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A Professor Claimed to Be Native American. Did She Know She Wasn’t?

"Elizabeth Hoover, who has taught at Brown and Berkeley, insists that she made an honest mistake. Her critics say she has been lying for more than a decade." by Jay Caspian Kang - February 26, 2024

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2024/03/04/a-professor-claimed-to-be-native-american-did-she-know-she-wasnt

Her story looks to have changed many times, and though she's made promises to no longer call herself Native, and to cease representing and participating in community events, there are multiple reports in this article that she has not kept these promises.
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Research Needed / Re: Keewaydinoquay Margaret Peschel
« Last post by Sparks on February 24, 2024, 03:09:44 am »
Here's a Mary Geniusz biography likely written by her daughter Wendy Geniusz.
https://notablefolkloristsofcolor.org/portfolio/mary-siisip-geniusz/

Wendy Makoons Geniusz also wrote about Keewaydinoquay Pakawakuk Peschel in the same place:

https://notablefolkloristsofcolor.org/portfolio/keewaydinoquay-pakawakuk-peschel/

Quote
Photo courtesy of Wendy Makoons Geniusz, with permission from the Miniss Kitigan Drum.

Native American (Anishinaabe), Ethnobotany

Keewaydinoquay Pakawakuk Peschel (1919-1999)
The Aadizookaanag, our ancient stories and teaching spirits, are living beings. Keewaydinoquay’s storytelling clearly demonstrated the veracity of this Anishinaabe teaching. As she told stories, deep, “booming” voices of the Aadizookaanag echoed through the room as she spoke through her hand drum.

Raised in an Anishinaabe village on Cat Head Bay, on the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan, Keewaydinoquay was approximately nine when she began training to be a medicine woman under Nodjimahkwe. She also learned from other village elders. By the time she realized the extent of the knowledge that she had learned from them, her mentors had already passed over. Sharing this knowledge was her means of thanking them. Keewaydinoquay was a long-time educator, having taught in Michigan public schools for over 40 years before earning a MEd at Wayne State University and beginning doctoral coursework in ethnobotany at the University of Michigan. She later taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and founded the Miniss Kitigan Drum, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Anishinaabe culture. She said that she did not know her birth year, although census records suggest 1918 or 1919. She wanted people to understand that records of Indigenous births were not always made. She also taught that Anishinaabe people do not speak of “death.” Instead, we describe “passing over to the other side.” Keewaydinoquay passed over in 1999.

Puhpohwee (1978/1998), her most widely available publication, is an eclectic combination of materials related to fungi, including stories, teachings, medicinal and culinary recipes, and Keewaydinoquay’s drawings. In an interview, Keewaydinoquay explained that she wrote the original monograph after finding an academic article on mushrooms in a dentist’s office:

It said we Native Americans hate them, never use them, won’t walk near them, and don’t even look at them.  Scholars were quoted. I read it in disbelief. I wrote a letter disputing the article. A reply came back asking, “How do you know?” I wrote back saying that I am an Ojibway and a medicine woman.

A Harvard mycologist came to visit her, and she eventually published the first version of Puhpohwee. She later expanded it into a book edition (1998) containing more information and illustrations. When teaching, sharing one’s own lived experiences of working with knowledge, or sharing those experiences of a close relative or mentor, is crucial to Anishinaabe cultural protocols. A person without such stories is not reliable. Throughout her writings, Keewaydinoquay shares many stories of working with the knowledge she describes. As with the oral stories told in our communities, her stories are memorable and include specific instructions.

Among her works of interest to folklorists are:

Puhpohwee for the People: A Narrative Account of Some Uses of Fungi among the Ahnishinaabeg / Keewaydinoquay. [Second edition] (1998)

Wendy Makoons Geniusz

Click to view extensive bibliography
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Research Needed / Re: Keewaydinoquay Margaret Peschel
« Last post by cellophane on February 21, 2024, 05:06:44 pm »
Peschel's book, Keewaydinoquay, Stories from My Youth, published by the University of Michigan, is still in print, and the blurb at the publisher's site presents it as factual:
https://press.umich.edu/Books/K/Keewaydinoquay-Stories-from-My-Youth2

Quote
In the captivating art of the oral tradition-told in the author's own voice-Keewaydinoquay, Stories from My Youth brings to life the childhood years of a Michigan woman of both Native American and white. Presented here with the clarity and charm of a master storyteller, the words of Keewaydinoquay contain layers of understanding, conveyed by both what is said and how it is said. The values of the worldview that she shares with us are ones that resonate on far more than just an intellectual level.

