The investigative panel refused to consider the charge that Churchill had falsely claimed Indian ancestry, even though it noted that several Native leaders had made this complaint to the university in the mid-'90s and had been disregarded.
"Ward Churchill is a fraud and, unfortunately, cannot be defended by Indian Studies professionals. It is unfortunate because many people in the field believe his role as an 'advocacy Historian' for Indian Studies has been crucial to achieving some influence in declaring how destructive the colonial "master narrative" of America has been to Native populations. He has spoken out against colonialism all of his professional life. His unsubstantiated claim to Indian identity, though, is a destructive act and it is an academic fraud that we have struggled against in Indian Studies for decades," said Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, professor emerita at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash.