Mudcat Café message #1408885 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #78407   Message #1408885
Posted By: Stilly River Sage
13-Feb-05 - 11:39 PM
Thread Name: BS: Fire Ward Churchill
Subject: RE: BS: Fire Ward Churchill
Blood quantum is one of those nasty hangovers from the 1880s Dawes act. Much of what goes on now depends on whose ancestors signed up (was willing to take the risk to sign up--many weren't so now since they're not enrolled they're not "real" Indians). So mixedbloods today have a couple of hurdles. Was their tribal affiliation simply diluted by lack of family registration, or was it diluted by intermarriage? And at what point may someone who has a couple of cultures in their immediate family still choose to take an identifiable path? It's a bloody-awful battle when you start arguing about who is and isn't an Indian. I would say that people like Jamake Highwater made this much worse by masquerading as an Indian (he's Greek) for many years. A lot of people were burned. Last time I read anything about Churchill, he's simply your garden-variety mixedblood. And entitled to take a position and choose to defend it if he wishes.

As someone else remarked, he has tenure. And a lot of people who have a lot of reasons that go beyond the current flap are hoping to make things hot enough that he'll choose to or have to leave. If you think this is simply based on remarks regarding Sept. 11 and his opinion of the culpability of Americans in general, you're naively mistaken. The internecine warfare between Indians and mixedblood Indians makes this look like child's play.