OU Students, Faculty Face Issues of Race, Identity after University Makes New Hire

Published July 6, 2017

NORMAN, OKLAHOMA – The recent hiring of a professor in the OU Native American Studies Department, followed by an anonymous blog post questioning her heritage, has rekindled questions of racial identity at OU. Though steps have been taken toward improvement before this, Native American students and professors, in particular, still face unique issues of race and identity.

The Native American Studies Department hired Gina Stuart-Richard in May as an assistant professor specializing in indigenous mapping and cartography, as well as data sovereignty.

Stuart-Richard told The Daily she is aware of the accusations and hasn’t pursued legal actions despite the “false information” the blog spread about her. She said that she is not an enrolled member of the band of Mississippi Choctaws, and has never presented herself as such, but is connected to the tribe through her ancestry and notes her affiliation with the tribe on her resume.

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