Alex Constantine - March 12, 2009
Edited by Alex Constantine
Who will tell Amy Goodman? ...
" ... AIM's Grand Governing Council has been dealing with Churchill's hateful attitude and rip-off of Indian people for years. ... "
A) The Provocateur
" ... Churchill's 1978 resume stated he had a tribal heritage of 'Creek/Cherokee.' Hill said he knew Churchill's Indian ancestry was 'marginal,' but he brought him on anyway.... "
Former boss questions actions
Elizabeth Mattern Clark/February 17, 2005
The man who first hired Ward Churchill at the University of Colorado in 1978 said Thursday he thinks the controversial professor "needs to politely get off the backs of Indians."
"I think he overstates his Indianness, which I don't think is there," Norbert Hill said from Albuquerque, where he now heads an organization providing scholarships to Native American students. He said Churchill should "stand on his own" rather than claiming to represent American Indians.
Hill, a member of the Oneida Nation who served as director of the American Indian Educational Opportunity Program at CU, hired Churchill as an associate director.
"I needed some staff help, and I don't care what color thehelp comes in as long as the help cares," he said. "They didn't require anyone being Indian; I had an Irish secretary. I remember Ward did a good job for me."
Over the years, though, Churchill began to overstate his ancestry, Hill said.
Churchill, an activist and full professor, is backed by noted American Indian leader Russell Means. Others, though, have for years challenged Churchill's claims to one-sixteenth Cherokee ancestry. The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees denies his affiliation.
The scrutiny has intensified since two scholars accused Churchill of inventing pieces of Indian history in essays and books.
CU officials are examining Churchill's work to determine whether he should be fired after his published comments comparing 2001 World Trade Center victims to a Nazi technocrat ignited a public firestorm last month.
CU's regents also are expected to examine the tenure process after learning that Churchill gained tenure in 1991 without the six-year tenure-track period that typically precedes the coveted job status.
Churchill's 2004 curriculum vita said he "directed" the American Indian Educational Opportunity Program from 1980 to 1983. He was an associate director and acting director during that time.
He also lectured as a non-tenure-track faculty member and began writing about American Indian issues, quickly becoming known as an expert in the field.
Hill said he was "surprised" that Churchill was given a tenured position without a Ph.D. CU documents show that Churchill was recommended for a one-year associate professorship in 1991 and instead landed a tenured — virtually permanent — job.
The fast track to tenure was based on his lengthy publication record, an internal review by a committee of top-notch faculty members, letters of reference from experts in the field, and the fact that he was being wooed by at least one other university, said Susan Kent, associate vice chancellor for faculty affairs.
"It was not a mistake," Kent said. "We have processes in place that are intricate."
Contact Camera Staff Writer Elizabeth Mattern Clark at (303) 473-1351 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alliance with Agent Provocateur Bill Ayers
Ward Churchill and Bill Ayers Speak at Univ. of Colorado
By Jeralyn, Section Media
Mar 06, 2009
Former C.U. Professor Ward Churchill and current University of Illinois (Chicago) Professor William Ayers teamed up Thursday night in Boulder to speak to students at the University of Colorado. ...
Left Denial on 9/11 Turns Irrational
by Jack Straw
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/05/1736367.php 6 May 2005
www.globalresearch.ca 8 May 2005
The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/STR505A.html
People like Noam Chomsky and Ward Churchill are turning toward the irrational as they continue to deny increasing signs that 9/11 was an inside job. ...
AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT GRAND GOVERNING COUNCIL
MINISTRY FOR INFORMATION
P.O. Box 13521
Minneapolis MN 55414
612/ 721-3914 . fax 612/ 721-7826
" ... The sorry part of this is Ward Churchill has fraudulently represented himself as an Indian, and a member of the American Indian Movement, a situation that has lifted him into the position of a lecturer on Indian activism. He has used the American Indian Movement’s chapter in Denver to attack the leadership of the official American Indian Movement with his misinformation and propaganda campaigns.
"Ward Churchill has been masquerading as an Indian for years behind his dark glasses and beaded headband. He waves around an honorary membership card that at one time was issued to anyone by the Keetoowah Tribe of Oklahoma. Former President Bill Clinton and many others received these cards, but these cards do not qualify the holder a member of any tribe. He has deceitfully and treacherously fooled innocent and naïve Indian community members in Denver, Colorado, as well as many other people worldwide. Churchill does not represent, nor does he speak on behalf of the American Indian Movement. ... "
Cherokee Wannabe: ".... clues about not only what, but who Ward Churchill Is"
Found on the AIM Council on Security and Intelligence web page is this 1994 letter from Susan Shawn Harjo of the Morning Star Institute regarding the ethnic identity of Ward Churchill, once a member of one tribe or another, and now fairly exposed as a fake, a phony and a fraud. (This of course will result in his speaking fees increasing faster than his bookings at colleges around the country and in France.)
