|Birth Date:||1947 10, mf=yes|
|Birth Place:||Elmwood, Illinois, United States|
Ward LeRoy Churchill (born October 2, 1947) is an American writer and political activist. He was a professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder from 1990 to 2007. Primarily, his work focuses on the historical treatment of political dissenters and American Indians by the United States. His work features controversial and provocative claims, written in a direct, often confrontational style.
In January 2005, Churchill's work attracted publicity, with the widespread circulation of a 2001 essay, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens. In the essay, he claimed that the September 11, 2001 attacks were provoked by U.S. policy, and referred to some people working in the World Trade Center as "technocrats" and "little Eichmanns". In March 2005 the University of Colorado began investigating allegations that Churchill had engaged in research misconduct; it reported in June 2006 that he had done so. Churchill was fired on July 24, 2007, leading to a claim from some scholars that he was fired over the ideas he expressed.  Churchill is currently contesting the decision to fire him in court.
Churchill was born in Elmwood, Illinois and attended local schools, including Elmwood High School. In 1966, Churchill was drafted into the United States Army. On his 1980 resume, Churchill said he served as a public-information specialist who "wrote and edited the battalion newsletter and wrote news releases."
In a 1987 profile on Churchill, the Denver Post reported that Churchill went to paratrooper school, then volunteered for Vietnam, where he served a 10-month tour as Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP), one of a six-man team sent out to track down North Vietnamese. The Denver Post reported in 2005 that Churchill's military records show that he was trained as a projectionist and light truck driver, and do not mention paratrooper school or LRRP training. The 75th Ranger Regiment Association found no record of Churchill being in a LRRP team.
The 1987 Post article also reported that Churchill was politically radicalized as a result of his experiences in Vietnam. Churchill told the Denver Post that he had worked with the Students for a Democratic Society and Weather Underground in the late 1960s. The Post also reported that Churchill taught members of the Weather Underground how to make bombs and fire weapons.
Churchill received his B.A. in technological communications in 1974 and M.A. in communications theory in 1975, both from Sangamon State University, now the University of Illinois at Springfield. Churchill began working as an affirmative action officer at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1978. He also lectured on Indian issues in the ethnic studies program.In 1990, he was hired as an associate professor, although he did not possess the academic doctorate usually required for such a position. The following year he was granted tenure in the communications department, without the usual six-year probationary period, after being declined by the sociology and political science departments.He was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Alfred University after giving a lecture there about American Indian history in 1992. He moved to the new ethnic studies department in 1996 and was promoted to full professor in 1997. He became chair of the department in June 2002.  
In January 2005, during the controversy over his 9/11 remarks, Churchill resigned as chairman of the ethnic studies department at the University of Colorado — his term as chair was scheduled to expire in June of that year. On May 16, 2006, the Investigative Committee of the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct at the University of Colorado concluded that Churchill had committed multiple counts of academic misconduct, specifically plagiarism, fabrication, and falsification. On July 24, 2007, Churchill was fired for academic misconduct in an eight to one vote by the University of Colorado's Board of Regents.
In 2003, Churchill stated, "I am myself of Muscogee and Creek descent on my father's side, Cherokee on my mother's, and am an enrolled member of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians."  In 1992, Churchill wrote elsewhere that he is one-eighth Creek and one-sixteenth Cherokee. In 1993, Churchill told the Colorado Daily that, “he was one-sixteenth Creek and Cherokee”. Churchill told the Denver Post in February 2005 that he is three-sixteenths Cherokee. The United Keetoowah Band clarified that Churchill was never an enrolled member, but was awarded an honorary associate membership in May 1994, as were Bill Clinton and others;  honorary associate membership recognizes assistance to the tribe, but does not indicate Indian ancestry or enrollment. The Keetoowah Band states that Churchill still holds the honorary associate membership, that it hasn't been rescinded, and that the Keetoowah Band stopped recognizing such "honorary" memberships in 1994.  
