Susan Taffe Reed at family reunion in hidden Pennsylvania
Publius sends along this WSJ story: Dartmouth dumps its Native American after she turns out to be a white gal.
Dartmouth College has removed the new director of its Native American Program after tribal officials and alumni accused her of misrepresenting herself as an American Indian.
The Ivy League school hired Susan Taffe Reed last month to serve as a liaison between the college and Native Americans, saying her role as president of the Eastern Delaware Nations would be instrumental in helping guide Indian students.
But her appointment quickly became mired in controversy as some Native Americans said Dartmouth didn’t sufficiently vet Ms. Reed’s association with the Eastern Delaware group, which concedes it isn’t an actual tribe. Indian activists also said they couldn’t find documentation of Ms. Reed’s claims that she had Native American heritage.
Ms. Reed, who has a doctorate in musicology and American Indian Studies from Cornell University, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. In an email to The Wall Street Journal last week, she said she was of mixed Native and European heritage, though she wouldn’t specify which tribe or tribes she hailed from. She added that she had been raised participating in traditional Native ceremonies in a rural region of Pennsylvania, where she said some Native Americans had historically kept their identity secret.
Dartmouth said Ms. Reed had been honest in representing herself and that it would never ask an applicant to document their ethnicity.
So if it’s illegal to ask a job applicant about her ethnicity, and it is, and if this member of a “secret” Indian tribe was truthful on her resume, isn’t it illegal to fire her because of her race? Probably so, which would explain why, after removing her from her Chief Pocahontas role, the school’s keeping her on the payroll “for retraining for some other job”.
On the related story of Elizabeth Warren’s false claim to be an Indian (and unlike Miss Reed, she did lie on her resume), this week Slate examined “Why so many Americans claim to be Cherokees”. The answer, basically, is because they can; it’s a claim almost impossible to disprove, short of DNA testing, and what faker’s going to submit to that? Perhaps someone – that Congressman who stole the Pope’s? -can swipe Warren’s water glass from her senate desk and send it for testing.