Still, it is interesting to see that Churchill's poseur status has been known for well over a decade. By everyone, it would seem, other than his employers and publishers.
What follows is a transcription of part of the text of the letter discussing a call Harjo received from one Regina Brave. Ms Brave asserted:
"...that she knew WC [Ward Churchill] when he surfaced in Boulder as an Indian of several other tribes before he settled on Cherokee/Creek/Metis, and that she never bought into his assertion that he was an Indian of any kind; 2) that another of the 'judges in Bellngham, Washington shared her concerns, and another, a woman from Canada, was on a scholarship at the University of Colorado and living with WC and his wife; 3) that she has heard WC claim that he provided firearms going into Wounded Knee in 1973; and 4) that she overheard WC tell another white man ... that he was an expert witness in the Bernard Escamillo trial in Council Bluffs, and that she called one of the men associated with the trial that said WC was not a defense witness, but that he recognized WC's name as a prosecution witness... From the way she relates a story, it could go either way...but it is a lead to follow tht might have documentable clues about not only what but who WC is.
Hope you have enough fax paper for all this."
Other documents of interest reproduced on this site include:
Ward Churchill's 1980 Resume in which he asserts he is "Creek/Cherokee (unenrolled)."
We also learn he claims to hold a 'Master of Arts degree in Cross-Cultural Communication from Sagamon State.
He notes he is married to "Dora-Lee Larson, 30 year old Santee"
The resume states Chruchill served in Vietnam in 1968 as a "Public Information Specialist" writing battalion reports and press releases among other things.
But an interesting passage in this ICC document cites a 1991 resume in which Churchill "indicates he is Airborne/Recondo trained with multiple decorations" during the same tour of duty.
Other interesting reading includes:
"A major agenda item was the need to deal with the wrath of 'wannabees', instant shake and bake shamans, phony medicine men and women, artists, writers, and self-proclaimed 'AIM leaders' who are really non-Indians masquerading as Indian people. These people for various reasons, whether it be romanticism, self grandeur, exploitation, greed, or possibly agents of Operation Cointelpro of the FBI and/or Operation Chaos of the CIA ... infiltrate the American Indian Movement and other organizations for the purpose of misdirecting, disrupting, and sowing division in order to discredit and neutralize the leadership of the American Indian Movement.
Two persons whose method of opertations (MO) fall clearly within this description is, of course, yøurself Mr. Churchill along with Mr Morris..."
There's more, much more, and it is fascinating, if not pretty, reading.
I suppose that during Mr. Churchill's climb to tenure there must have been some vetting of his past, his claims, and his resume. But if that's the case, which set of pasts, claims, and resumes were consulted?
Also see: "Provocateur Ward Churchill Fired for Plagiarism & Other Academic Ethical Lapses"
B) Trial Coverage
Camera reporter John Aguilar is covering Ward Churchill's wrongful termination trial and will be filing live updates throughout the day from the courtroom in Denver District Court.
CHURCHILL TRIAL BLOG: Brown Calls Claim of Grand Scheme to Ax Prof "Absurd"
By John Aguilar
March 12, 2009
Ward Churchill enters the courtroom before the continuation of his civil suit against the University of Colorado at the City and County Building in Denver, Colorado March 21, 2009. Churchill is suing the University of Colorado for wrongful termination. CAMERA/Mark Leffingwell
Churchill, 61, sued the University of Colorado after it fired him in July 2007 for allegedly plagiarizing, falsifying and fabricating portions of his academic work. The former ethnic studies professor claims in his suit that CU trumped up charges of academic misconduct in retaliation for controversial comments he made about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He is suing to get his job back. CU, which has already ruled that Churchill's 9/11 comments were protected speech, claims Churchill is using a First Amendment argument as a smokescreen for shoddy scholarship.
The case has generated headlines across the country and spurred fiery debates about academic freedom versus academic integrity.
UPDATE: 12:18 p.m.
Former CU President Hank Brown testified that once it was determined by several university faculty panels that Ward Churchill had committed academic fraud, he had a moral obligation to recommend that the professor not be kept on staff.
