Sunday, May 13, 2007

Canadian Ojibways Support the Family of Leah Kelly, Ward Churchill's Late Wife

Ward Churchill and his friends try to make it seem like the "persecution" of the "Indian" Ward Churchill is something the "right wing media" cooked up. This is nothing but sleight-of-hand designed to take the focus off who really complained about Ward Churchill for years--Indians.

This official Annual General Assembly Resolution (below) was written in 2004 by Canadian Ojibway Indians. They were supporting the family of Ward Churchill's late wife, the Ojibway Indian Leah Kelly.

This resolution was written in July 2004, long before the criticism of Ward Churchill became national news in early 2005. The Indian law Professor John LaVelle also criticised Ward Churchill in 1996.

Indians, even Indians from a foreign country, complained about Churchill's dishonest scholarship long before it became a story for the national media in early 2005.

Ward Churchill and his friends try to make it seem like the "persecution" of the "Indian" Ward Churchill is something the "right wing media" cooked up. This is nothing but sleight-of-hand designed to take the focus off who really complained about Ward Churchill for years--Indians.

The Canadian Ojibway were offended by Ward Churchill's exploitation of Leah Kelly's tragic death. The Ojibway say that Churchill wrote false information about Leah and her family. When they complained, Churchill threatened the Kellys.

Here is Ward Churchill's side.

Notice that even Churchill admits he abused his Indian wife:

"I broke and slammed [my wife] back against our bedroom wall, telling her that if she kept it up, she’d be apt to land in a hospital."

Churchill also claims in the article that Leah's alcoholism was the result of generations of white oppression. However, there is no evidence that Ward Churchill himself is anything but a white man, and Leah's family says that their daughter and sister did not abuse alcohol until she was married to Churchill.

Ward Churchill's sister, Rhonda, reportedly even says that Churchill tried to push Leah out of a moving car.

Churchill's denigration of the Kelly family has continued on Try-Works, a pro-Churchill blog.

Try-Works claims to be an advocate for Indian voices, but really they intimidate and repress Indian voices. They dismiss Rhonda Kelly's testimony as the ravings of a lunatic and a drunk. I think that is just racist stereotyping used to make people ignore Indians who take on this white man, Professor Ward Churchill.

What does Try-Works say about an entire tribe of Canadian Indians? Are they all a bunch of ignorable drunks, too?

And since when was Ward Churchill an honest tea totaller?

I have written many articles about Leah Kelly. The first post is here, and this post has a picture of Leah. The interested reader can use the search feature in the top left of the page to search for more articles about Leah or Rhoda.

Here is what the Kelly's tribe, the Ojibway Indians of Canada, say about Ward Churchill:

ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Resolution no. 56/2004
July 20, 21 & 22, 2004, Charlottetown, PEI
subject:
SUPPORT FOR LEAH KELLY’S FAMILY

Moved by:
Chief Gary Kishqueb, Lac Des Milles Lac First Nation, ON

Seconded by:
Proxy Goyce Kakegamic, Cat Lake First Nation, ON

DECISION:
Due to lack of quorum on July 22, 2004, the Co-Chair referred the resolution to the AFN Executive Committee. On October 3, 2004, in Ottawa, ON, the AFN Executive Committee recommended action to implement the resolution.

WHEREAS Leah Kelly, a member of the Ojibways of Onegaming First Nation, died on June 1, 2000, in a car accident in Boulder, Colorado; and
WHEREAS Leah is the subject of the biography ‘In My Own Voice” written by Ward Churchill, her surviving husband, published in 2001; and
WHEREAS the family of Leah Kelly is angered by the lack of research that went into the making of this book relating to Leah and her family’s history; and
WHEREAS in the attempt to inform the author and publisher of “In My Own Voice” that there were many inaccuracies in the book, the family was met with threats by the author; and
WHEREAS serious false allegations and insinuations are made in the book against Leah Kelly and family members; and
WHEREAS a screenplay based on “In My Own Voice” is currently in the works by the author of the book despite the disapproval by the family of Leah Kelly.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the Assembly of First Nations support the family of the Leah Kelly by denouncing “In My Own Voice” as an inaccurate portrayal of the life of Leah Kelly and her family; and
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED the Assembly of First Nations denounce the book and anticipated film as a continuation of the inaccurate portrayals of First Nations people in Canada and their histories; and
FINALLY BE IT RESOLVED the Chiefs in Assembly direct the National Chief state the healing of our First Nations people comes through the telling of our own stories by our own people.

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