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News Update

UC Berkeley professor admits falsely claiming Native American heritage

A UC Berkeley professor has announced she falsely claimed American Indian bloodlines.

In a statement posted on her personal websiteElizabeth M. Hoover, an associate professor of environmental science, policy, and management, said she is white and “incorrectly identified” as Indigenous without researching her ancestry, the LA Times reported Thursday.

“In uncritically living an identity based on family stories without seeking out a documented connection to these communities, I caused harm,” Hoover wrote. “I hurt Native people who have been my friends, colleagues, students and family, both directly through fractured trust and through activating historical harms.”

Desi Small-Rodriguez, an assistant professor of sociology and American Indian studies at UCLA, wrote in a tweet that UC Berkeley should fire Hoover, the Times reported.

Adrienne Keene, the author of Native Appropriations, an online forum, who claimed to be a close friend and colleague of Hoover, tweeted that she was devastated, enraged, and exhausted over the issue for the last year, according to the Times.

“I have spent countless hours supporting her current and former students, trying to process my own emotions and having to continue on at an institution that gave her a Ph.D., her first job and tenure,” she wrote.