The Rocky Mountain News, in 2005, published a genealogy of Churchill, and reported "no evidence of a single Indian ancestor" [of Churchill's]. The News reports that both of Churchill's birth parents are listed as white on the 1930 census, as are all of his other known ancestors on previous censuses and other official documents. The Denver Posts genealogical investigation resulted in the same conclusion.
Documents in Churchill’s university personnel file show that he was granted tenure in a "special opportunity position." Such positions were later described as a program designed to help "recruit and hire a more diverse faculty." In 1994, then CU-Boulder Chancellor James Corbridge refused to take action on allegations that Churchill was fraudulently claiming to be an Indian, saying "it has always been university policy that a person's race or ethnicity is self-proving."
Churchill's critics argue that his assertion of Native American ancestry without the ability to prove it might constitute misrepresentation and grounds for termination. The University, however, has stated in response that they do not hire on the basis of ethnicity. The University of Colorado's Research Misconduct Committee conducted a preliminary investigation into whether Churchill misrepresented his ethnicity in order to "add credibility and public acceptance to his scholarship"; they concluded that the allegation was not "appropriate for further investigation under the definition of research misconduct."
In an interview in The Rocky Mountain News, Churchill stated: "I have never been confirmed as having one-quarter blood, and never said I was. And even if [the critics] are absolutely right, what does that have to do with this issue? I have never claimed to be goddamned Sitting Bull".
Churchill has countered requests for verification of his Indian heritage in various ways including attacking the basis on which some Native American tribes establish their membership requirements. Churchill argues that the United States instituted "blood quantum" laws based upon rules of descendency in order to further goals of personal enrichment and political expediency. 
Churchill has written on American Indian history and culture, and is particularly outspoken about what he describes as the genocide inflicted on the indigenous people of North America by European settlers and the repression of native peoples that continues to this day.
Churchill has written or coauthored 14 books and more than 150 published essays. He describes 50 of those essays as "scholarly", of which 27 are refereed. According to the University of Colorado investigation, "His academic publications are nearly all works of synthesis and reinterpretation, drawing upon studies by other scholars, not monographs describing new research based on primary sources." The investigation also noted that "he has decided to publish largely in alternative presses or journals, not in the university presses or mainstream peer-reviewed journals often favored by more conventional academics." In addition to his academic writing, Churchill has written for several general readership magazines of political opinion.
In 1986, Churchill wrote an essay titled Pacifism as Pathology: Notes on an American Pseudopraxis criticizing pacifist politics within the U.S. left as being hypocritical, de facto racist and ineffectual. In 1998, Arbeiter Ring Publishing published the essay in a book entitled Pacifism as Pathology: Reflections on the Role of Armed Struggle in North America and listing Ward Churchill as the author. (ISBN 1-894037-07-3) The book included a preface by Ed Mead, a new introduction to the essay by Churchill and a commentary by Mike Ryan. The book sparked much debate in leftist circles and inspired more aggressive tactics within the anti-globalization movement in the following few years.
Agents of Repression (1988), co-authored by Jim Vander Wall, describes what the authors claim was "the secret war" against the Black Panther Party and American Indian Movement carried out during the late 1960s and '70s by the FBI under the COINTELPRO program. The COINTELPRO Papers (1990; reissued 2002), also co-authored with Jim Vander Wall, examines a series of original FBI memos that detail the Bureau's activities against various leftist groups, from the U.S. Communist Party in the 1950s to activists concerned with Central American issues in the 1980s.
In Fantasies of the Master Race (1992), Churchill examines the portrayal of American Indians and the use of American Indian symbols in popular American culture. He focuses on such phenomena as Tony Hillerman's mystery novels, the film Dances with Wolves, and the New Age movement, finding examples of cultural imperialism and exploitation. Churchill calls author Carlos Castaneda's claims of revealing the teachings of a Yaqui Indian shaman, the "greatest hoax since Piltdown Man."
