Who is Andrea Smith?
Andrea Smith is a Cherokee professor who is said to be a non-Native American after it was revealed she is still working at the University of California – 14 years after her ancestry was first questioned. Smith had told friends her mother and grandparents were Oklahoma Cherokee and her dad was Ojibwe.
She started the Chicago chapter of the Women of All Red Nations with her sister Justine in the 1990s.
Smith even called out white feminists for ‘opting to become’ Native
Andrea Smith, a prominent academic, was once called “an icon of Native American feminism.” She called out white feminists for co-opting Native identities. She has since been exposed for faking her Cherokee ancestry. Why has her career continued to thrive? https://t.co/eNEIFfk4dg
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 25, 2021
How old is Andrea Smith?
Andrea Smith is believed to be in her 40s.
Andrea Smith Scholar
Smith is a noted scholar in Native American studies who grew up in Long Beach, California.
But in 2007 officials from the Cherokee Nation began probing her claims.
Then in 2008 Cherokee academic, Steve Russell questioned her claims in an article called ‘When does ethnic fraud matter?’
Later that year Smith got a new job at the University of California as an assistant professor of media and cultural studies.
‘Andrea Smith Is Not Cherokee’
She no longer identified as Cherokee in her official bios. But she used the identity in interviews and lectures. Then in 2015 disgraced former NAACP leader, Rachel Dolezal was forced to quit after her parents said she was a white woman pretending to be black and more questions were asked of Smith’s heritage.
Now The New York Times magazine reports how she did not lose her job and have detailed research which shows how her ancestry on her mother’s side as far back as her great-great-grandparents identify as white.
Andrea Smith Cherokee
A relative on her father’s side said of her claims: ‘Yeah, we heard about that and we just kind of shook our heads.’
The relative confirmed her father Donald was not Ojibwe; instead he is a white man with British ancestry.
A family member on her mother Helen’s side, named Margaret Jane Wilkinson, said Helen had never identified as Native American. And another relative, cousin Barbara Smith, shot down the idea that it was grandfather was Native American, adding: ‘We’re mostly Scandinavian.’
Andrea Smith Native American
In 2015 Smith’s critics had said she had ‘fallen off the truth wagon’. But she insisted that she has ‘always been, and will always be Cherokee’ because she bases her identity on ‘what I knew to be true.’ David Cornsilk, a Cherokee genealogist who researched Smith’s lineage, said at that time he found no evidence of Cherokee bloodlines after first being approached by Smith to discuss her background.
Cornsik wrote in 2015: ‘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. 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.’
He said that Smith had initially approached him to discuss her background, and he discovered she had no links to the Cherokee Nation, but he claims that she carried on with the lie – even though she’s had 15 years to state he true background.
‘In the 1990s, Andrea Smith sought me out as a Cherokee genealogist, on two separate occasions, to see if she had any connections.
‘My research into Smith’s ancestry showed that her ancestry was not connected to the Cherokee people.
‘In the subsequent years, many have challenged her identity including representatives of the Cherokee Nation.
‘In those ensuing years, she has had ample opportunity to come forth with proof of her Cherokee claims.
‘Instead, she has admitted to not being Cherokee or promised to stop claiming Cherokee; but perhaps because the foundation of her work as a ‘woman of color’ depended upon making others believe her claim she would back paddle and like a drug addict, fall off the truth wagon.
‘As far as I can tell, nothing has changed in the evidence of her ancestry that would lead me to believe she is or even might be of Cherokee descent.’
Andrea Smith Riverside
Smith was at the time compared to Senator Elizabeth Warren after she was heavily criticized for identifying as a minority – despite little evidence that proves she is indeed Native American – to further her law career. The issue of Smith’s heritage came back into the spotlight last September.
Smith’s former friend and colleague J. Kehaulani Kauanui said: ‘When I read it, the very first thing that came to my mind was: Oh, my God. If only Andy [Smith] would do this.’ Kauanui, who is Native Hawaiian, said she emailed Smith to say: ‘Now it’s your turn.’
The University of California, Riverside has said Smith is a ‘teacher and researcher of high merit’. DailyMail.com has contacted them for comment.