The stories span generations and cultures and shed a rare light on the living conditions of Native Americans in Michigan in the early 1900s. They recount Keewaydinoquay's education in the public schools, illuminate the role Christianity played in Native American culture, and reveal the importance of maintaining traditional customs.

Keewaydinoquay was one of the very few Native American women who was steeped both in the ancient folkways of her people as well as erudite in the American university system. Ultimately she wove her native tradition and university learning together into a unique perspective that helped people understand the importance of nature and the human spirit.
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Research Needed / Re: Keewaydinoquay Margaret Peschel
« Last post by Sparks on February 21, 2024, 06:43:42 am »
Sparks, I have no idea what you're talking about. I only looked at Mary Lynn Shomperlen. She married a man by the name of Geniusz. I didn't look at his side of the family, only hers. There is no Polish heritage that I  could see. Her mother's maiden name is Blain. I think you're confused.
Sparks-Lucille Geniusz was the mother of Mary Shomperlen's husband Robert Geniusz and also Wendy Geniusz's grandmother. I just used her obituary to verify it is the same Mary Geniusz and her maiden name since you questioned a mistaken identity.
Yes, I was confused! The case of mistaken identity was mine. At a quick glanze, I mistook the statement in this quote to mean that Lucille Geniusz was the mother of (Mary Lynn Shomperlen). Now I realize that her being mentioned in a paranthesis means she was married to Lucille’s son Robert Myles Geniusz. I apologize to everyone who was confused by my post!
Geniusz, Lucille (Nee Sipowicz) […] Became the loving mother of Edward Tom Geniusz, Edwardine Michelle (Allen K.) Charnow, and Robert Myles (Mary Lynn Shomperlen) Geniusz. Later the delighted and loving grandmother of Wendy Makoons (Errol) Geniusz […]
https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/jsonline/name/lucille-geniusz-obituary?id=3194775
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Research Needed / Re: Keewaydinoquay Margaret Peschel
« Last post by WINative on February 21, 2024, 05:16:34 am »
I think Margaret Peschel was a very dangerous person and delusional and it seems her followers are as well, preaching the Gospel of Keewaydinoquay and romanticizing her story into a fictional story of her life. The Miniss Kitigan Drum Inc. is literally a church, so what are the preaching? Is Kee a God now?
Her followers all consider themselves Ojibwe it seems and experts on Ojibwe and Native culture and are continuing her legacy.
They are listed on the last page of this attached paper by the biggest supporter Wendy Geniusz.

PERSONAL INTERVIEWS
The Ojibwe names are vision names as spelled by Keewaydinoquay;
they appear here at the request of their bearers.

Ford, Richard I. (Director and Curator of Ethnology and Ethnobotany, University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology, Ann Arbor), 21 October 2004.
Geniusz, Mary Siisip (one of Kee's oshkaabewisag), 2004.
Heqet, Barbara (one of Kee's informal students), 8 October 2004.
Macklem, David (one of Kee's oshkaabewisag), 7 October 2004.
Podgorski, Cheryl (Aukeequay; one of Kee's oshkaabewisag ), 22 September 2004.
Simonsen, Lynn (Ningwiisiisis; one of Kee's oshkaabewisag), 10 October 2004.
Tanner, Helen Hornbeck (Senior Research Fellow, Newberry Library, and a personal friend of Kee's), 14 October - 30 September 2004.
Warber, Sara L. (Mikawa; Co-Director, Michigan Integrative Medicine Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), 22 October 2004


https://ojs.library.carleton.ca/index.php/ALGQP/article/download/356/260/1122
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Research Needed / Re: Keewaydinoquay Margaret Peschel
« Last post by WINative on February 21, 2024, 04:03:24 am »
I agree, but also think some of the concerning things about Peschel is that she is still viewed as an Ojibwe or Anishinaabe elder and medicine woman or expert on plants. You google her name and she is still widely respected and should be publicly outed as a fraud, even if it took 25 years. People are still citing her work, and there is a plaque in her honor on the UW-Milwaukee campus and this also concerns the idea of universities continuing to hire Frauds, particularly at UW-Milwaukee. Her protege Wendy Keewaydinoquay Geniusz also needs to be exposed.
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Research Needed / Re: Keewaydinoquay Margaret Peschel
« Last post by educatedindian on February 21, 2024, 03:05:53 am »
Since Peschel passed 25 years ago, the main thing to look at is how her distortions or falsehoods have been passed on. Miniss Kitigan Drum don't seem very active. The most recent mention I found of them is for 2018 and records in 2014 show zero income.

http://www.nonprofitfacts.com/MI/Miniss-Kitigan-Drum-Inc.html

I did find a mention of them clearing nature paths, but not much else. Of course I'm not in the local area, so those who are likely know much better what they're up to.

