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July 26,2007

Ward Churchill, Academic Fraud, Literary Fraud, and Indian Fraud


FOR RELEASE: Thursday, July 26, 2007

FROM: American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council Ministry for Information
PRESS CONTACT: Vernon Bellecourt, WaBunInini
Indiz-Nikaz, Anishinaabe Ojibwe Nation
Member of the Executive Committee and Director of the
Ministry on Foreign Affairs for the American Indian Movement
Grand Governing Council

On Tuesday, July 25, following a lengthy investigation by a special panel, the University of Colorado Board of Regents on a vote of 8-1 fired tenured professor of Ethnic and Indian Studies, Ward Churchill. The charges were research misconduct and plagiarizing the writings and research of other academics. While we, the leadership of the American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council applaud the thoughtful and reasoned decision, we want to point out to all that for more than 25 years the legitimate leadership of AIM’s Grand Governing Council attempted to expose Ward Churchill as an academic, literary, and ethnic fraud.

Churchill perpetuated his fraudulent Indian identity in order to get himself streamlined into tenure and Director of the Ethnic and Indian Studies Department as well to market his plagiarized and revisionist books. He has also plagiarized the American Indian Movement’s intellectual property rights and tainted the goodwill for Indian people that exists nationally and worldwide.

He has made hundreds of thousands of dollars on the lecture circuit, promoted, yet today, by Speak Out Speakers Bureau promoting him as Indian, all after we notified them of his ethnic fraud. The result of this was to ignore the voices of authentic Indian academics, intellectuals, leaders and activists.

Churchill has fraudulently represented himself as a member of the Keetoowah Nation of Cherokee Indians of Oklahoma, which he is not. When challenged to show proof of any Indian ancestry he waves an associate membership card that at one time the Keetoowah Nation would give to anyone who would promise to help them. Even former President Bill Clinton received one of these cards of associate membership. Ernestine Berry who presided on the Keetoowah Enrollment Committee and served on the tribal council for years stated to Denver Post writer, Howard Pankratz on February 3, 2005 that Churchill was trying to get recognized as an Indian. He could not prove he is an Indian. Berry said that he was given this associate membership in the 10,000 member tribe based in Tahlequah, Oklahoma in the early 1990’s. “Churchill started coming around in 1992 or 1993 saying he wrote some books and was a big time author, and convinced us he could help our people,” Berry said, “and it was on that basis he was given the associate membership card.”

Barry also said, “Churchill never fulfilled his promise to help the tribe, and after he received his associate card, we never heard from him again.”

Due to this abuse and misrepresentation of the associate card by Churchill, the Keetoowah Nation has discontinued the practice of issuing these cards.

Not only is Ward Churchill a literary and academic fraud, just as egregiously he continues to fraudulently represent himself as being Keetoowah Indian, and a member of the American Indian Movement’s chapter in Denver, Colorado. With deceit and treachery, he has been able to manipulate the Denver Indian community into giving him and his co-conspirator, Glen Morris, credibility and cover. Glenn Morris is a professor at the University of Colorado who is another Caucasian American masquerading as an Indian, This is designed to confuse Indians and non-Indian alike. Following the decision of the University of Colorado Board of Regents, he, along with former personality in the American Indian Movement, Russell Means, created the illusion that AIM supports Ward Churchill.

Because of disruptive behavior and ethnic fraud, both Churchill and Morris were expelled from the International Indian Treaty Council by its International Board of Directors on September 23, 1986. The International Indian Treaty Council, or IITC is the international, political, and diplomatic Corp of the American Indian Movement. Seven years later on November 23, 1993, following a lengthy investigation, the American Indian Movement’s National Board of Directors expelled Churchill and Morris from AIM.

While Russell Means has resigned from the American Indian Movement on several occasions, he along with Churchill and Morris continue to manipulate the Denver American Indian Movement community so that Churchill and Morris can perpetuate their ethnic fraud on the academic, literary community, and as well the Indian and non-Indian people worldwide.

They are deceitful and treacherous to the point that they will always surround themselves with innocent and naïve individuals of the Indian and non-Indian communities, some who are well known who actually have endorsed their revisionist, inaccurate, shoddy, and fraudulent writings. The result of this is that without review of the contents of their publications, Indian and non-Indian educators and educational institutions and libraries are using these books in their curriculum. In doing so, they and our students become victims of this fraud. Using the American Indian Movement to give themselves credibility, cover and access, they have been able to infiltrate other organizations and movements nationally and internationally.

They use publications like Houghton-Mifflin, Random House Publishers, South End Press, and Speak Out Speakers Bureau who allow Ward Churchill and others to perpetuate their literary, academic, and Indian fraud on the unknowing public.

What you can do to help:

The American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council urges our friends and supporters worldwide to expose and isolate these conspirators expeditiously. We request that educators, Indian and non-Indians alike remove from their curriculums and libraries all of their revisionist, inaccurate and shoddy writings, and send them back to their publishers (a clear example of the problem is the Encyclopedia of the North American Indian by Frederick E. Hoxie, published by Houghton Mifflin, a subsidiary of Random House). Mr. Marc Jaffe of Houghton Mifflin first contacted and met with Tim Giago, Oglala Lakota, founder and former award winning publisher of Indian Country Today, and syndicated columnist to do the book, and without notifying Mr. Giago, Mr. Jaffe selected Mr. Hoxie who allowed Indian literary and academic fraud, Churchill to submit the article, "Radicals and Radicalism, 1990 to the Present."

Discontinue utilizing Speak Out Speakers Bureau and publications from South End Press, Zeta Magazine, and Common Courage Press until they agree to stop promoting these frauds. We request that organizations such as the National Indian Education Association, and the American Indian Higher Education Consortium create a watchdog-type agency to review what books are being published by these literary, academic, and Indian frauds so that their revisionist writings are not finding their way into our education curriculum. This problem is of epidemic proportions, and must be stopped. Remove all of Ward Churchill’s books from your libraries and curriculums immediately. You owe it to our students.

PRESS CONTACT: Vernon Bellecourt, WaBunInini
Indiz-Nikaz, Anishinaabe Ojibwe Nation
Member of the Executive Committee and Director of the
Ministry on Foreign Affairs for the American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council
AIM Council on Security and Intelligence
Phone: 612-721-3914

Please see the following, “BACKGROUND: The United States Government War Against the American Indian Movement” for more info:

Web Page:US vs AIM & Background

Web Page:Blog on Churchill Introduction

AIM BLOG-Rocky Mountain News-re: Churchill’s Ethnic Fraud:AIM BLOG

United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians of Oklahoma Enrollment Office,
Liz Little Dave, Telephone: 918-453-9375