Author Topic: Andrea Smith  (Read 19996 times)

Epiphany

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Andrea Smith
« on: May 02, 2012, 09:59:28 pm »
https://ewocc.wordpress.com/about/

From event notice:

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Andrea Smith is of the Cherokee clan and is a longtime anti-violence and Native American activist and scholar who has published widely on issues of violence against women of color.

From comment thread:

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Sadly, this conference has been suckered in by a fake Cherokee or as we like to call them “wannabes.” Andrea Smith is not a Cherokee and neither is she part of the Cherokee community that would give her agency to speak to the issues facing our people.

and

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There is no “Cherokee clan.” There are three federally recognized tribes that have seven traditional clans, and more clans in ancient times. Andrea Smith *might* possibly be a person of Cherokee descent, but she is not enrolled in any of the Cherokee tribes.

plus scroll down for comment here http://www.racialicious.com/2012/05/02/lies-damned-lies-and-the-complicated-accounting-of-identity-counterpoint/#more-22406

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You are mistaken about the issue in Andrea Smith's case.  It's not about enrollment.  She's not a descendent.  She's not a resident of a Cherokee community.  It really does not matter which credential you accept.  She's a fake and in spite of the understanding Richard Allen of the Cherokee Nation government and I thought we had that she would quit making the false claim and we would quit bringing up her name...the fakery continues.


Offline educatedindian

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Re: Andrea Smith
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2012, 01:06:29 pm »
She's mentioned several times before in threads. Positive ones.
http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=513.msg2429#msg2429
Plus several posts quoting her articles.

I also received an account some time ago about Smith confronting exploiter Amylee Swartz at a women's conference.
Another post mentions she helped "retire" Swartz.
http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=1509.msg14127#msg14127

There's also a brief mention of Steve Russell saying Smith is not Cherokee.
http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=1632.msg11997#msg11997

It seems that Russell is saying that Smith does not use the claim of ancestry to her own profit the way Ward Churrchill.
The same message notes she was not recommended to be renewed for her position. But there's no mention of why.
This  blog has more details.
http://thedrunkablog.blogspot.com/2008/04/indian-country-today-columnist-ethnic.html
Smith's supporters.
http://voicingindigeneity.blogspot.com/2008/02/tenure-for-andrea-smith.html
The full article
http://www.network54.com/Forum/237458/message/1244424278/SR+Tells+who+is+Indian

Epiphany

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Re: Andrea Smith
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2012, 06:01:16 pm »
I'm learning as I go along so please let me know if I've gone astray in my understanding. I very much appreciate this chance to learn.

If Andrea Smith is a person of distant Indian ancestry - ideally wouldn't she represent herself as exactly that?

Sounds like characterizing herself as "of the Cherokee clan" is a mistake, ideally wouldn't she know that?

Her main identifications listed for conferences include "of the Cherokee clan" and "Native American activist and scholar". Is this fine even if she actually has distant ancestry?

If she is misrepresenting herself but is doing authentically good work - does the good work cancel out the misrepresentation?

One reason I'm thinking all this over is because I'm aware that in the past I would have given conference speakers with those public identifications extra credit, extra creedence - as I would have for instance for Ward Churchill.

When a public figure states "I am (fill in blank)" does the fact that they are a public figure give us more permission to analyze their claims?




Offline Pono Aloha

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Re: Andrea Smith
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 07:24:36 am »
And do they gain notoriety and become public figures precisely because of their false claims? Would anyone care what she was doing if she was not "Indian"?

Offline snorks

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Re: Andrea Smith
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 03:14:55 pm »
There is the appeal to authority - if this person says that I am Native, then it is assumed that when they speak on Native topics, they have more import in what they say.  People listen to them more carefully since many don't have any direct contact with Native peoples.  There is an implied assumption (silly I know) between the audience and the speaker that the speaker speaks for all Indians.

Imagine if "Iron Eyes" Cody was simply an Italian.  Would people hire him for movie roles?  Would schools have him come and speak to them?  Would he have been the poster child for the anti-littering campaign?  The attention and benefits that he got came from a lie.  If your public life is based on a lie, then why would anyone think that you are trustworthy no matter how many "good things" you do?

So yes, their background is under investigation if they are a public figure.  Consider the John Edwards mess where he took campaign money - not to run for President but to hide a mistress.  Would anyone give him money if they knew it wasn't going to his campaign? 

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Cherokee fakes?--TERRY LEE WHETSTONE and ANDREA SMITH
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2015, 05:07:56 pm »
There have been a number of good responses to this by Native writers, notably, Indigenous women in academia. Here's the ones I have at hand:

No, Andrea Smith is not the “Native American Rachel Dolezal” by Erica Violet Lee (Cree)

Latest Ethnic Fraud in Indian Country, or When does Exposing Ethnic Fraud Become a Witch-hunt? by Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville descendant)

Honest Injuns*: Policing Native Identity in the Wake of Rachel Dolezal by Taté Walker (Mniconjou Lakota)


Offline AClockworkWhite

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Re: Re: Cherokee fakes?--TERRY LEE WHETSTONE and ANDREA SMITH
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2015, 07:56:59 pm »
I refuse to accept that exposing someone who is deliberately lying about their heritage, especially those in positions of potential influence, to be a witch hunt. Just associating the term with the work being done here and other places is disingenuous and extremely counterproductive to Natives controlling our narrative, in my opinion.
I came here for the popcorn and stayed for the slaying of pretenders.