Geniusz certainly needs to continue to be looked at, and Peschel's works in ethnobotany need to be at least reexamined if not dumped.
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Research Needed / Re: Keewaydinoquay Margaret Peschel
« Last post by WINative on February 20, 2024, 06:11:43 pm »
Sparks-Lucille Geniusz was the mother of Mary Shomperlen's husband Robert Geniusz and also Wendy Geniusz's grandmother. I just used her obituary to verify it is the same Mary Geniusz and her maiden name since you questioned a mistaken identity.


Mary Lynn Shomperlen Geniusz is white. Looked at her parents especially the mother. All Dutch in the Canadian census and her grandparents are buried at The Pas, Flin Flon-Northwest Census Division, Manitoba, Canada. This this was taken from Find a grave. Again I went back several generations and all white and German, England and Dutch.

This is all so confusing by now. Dutch, German, English, what about the Polish connection? According to WINative's link Mary Lynn Shomperlen Geniusz's mother was "Geniusz, Lucille (Nee Sipowicz) … born June 6, 1910, in Sokolka (Russian occupied Poland)". But according to the biography linked to, written by Wendy Makoons Geniusz, Mary Siisip Geniusz's "mother was born at the Pas in Manitoba". Is this a blatant lie, then?

This statement from the obituary supports WINative's claim that the two Marys are one and the same person: "Later the delighted and loving grandmother of Wendy Makoons (Errol) Geniusz".
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Research Needed / Re: Keewaydinoquay Margaret Peschel
« Last post by Diana on February 20, 2024, 05:44:52 pm »
Sparks, I have no idea what you're talking about. I only looked at Mary Lynn Shomperlen. She married a man by the name of Geniusz. I didn't look at his side of the family, only hers. There is no Polish heritage that I  could see. Her mother's maiden name is Blain. I think you're confused




Mary Lynn Shomperlen Geniusz is white. Looked at her parents especially the mother. All Dutch in the Canadian census and her grandparents are buried at The Pas, Flin Flon-Northwest Census Division, Manitoba, Canada. This this was taken from Find a grave. Again I went back several generations and all white and German, England and Dutch.

This is all so confusing by now. Dutch, German, English, what about the Polish connection? According to WINative's link Mary Lynn Shomperlen Geniusz's mother was "Geniusz, Lucille (Nee Sipowicz) … born June 6, 1910, in Sokolka (Russian occupied Poland)". But according to the biography linked to, written by Wendy Makoons Geniusz, Mary Siisip Geniusz's "mother was born at the Pas in Manitoba". Is this a blatant lie, then?

This statement from the obituary supports WINative's claim that the two Marys are one and the same person: "Later the delighted and loving grandmother of Wendy Makoons (Errol) Geniusz".
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Research Needed / Re: Keewaydinoquay Margaret Peschel
« Last post by WINative on February 20, 2024, 06:55:05 am »
Robert Gordon Wasson had also manipulated Maria Sabina and stole the secret of their mushroom ceremony. Which was also manipulated by the CIA for their own purposes. A trail of liars and manipulators.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._Gordon_Wasson

It was the curandera María Sabina who both allowed the Wassons to participate in the ritual and who taught them about the uses and effects of the mushroom, after Wasson lied to her about being worried about the whereabouts and wellbeing of his son, as the ritual was traditionally used to locate missing people and important items.[12] Sabina let him take her picture on the condition that he keep it private, but Wasson nonetheless published the photo along with Sabina's name and the name of the community where she lived.[13] Though he faced no consequences for his deceptions, and indeed, profited greatly from the knowledge he gained from her, Sabina was subsequently ostracised from her community as a result of his actions, and her house was burned down after she was briefly jailed, her son murdered, and she eventually died in poverty

Wasson's 1956 expedition was funded[8] by the CIA's MK-Ultra subproject 58, as was revealed by documents[5] obtained by John Marks[16] under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents state that Wasson was an "unwitting" participant in the project.[5]

The funding was provided under the cover name of the Geschickter Fund for Medical Research (credited by Wasson at the end of his subsequent Life piece about the expedition).
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