Churchill: UKB tribe's statement is false
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Churchill, a tenured professor of ethnic studies who could lose his job over allegations he lied about his ancestry and plagiarized others' work, said Wednesday the tribe's statements are false.
In an e-mail to The Associated Press, Churchill said the United Keetowahs' [sic] membership committee twice confirmed he has Cherokee ancestors before he was made an associate member, and that he was given a tribal roll number, R7627.
According to Churchill, tribal officials told him an associate membership was not honorary and that it required Cherokee ancestry. He said the tribe has a right to disenroll him or ask him to resign, but that it hasn't done so.
One of our alert readers (thanks, Laurie!) has pointed out an apparent conflict between Churchill attorney David Lane's and the Denver Post's descriptions of the videotape Churchill submitted with his response to the Misconduct Committee, to whit: Lane says it is a "videotape of the ceremony inducting him as an associate member of the Keetoowah Cherokee band" and The Denver Post claims it is of a UKB council meeting. We've emailed Professor Churchill inquiring about the discrepancy; we'll keep you posted concerning his reply.
UPDATE: According to Ward Churchill, his attorney erred in describing the tape (Churchill: "It is of the relevant Band Council meeting, start to finish"); additionally, he noted that while the tape was referenced in his response to the committee, it was not actually included. Churchill also noted (in answer to a question from us) that he does not plan to make his 50-page response public "at present."
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United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee issues vehement repudiation of Churchill's claimed membership
"Mr. Churchill was never able to prove his eligibility in accordance with our membership laws, but was to be honored because of his promise to write our history, and his pledge to help and honor the UKB. To date, Churchill has done nothing in regards to his promise and pledge.
"The United Keetoowah Band, a sovereign Nation, has the sole right to determine our membership and interpret our laws. The term "Indian" refers not only to an ethnic category, but it is also a political determination based on our unique relationship with the Federal Government. Mr. Churchill mocks the basic fundamental principles of Tribal Sovereignty when he consistently refers to enrollment as a 'pedigree' and compares enrollment to 'dogs' and 'Nazi policies.' Additionally, his rhetoric did not prevent him from approaching the UKB and seek a so-called 'dog pedigree.'"
...The Rocky Mountain News has further coverage of the UKB statement
...Meanwhile, Churchill insists to The Denver Post that an 11-year old video tape of the UKB council debating his heritage, which he submitted along with his 50-page response to the Misconduct Committee, is "crushing evidence" he is an American Indian
In a brief interview in his office Tuesday, Churchill called another scholar who accuses him of wrongdoing — Thomas Brown, an assistant sociology professor at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas — a "snot-nosed punk."