Struggle for the Land (1993; reissued 2002) is a collection of essays in which Churchill chronicles the U.S. government's systematic exploitation of Native lands and the killing or displacement of American Indians. He details Native American efforts in the 19th and 20th centuries to prevent defoliation and industrial practices such as surface mining.
Churchill's Indians Are Us? (1994), a sequel to Fantasies of the Master Race, further explores American Indian issues in popular culture and politics. He examines the movie Black Robe, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation killings, the prosecution of Leonard Peltier, sports mascots, the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990, and blood quantum laws, calling them tools of genocide. Churchill is particularly outspoken about New Age exploitations of shamanism and American Indian sacred traditions, and the "do-it-yourself Indianism" of certain contemporary authors. John P. LaVelle of the University of New Mexico School of Law published a review of Indians Are Us? in The American Indian Quarterly. Professor LaVelle, who is an enrolled member of the Santee Sioux Nation, states that Indians Are Us? twists historical facts and is hostile toward Indian tribes.
From a Native Son: Selected Essays on Indigenism, 1985-1995 (1996) is a collection of 23 previously published essays on Native American history, culture, and political activism.
Churchill's A Little Matter of Genocide (1997) is a survey of ethnic cleansing from 1492 to the present. He compares the treatment of North American Indians to historical instances of genocide by communists in Cambodia, Turks against Armenians, and Europeans against the Gypsies, as well as Nazis against the Poles and Jews.
In Perversions of Justice (2002), Churchill argues that the U.S.'s legal system was adapted to gain control over Native American people. Tracing the evolution of federal Indian law, Churchill argues that the principles set forth were not only applied to non-Indians in the U.S., but later adapted for application abroad. He concludes that this demonstrates the development of the U.S.'s "imperial logic," which depends on a "corrupt form of legalism" to establish colonial control and empire.
Churchill's controversial essay on 9/11 was expanded into a book-length manuscript, published as On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Reflections on the Consequences of U.S. Imperial Arrogance and Criminality (2003) by AK Press. The book features two other chapters, one listing US military interventions, another listing what Churchill believes to be US violations of international law. The original essay takes the "roosting chickens" of the title from a 1963 Malcolm X speech wherein Malcolm X linked the assassination of the U.S. president John F. Kennedy to the violence that Kennedy perpetuated as "merely a case of chickens coming home to roost." Churchill's essays in this book address the worldwide forms of resistance that he posits were and continue to be provoked by U.S. imperialism of the 20th and 21st centuries.
In Kill the Indian, Save the Man: The Genocidal Impact of American Indian Residential Schools (2004), Churchill traces the history of removing American Indian children from their homes to residential schools (in Canada) or Indian boarding schools (in the USA) as part of government policies (1880s-1980s) which he regards as genocidal.
Churchill has been active since at least 1984 as the co-director of the Denver-based American Indian Movement of Colorado, an autonomous chapter of the American Indian Movement. In 1993, he and other local AIM leaders, including Russell Means, Glen Morris, Robert Robideau, and David Hill, broke with the national AIM leadership, including Dennis Banks and brothers Vernon and Clyde Bellecourt, claiming that all AIM chapters are autonomous. The schism arose when Means, Churchill, Glenn Morris and others openly supported the Miskito Indian group Misurasata that was fighting with the CIA backed Contras. The schism continues, with the national AIM leadership claiming that the local AIM leaders, such as Churchill, are tools of the U.S. government which uses Churchill and others against other American Indians. The leaders of the national AIM organization claim that Churchill has worked in the past as an underground counter-intelligence source for the U.S. government, for example the FBI, and local, non-Indian, police forces, to subvert the national AIM organization. They cite several examples but specifically a 1993 Boulder interview with Jodi Rave, a former columnist for the Denver Post, where Churchill stated that he "was teaching the Rapid City Police Department about the American Indian Movement."
