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Jodi Rave: Real problem with Churchill is identity

"So far, [CU Professor Ward] Churchill stands strong on his right to free speech.

But the bigger problem he faces is a question of identity. He's built an academic career writing about indigenous peoples. He often layers his academic discourse with anti-colonial sentiment, frequently comparing the Jewish Holocaust to the genocide of Native peoples.

He's tried to reinforce his credibility factor by claiming tribal membership with the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee. He recently told the Denver Post he's 3/16 Cherokee. But his story was different when I interviewed him as a CU journalism student. At the time, he said he was 1/16 Creek and Cherokee. When my story - which questioned his identity - was published November 1993 in the Colorado Daily, he was not enrolled with a tribe.

In the past, he's denounced tribal enrollment practices, although he's actively sought enrollment.

Several years ago, he showed up in the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star newsroom, where I worked. He was angry about a column in which I denounced his panel appearance at the University of Nebraska. He wanted a retraction. He flashed his honorary enrollment number to one of my editors.

It wasn't worth a retraction."

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: Controversial CU professor stretches truth (The Billings Gazette 2/6)

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

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Professor angry at Jodi Rave for questioning heritage (2/3)
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College professor faces action for 9/11-Nazi essay (1/31)
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