"It was clearly intentional, it wasn't an accident, and he never acknowledged his mistakes," Brown said. "He had never taken the steps to say that was wrong, he never corrected the record. There was never a sentence, or statement, that he wouldn't continuing doing it in the future."
He said the school couldn't continue to employ a professor who had committed such transgressions and expect students to take the issue of academic fraud seriously.
Brown, a former U.S. Senator from Colorado, took the stand mid-morning Thursday on the fourth day of Churchill's civil trial against CU.
Churchill attorney, David Lane, started the questioning of Brown by asking him about his role as president of the private foundation Daniels Fund.
He asked Brown if he participated in a decision by the foundation to withhold giving grant funds to CU while it investigated the controversy surrounding Ward Churchill's 9/11 essay.
Lane asked Brown what the fund was investigating regarding the professor.
Brown said he did not know.
Lane pointed out that the foundation grant money was finally released to the college shortly after Brown took over as CU president in mid-2005. Brown agreed.
Lane showed the jury a letter the university sent to donors and alumni the day Churchill was fired on July 24, 2007, in which the school reported that the professor had been let go for research misconduct. The letter also talked about the school's various financial needs.
Lane asked if the letter wasn't using the news of Churchill's firing to "drum up business" for the university, especially since it was headed with the words "Dear University of Colorado donor."
Brown said Lane was mischaracterizing the letter and that it was informational only. He said it wasn't accompanied by the return envelope typical of donation solicitation mailings.
"The purpose of the letter was to keep the university constituents advised of the progress of the university," Brown said.
Lane then told the jury that Brown had reinstated two academic fraud charges against Churchill in his termination recommendation to the regents that the Privilege & Tenure Committee had removed because it determined they had not fallen below the standards of professional integrity.
Brown said he simply disagreed with the committee's finding that Churchill had committed academic fraud in those two areas but that the fraud didn't fall below the standard of integrity.
CU attorney, Patrick O'Rourke, began his cross-examination of Brown by asking him if it was plausible that the university had concocted a grand, highly complex plan to have Churchill fired, and managed to keep dozens of faculty -- some of whom had signed petitions defending his First Amendment Rights -- on board for two years in an effort to dump the professor.
"All of that is absurd," Brown said of O'Rourke's hypothetical scenario.
"Would you participate in a scheme to railroad a professor out of the university on false pretenses?" O'Rourke asked.
"Absolutely not," Brown replied.
The court is in recess for lunch. Brown will finish his testimony this afternoon.
UPDATE: 10:41 a.m.
Hank Brown in the witness box
Hank Brown, former president of CU, has just taken the stand.
He recommended to the regents in 2007 that Ward Churchill be fired.
UPDATE: 10:21 a.m.
Former student describes "healthy discomfort" in Churchill's class
Hillary Old, a former student of Churchill's, is now testifying.
She described Churchill's teaching style -- with tough questions and unorthodox views -- as one that provided a "healthy discomfort" to his students.
Before Old took the stand, Deward Walker, professor of anthropology and ethnic studies at CU, took questions from an attorney for CU, Kari Hershey, during cross-examination.
She put a passage written by Churchill up on the screen that discussed the U.S. Army moving blankets from a smallpox infirmary in St. Louis. Churchill has claimed that the U.S. Army deliberately infected the Mandan Indians by distributing to them blankets contaminated with smallpox.
Hershey asked Walker from his reading of the passage whether he would expect that a smallpox infirmary existed in St. Louis at the time.
"Yes, I would," he said.
Churchill attorney, David Lane, countered that if Churchill had a "good-faith belief" that the information was correct, wouldn't that be legitimate.
"If he has some reason for believing there was an infirmary in St. Louis, that wouldn't be fraud," Lane asked.
Lane said it would be part of conventional academic debate for another scholar to challenge Churchill on that fact.
UPDATE: 9:30 a.m.
Former Churchill colleague on stand
Former University of Colorado president, Hank Brown, is seated on a bench in the hallway of the Denver City & County Building, waiting for Ward Churchill to call him to the stand.
The trial began its fourth day Thursday morning with Deward Walker, professor of anthropology and ethnic studies at CU, taking the stand.
Walker, who worked with Churchill at CU before Churchill was fired in 2007, is talking about his role on a committee that gave a full professorship to Churchill.
David Lane, Churchill's attorney, is asking Walker about Churchill's writings and academic work.
"Ward asks the most uncomfortable questions," Walker said.
He said Churchill isn't afraid to talk about the "dramatic truths" of federal government policy toward Native Americans and other minorities.