Churchill has been a leader of Colorado AIM's annual protests in Denver against the Columbus Day holiday and its associated parade. These protests have brought Colorado AIM's leadership into conflict with some leaders in the Denver Italian American community, the main supporters of the parade. Churchill and others have been arrested while protesting for acts such as blocking the parade.  As early as 2004, Churchill had claimed that such parades are unconstitutional, arguing that the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution provides Native Americans with a right not to be subjected to such displays, overriding the First Amendment rights of non-native Americans. Legal scholars have dismissed this argument as carrying no legal weight in U.S. courts.
In April 1983, Churchill traveled to Tripoli and Benghazi as a representative of AIM and the International Indian Treaty Council to meet Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi of Libya while a U.S. travel ban to that country was in place. The visit was intended to seek support from Gaddafi regarding claims of the U.S. government's violation of treaties with American Indian nations.
See main article: Ward Churchill 9/11 essay controversy.
Churchill wrote an essay in September 2001 entitled On the Justice of Roosting Chickens. In it, he argued that the September 11, 2001 attacks were provoked by U.S. foreign policy. Further, he disputed the innocence of those working in the World Trade Center, comparing the role of financial workers in "ongoing genocidal American imperialism" to the role played by Adolf Eichmann in organizing the Holocaust.
In 2005, this essay was widely publicized when Hamilton College invited Churchill to speak. This led to both condemnations of Churchill and counter-accusations of McCarthyism by Churchill and supporters. Following the controversy, the University of Colorado interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano stated, "While Professor Churchill has the constitutional right to express his political views, his essay on 9/11 has outraged and appalled us and the general public."
See main article: Ward Churchill misconduct issues. The controversy attracted increased attention to Churchill's research, which had already been criticized by legal scholar John LaVelle and historian Guenter Lewy. More critics came forward, including sociologist Thomas Brown, who had been preparing an article on Churchill's work, and historians R.G. Robertson and Russell Thornton, who claimed that Churchill had mischaracterized their work.
In 2005, University of Colorado at Boulder administrators ordered an investigation into the allegations of research misconduct.University of Colorado officials pointed out that while accusations against Churchill had been published as early as the 1990s, no one had filed a complaint of research misconduct with the University before 2005.However, they addressed the new charges of research misconduct that came to light during the controversy over Churchill's remarks about the 9/11 victims.
On May 16, 2006 the University released its investigative committee findings.The Investigative Committee, a five-member subcommittee of the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct, agreed unanimously that Churchill had engaged in "serious research misconduct," including four counts of falsifying information, two counts of fabricating information, two counts of plagiarizing the works of others, improperly reporting the results of studies, and failing to "comply with established standards regarding author names on publications." In addition, the committee found him "disrespectful of Indian oral traditions." Two members found that Churchill's actions did not warrant dismissal and that the most appropriate sanction was suspension. While the remaining three found that his conduct was grounds for dismissal, they were split as to what the most appropriate sanction was—two believed suspension was appropriate and one stated dismissal was appropriate.
In its report, the investigative sub-committee "expresses its concern regarding the timing and perhaps the motives for the University's decision to forward charges made in that context."The Standing Committee's final report, however, states that they could not ignore the charges against Churchill given their seriousness.
The Standing Committee on Research Misconduct accepted the findings of the Investigative Committee that Churchill had "committed serious, repeated, and deliberate research misconduct." However, the Committee disagreed on what sanctions should be imposed. Six members voted for dismissal. Two members voted for a five year suspension without pay, and one voted for a two year suspension without pay.
Churchill's appeal against his proposed dismissal was considered by a panel of the University's Privilege and Tenure Committee, which found that two of the seven findings of misconduct did not constitute dismissible offences. Three members recommended that the penalty should be demotion and one year's suspension without pay, while two favored dismissal. 
On July 24, 2007, the University regents voted seven to two to uphold all seven of the findings of research misconduct, overruling the recommendation of Privilege and Tenure panel that two of them be dismissed. They then fired Churchill by vote of eight to one. The sole dissenter, Cindy Carlisle, had argued for the sanctions recommended by the majority of the Privilege and Tenure dismissal panel. 
