Susan Taffe Reed. Photo: Eli Burakian / Dartmouth College

Native alumni at Dartmouth call for removal of Native program hire

The Native American Alumni Association of Dartmouth College is calling for the removal of Susan Taffe Reed as director of the Native American Program at Dartmouth College.

In a statement, the board said questions about Taffe's alleged heritage will hinder her relationship with students. She has refused to discuss her tribal background although she claims to serve as president of the Eastern Delaware Nations, a group that lacks state or federal recognition and admits anyone who wants to join.

"Unfortunately, Dr. Taffe Reed’s hiring, coupled with the negative media such hiring has garnered, has caused an irreparable division amongst alumni, and more importantly, the students, thereby making it impossible for her to perform these essential functions," the statement read.

Dartmouth has defended its hiring of Reed and claims she is of mixed Native ancestry. But leaders of the federally-recognized Delaware tribes say she lacks connections to their communities and is using the Delaware name unfairly.

Research by FakeIndians failed to turn up any evidence of an Indian ancestor. The post was well documented with primary evidence of all of the people whom Reed might claim tribal heritage.

A second post on FakeIndians indicates that Reed's grandfather -- who was a member of the Eastern Delaware Nations -- was the first person in her family to claim Indian ancestry. Even though his death certificate lists him as "White/American Indian" his birth certificate states he was "White."

Additionally, both of his parents were "White" and all four of their parents were immigrants from Ireland, according to the primary documents posted by FakeIndians.

Get the Story:
Tribes Balk at Dartmouth’s Native American Director (The Wall Street Journal 10/1)

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