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Opinion
Suzan Shown Harjo: Churchill went 'tribe-shopping'


"I met Ward Churchill 15 years ago, before he gained his present infamous reputation. My friend, a college professor, said this Cherokee-Creek guy wanted to meet me. I expected to meet an earnest young student who would relate to me as Creek (I'm Hodulgee Muscogee on Dad's side and enrolled Cheyenne on Mom's).

Instead, there was Churchill. Caucasian in appearance and in his mid-40s, he was wearing dark glasses and going for the look of an Indian activist circa 1970.

I asked him who his Creek people were and other questions we ask in order to find the proper way of relating. Churchill behaved oddly and did not respond (it's unusual to find Indians so deficient in social skills).

Then, he went tribe-shopping. He added Metis, then Keetoowah, variously claiming to be an associate member, an enrolled member or 1/16 or 3/16 Cherokee. "

Get the Story:
Harjo: Why Native identity matters: A cautionary tale (Indian Coutnry Today 2/10)

Churchill's 9/11 Essay:
"Some People Push Back" On the Justice of Roosting Chickens (Pockets of Resistance September 2001)

Related Stories:
Colorado governor still wants Churchill fired (2/10)
Churchill speaks to large crowd at CU campus (2/9)
School calls off Churchill's on-campus speech (2/8)
Column: Churchill guilty of academic fraud (2/8)
Jodi Rave: Real problem with Churchill is identity (2/7)
Yellow Bird: Churchills make lost Indians look bad (2/7)
Churchill Controversy: More opinions and views (2/7)
Marty Two Bulls Cartoon: Ward Churchill's Indian Kit (2/7)
UKB: Professor never proved Cherokee heritage (2/4)
Column: Churchill asked why we were attacked (2/4)
Professor angry at Jodi Rave for questioning heritage (2/3)
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)