Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the liberal Massachusetts Democrat who portrayed herself as Native American while applying for jobs at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard, has apologized to the Cherokee Nation.
Warren, goaded by President Trump into taking a DNA test and releasing its results, is only 1/64th to 1/1024th Native American.
The issue has reemerged because she’s a possible candidate for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination.
Tulsa World reported tribal officials confirmed Warren apologized for publicizing the DNA results.
“Officials didn’t explain exactly how Warren extended the apology, only that she has ‘reached out’ to the tribe in recent days,” the newspaper said Thursday.
“We are encouraged by this dialogue and understanding that being a Cherokee Nation tribal citizen is rooted in centuries of culture and laws not through DNA tests,” said tribal spokeswoman Julie Hubbard.
“We are encouraged by her action and hope that the slurs and mockery of tribal citizens and Indian history and heritage will now come to an end.”
The newspaper pointed out how she was raised in Oklahoma and has been accused of advancing her career by claiming Native American status.
She’s repeatedly claimed her father’s family was upset with his marriage to her mother because she had Native American heritage.
Tulsa World noted President Trump has mocked Warren by calling her “Pocahontas,” offering$1 million to a charity of her choice if she took a DNA test that proved her claim.
Experts estimate her “Native American ancestor” was in the range of six to 10 generations back.
The tribe has explained that DNA isn’t a deciding factor for its membership; direct lineage from historic tribal members is.
Cherokee Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. wrote in the Tulsa World last year: “We know that many people across the nation have treasured family stories about having Native lineage. There is nothing wrong with being proud of that. However, every day, people make claims of Native heritage and Cherokee ancestry across the country to take advantage of laws intended to level the playing field for Indian Country.”
The Washington Free Beacon noted Warren’s claim to Native American heritage and announcement of DNA results “was widely viewed as a serious stumble.”
Conservatives emphasized “how marginal her claim was and derision [came] from progressives for delving into race science,” the report said.
Since the DNA test, she has explained: “I am not a person of color. I am not a citizen of a tribe. Tribal citizenship is very different from ancestry. Tribes and only tribes determine tribal citizenship and I respect that.”