Ward Churchill is the professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado who has been in the news because of an article he wrote applauding the September 11 attacks and characterizing people who work in the financial services industry as “little Eichmanns.” (It’s good to know that our young people are being taught by professors with such a sophisticated understanding of economics.) It turns out that Churchill, who has long claimed to be an Indian and has written books comparing the American government’s treatment of Indians to the Holocaust, may be a fraud as well a a charlatan:
Ward Churchill, the university professor under fire for likening victims of the 9/11 attacks to Nazis, has been misrepresenting himself as a member of an American Indian tribe, a Cherokee official claims.
Churchill, coordinator of American Indian Studies at the University of Colorado, claims to be a member of the Keetoowah Cherokee tribe in Oklahoma but “is not in the database at all and is not a member of the Keetoowah,” tribal clerk George Mauld told the Rocky Mountain News.
A past student, a Manda-Hidatsa Indian named Jodi Rave, reported years ago that Churchill had enrolled in the Keetoowah tribe under a program that allowed almost anyone to sign up. The program was later discontinued, and all who had joined the tribe under it were “disenrolled,” Rave said.
Despite what Rave calls Churchill’s “fraudulent” claim of American Indian heritage, he serves as co-director of the Colorado chapter of the American Indian Movement and as vice chairman of the American Indian Anti-Defamation Council.
As we’ve said before, Native Americans tend to be highly patriotic, so it’s no wonder that the Cherokee have no desire to claim Churchill as one of their own.