won't discuss her alleged Indian heritage.

Susan Taffe Reed serves as president of the Eastern Delaware Nations, a group that lacks federal recognition and admits anyone who wants to join. She has claimed Delaware, or Lenape, ancestry but FakeIndians looked into her genealogy and found no evidence of any Indian forebears.

Darmouth is defending its decision to hire Taffe Reed amid criticism from Native alumni. The university was founded in the 1700s to educate Native people.

"While we recognize the legitimacy of the concern that individuals may falsely identify themselves as Native American, Dartmouth also understands that there are varying perspectives in the Native American community over what constitutes ethnicity, which is a separate issue from false claims of ethnicity," the college said in a statement to Inside Higher Education. "It is not up to Dartmouth to determine which perspective is correct."

Taffe Reed responded via e-mail to Inside Higher Education but did not respond to questions about her heritage.

Get the Story:
Indian Enough for Dartmouth? (Inside Higher Education 9/17)

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