Monday, March 12, 2007

New allegations against Churchill

The Rocky Mountain News' Berny Morson reports:
Did University of Colorado ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill see secret Canadian government files about child abuse in Indian boarding schools?

Highly unlikely, says a Canadian researcher who reviewed the files and cited them in his 1999 book about the history of the infamous boarding schools.

So how did references to those documents end up in Churchill's 2004 book on the schools?

"Unless he got himself into one of those black suits that Tom Cruise used in that movie and snuck himself into the Department of Indian Affairs at midnight, he's not seen the documents," said John S. Milloy, a professor at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.
Tom Cruise and Ward Churchill, together at last!

This is not the first time Churchill has been accused of stealing facts from someone else's research . . . .


Churchill did not return phone calls or an e-mail message about this latest allegation. His attorney, David Lane, declined to comment.

Churchill's book, Kill the Indian, Save the Man, and Milloy's book, A National Crime, deal with an ugly chapter in U.S. and Canadian history.

Beginning in the late 19th century, Indian children in both countries were taken from their parents and sent to boarding schools, where they were forced to adopt European culture.

Milloy, who published first, had access to files of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada because he was a researcher with the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, a massive government probe into mistreatment of Indians.

Milloy said he was the only person, apart from Department of Indian Affairs officials, with access to the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada files. Even his graduate assistants had to stay outside the room where he reviewed the materials, he said. . . .
Milloy was given copies of documents, but only under promises not to share them. He said all of the references in his book were to confidential documents.

Churchill, in three cases in his book, cites documents with the same file numbers as the ones Milloy quotes.

"If he's quoting INAC," Milloy said, "then he's taken it from me, plain and simple, no doubt."

No doubt. But wait! There's more!

The footnotes in both books are not the only similarities between Milloy's work and Churchill's work.

Nine of the 31 photographs in Churchill's book are the same as ones in Milloy's work, including six from Anglican Church of Canada archives.

Churchill credits the photos to the church, but a church archivist, Nancy Hurn, said if he had permission to use the pictures, it's not in her records.

Hurn said the photos, however, have been widely reproduced and are in the public domain.

"It's a concern, because we are pretty open with the use of our photographs, but we request people make the request directly from us before they reproduce them," Hurn said . . . .

Elaine Katzenberger, Churchill's editor at City Lights Books in San Francisco, said no one has complained to her about misuse of photos. She declined to comment on the references to confidential documents.

"I stand behind this book as it is until someone proves to me that Ward stole something," Katzenberger said. . . .

Churchill's book is heavy on footnotes. The 82 pages of text have 546 footnotes, including 78 that cite Milloy. However, five references to INAC documents do not credit Milloy.

Five hundred and forty-six footnotes in 82 pages! Estupendo! A new record! Milloy doesn't seem to think the five questionable references are important, anyhow:

"I'm not going to spend any time on it," Milloy said.

"I talked to my publisher and he said, 'That's interesting. What are we supposed to do and who cares?'"
(via Slapstick Politics)

Update: Sort of OT, but I wonder if Ben Whitmer has already been told his contract to teach at CU isn't going to be renewed. How else explain allowing the mentally unstable "Charley Arthur" to make yet another murderous threat on his blog? This one's against Churchill documentarian Grant Crowell:
Comes the moment of our forthcoming 1-on-1 in Chicago, Walking Eagle, we’re volunteering right here and now to administer unto you a desperately-needed hot lead enema.

Two or three in succession, if need be.

It’s not really clear that your condition hasn’t already become too advanced for even such radical intervention as that to be effective, but it’s the only thing we can imagine that stands a chance of purging you of the rapidly-increasing quantity of maggot-infested excrement clogging the bowels of what, in your hyper-constipated state of delusion, you imagine to be a mind.
Now that's "satire" even the chairpersyn of CU's ethnic studies department, Albert Ramirez, might not appreciate, whether it was written on a CU computer or not (scroll doon, as Groundskeeper Willie would say). Arrogant (and slow-witted!) as Ramirez is, he knows the department is--his cliche--"under a microscope."

Update II: The name "Walking Eagle," of course, has been applied to Churchill for years, usually by other (sorry, I mean real) Indians.

Update III: And everybody knows why Churchill is called Walking Eagle, right? If not, droop me a line, as Groundskeeper Willie would also say.

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