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Re: Cherokee fakes?--TERRY LEE WHETSTONE and ANDREA SMITH
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2015, 12:17:56 am »
I wouldn't characterize it as a witch hunt, either. It's an ongoing issue and people have been in dialogue about Andrea's situation for many years now.

Offline AClockworkWhite

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Re: Re: Cherokee fakes?--TERRY LEE WHETSTONE and ANDREA SMITH
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2015, 12:37:31 am »
People like Whetstone are quickly finding out there are legal ramifications to being fakers profiting of our culture. Their new tactic will be avoiding the dialog, they're seeing that it's biting them in their butts! OH-- And I meant to specify that I disagreed with Gilio-Whitakers blog, not the fact that you posted it, Yells. :)
I came here for the popcorn and stayed for the slaying of pretenders.

Offline ska

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 Open Letter From Indigenous Women Scholars Regarding Discussions of Andrea Smith

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/07/07/open-letter-indigenous-women-scholars-regarding-discussions-andrea-smith

". . .  Smith’s self-acknowledged false claims and lack of clarity on her own identity perpetuate deeply ingrained notions of race—black, white, and Indian—that run counter to indigenous modes of kinship, family, and community connection. When she and others continue to produce her as Cherokee, indigenous, and/or as a woman of color by default, they reinforce a history in which settlers have sought to appropriate every aspect of indigenous life and absolve themselves of their own complicity with continued dispossession of both indigenous territory and existence. . ."

Epiphany

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Re: Andrea Smith
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2015, 01:43:37 am »

Offline earthw7

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Re: Andrea Smith
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2015, 12:57:15 pm »
then its simple prove it, it is just like us on the reservation everyone ask who is your parent
are they enrolled, who are your grandparent, what is the name of the family, please don't say
my great great great great grandma was Indian that only mean you are not :-\
In Spirit

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Andrea Smith
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2015, 05:10:44 pm »
This is really sad. She's really blown it now. I'm not Cherokee, either, so it's not my call. But hey, lots of people have painful family histories. Welcome to NDN Country. What she did was the exact opposite of what was needed to make this right.

One of the reasons I posted links to those blogs various Indigenous women have written about this is that they wrote about how they tried to get Andrea to make this right in the past. They've been trying for years. Women who thought they were Andrea's close friends would ask her these basic questions and Andrea would burst into tears and refuse to discuss it, and hang up or walk out on them.  They cared about her and were worried about her.

So did I; so was I. I still care about her, and value the work she's done, but I can't believe anyone who is culturally Native would respond this way. She could have made this right. She could have said, "I was wrong about who my ancestors are. I really believed that I was Native, then I didn't know what to do when I found out I was wrong. I'm sorry I messed up. Please help me make amends and learn how to do this work as an honest ally." I am shocked at how big a mess she has made of this. It didn't need to get this bad, or go this far.  :(

ETA: And NO ONE ever said this was about enrollment; that's derailing. Either the ancestors are there or they're not.  I had been told there are Cherokee, including Elders, who claim her. But I haven't seen any coming forward to claim her amidst all of this.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 05:13:31 pm by Yells At Pretendians »

Offline ska

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Re: Andrea Smith
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2015, 06:07:41 am »
 An Open Letter to Defenders of Andrea Smith: Clearing Up Misconceptions about Cherokee Identification

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/07/10/open-letter-defenders-andrea-smith-clearing-misconceptions-about-cherokee-identification

" Andrea Smith and all those like her are nothing more than the latest incarnation of settler colonial violence. Their apologists and collaborators are nothing new either. . . Cherokees are among the best documented people in the world. . . . What all real Cherokees have in common is proof of ancestry whether they can enroll or not. . .  Wannabes like Andrea use the myths of Cherokees hiding in the hills, passing for white or being saved by righteous whites, to perpetuate their lies. These myths did not originate with Cherokees. They are the product of two centuries of non-Cherokees trying to lay claim to our lands and treasury, if not by force, then by subterfuge. . .

Offline AClockworkWhite

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Re: Andrea Smith
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2015, 07:29:02 pm »
An Open Letter to Defenders of Andrea Smith: Clearing Up Misconceptions about Cherokee Identification

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/07/10/open-letter-defenders-andrea-smith-clearing-misconceptions-about-cherokee-identification

" Andrea Smith and all those like her are nothing more than the latest incarnation of settler colonial violence. Their apologists and collaborators are nothing new either. . . Cherokees are among the best documented people in the world. . . . What all real Cherokees have in common is proof of ancestry whether they can enroll or not. . .  Wannabes like Andrea use the myths of Cherokees hiding in the hills, passing for white or being saved by righteous whites, to perpetuate their lies. These myths did not originate with Cherokees. They are the product of two centuries of non-Cherokees trying to lay claim to our lands and treasury, if not by force, then by subterfuge. . .
Dead-on correct. That is it boiled down to simple truth.
I came here for the popcorn and stayed for the slaying of pretenders.