University president Hank Brown said of the firing, "This case was an example not of mistakes, but an effort to falsify history and fabricate history and in the final analysis, this individual did not express regret or apologize. This is a faculty that has an outstanding reputation and this move today protects that reputation."
On the following day, Churchill filed a lawsuit in state court claiming that the firing was retribution for expressing politically unpopular views. The University filed for dismissal on September 4, 2007.
Some observers infer that the investigation and these actions were in retaliation for Churchill's controversial statements about the World Trade Center attacks because it began in the midst of national media coverage of his statements, with one stating that Churchill's writing was "subjected to a line-by-line review for evidence of academic malfeasance solely as a punishment for his political statements."   Eleven professors have signed a complaint against the investigation and its findings, claiming the Committee's research violates standard scholarly practices by using biased information and suppressing information favorable to Churchill. Margaret LeCompte, who is chair of CU's chapter of the American Association of University Professors, views the Churchill case as a "key precedent that could lead to curtailing academic freedoms." In addition, scholars, activists and organizations including the ACLU, the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Derrick Jensen, Drucilla Cornell, Bill Ayers and Immanuel Wallerstein, have issued statements objecting to the circumstances of Churchill's firing.
According to Thomas Brown, one of Churchill's critics in the academy, support for Churchill has dwindled. Brown states that in February 2005, 199 CU faculty members signed a newspaper article supporting Churchill, but in July 2007, only four CU faculty signed another letter protesting his imminent firing.
There have been allegations that Churchill’s pieces infringe copyrights. For example, his 1981 serigraph "Winter Attack" was, according to Churchill and others, based on a 1972 drawing by artist Thomas E. Mails. Churchill printed 150 copies of "Winter Attack" and sold at least one of them; other copies have been made available for purchase online. Churchill maintained that at the time he produced "Winter Attack", he publicly acknowledged that it was based on Mails' work. The online journal Artnet mentions Churchill's artwork and the controversy surrounding its originality.
Documents from the FBI's Secret War Against Domestic Dissent. South End Press. Boulder CO. 978-0-89608-359-2.
Indigenous Resistance to Genocide, Ecocide and Expropriation in Contemporary North America. Common Courage Press. 978-1-56751-000-3 (hardcover: ISBN 978-1-56751-001-0). Released in a revised and expanded edition as Book: Churchill, Ward. 2002. Struggle for the Land
Native North American Resistance to Genocide, Ecocide and Colonization. City Lights Books. San Francisco CA. 978-0-87286-414-6 (hardcover: ISBN 978-0-87286-415-3). (One essay in this book has been accused of containing a plagiarized paragraph).
Selected Essays on Indigenism 1985-1995. South End Press. Boulder CO. 978-0-89608-553-4.
Reflections on the Consequences of U.S. Imperial Arrogance and Criminality. AK Press. 978-1-902593-79-1.
The Genocidal Impact of American Indian Residential Schools. City Lights Books. San Francisco CA. 978-0-87286-434-4.
You could say that five hundred years ago was the basis of blood quantum in Ibero-America. But in Anglo-America, while there was some preoccupation with it, it was not formalized until the passage of the General Allotment Act, mid-1880s. At that point they began to define Indian as being someone who was demonstrably and documentably of at least one-quarter by quantum blood indigenous in a given group. You couldn't be an eighth Cheyenne and an eighth Arapaho and be an Indian. You had to be a quarter Cheyenne or a quarter Arapaho or hopefully a quarter and a quarter. The reason for this was quite clear. They were identifying Indians for purposes of allotting them individual parcels of land in the existing reservation base at that point. If they ran out of Indians identifiable as such, then the rest of the land would be declared surplus. So it was clearly in the interests of the government to create a definition of Indianness that would minimize the number of Indians that were available. It was an economic motivation for the application of this genetic criteria to Indianness in the first place. It's become increasingly so ever since." (David Barsamian interviews Ward Churchill. Historical and Current Perspectives. Z Magazine. 1995. December.)