Why has nobody brought up that only a sadist would want to move up and in the university faculty racket.
It's nuts, as evidenced by the twisted hiring, course and committee assignments, and (where not already dead) tenure review processes. That's if one survives the politics-heavy patronage system of graduate school and post-docs.
But looking beyond that... my take is that, frankly, I don't care, other than I don't care for a liar and cheat. The college hiring game is crooked as anything, and the notion of looking for a reason to get her through as a matter of faculty hiring politics...it is very plausible that she was encouraged to go with it. As a French-Canadian-Irish-Norwegian male, I have been told I'd be lucky to keep consistent adjunct work, likely to be regulated to last-minute assignments once the folks whose names were needed in the catalog were taken care of. If she stretched it to get her foot in that horrid door, I don't care.
Cultural appropriation? It's not like she's running around taking about 'my people' the natives, or has been. She's not carrying her files around in a hand-weaved basket. It has not been central to her public service agenda, so far as I know.
It was a way for a bully to taunt and ridicule her. She told the family story in the national political realm. She was ridiculed and bullied more. She (finally) has some sort of possibly corroborating evidence to support the family story. If that's it, if this is about validating her family story and revealing the prez as a jackhole, then all should be well and good, as this seems solid enough for that purpose.
Cherokee? Whateve. What should have happened here is the Cherokee Nation, rather than pitching a fit, should have invited her to visit the Native's museums and restaurants to learn about the Cherokee nation and culture, and recommended books by tribal members, etc. It would've been great advertising. But they probably don't have one.