- Sen. Elizabeth Warren is facing a new round of criticism after the Washington Post reported Tuesday that she described her race as “American Indian” on her 1986 Texas Bar registration card.
- The Massachusetts Democrat and 2020 presidential contender was widely condemned last fall when she released the results of a DNA test showing she had Native American ancestry.
- The issue will likely continue to be a drag on Warren, who has faced fierce attacks from President Donald Trump over her racial identity.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat and 2020 presidential contender, is facing a new round of criticism after the Washington Post reported Tuesday that she described her race as “American Indian” on her 1986 Texas Bar registration card.
The registration card provides yet more evidence that Warren self-identified as Native American. However, there is no evidence that she benefited in any way from identifying herself as a person of colour.
Warren issued a new apology during an interview with the Post this week.
“I can’t go back,” Warren said. “But I am sorry for furthering confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and harm that resulted.”
Last week, it was reported that Warren called the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation to apologise for taking a DNA test to prove her Native American ancestry.
But Warren said her conversation with Bill John Baker, the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, went beyond the DNA test.
“I told him I was sorry for furthering confusion about tribal citizenship,” she told The Post. “I am also sorry for not being more mindful about this decades ago. We had a good conversation.”
Some Native American leaders condemned Warren’s choice to release a DNA test which found that the senator has a Native American ancestor between six and 10 generations ago. They argued that Warren had undermined “tribal interests” by claiming tribal heritage.
Warren released her DNA test results last October after President Donald Trump said he would give $US1 million to a charity of Warren’s choice if a DNA test found she had Native American heritage. Trump has long derided Warren, calling her “Pocahontas” – a nickname widely interpreted as a racist slur.
Warren took the bait in an apparent attempt to diffuse the right-wing attacks on her ancestral identity.
Soon after, she was forced to explain that she isn’t claiming to be a racial minority or the member of a Native American tribe.
“I am not a person of colour. I’m not a citizen of a tribe. Tribal citizenship is very different from ancestry,”she said on the campaign trail in Iowa earlier this month. “Tribes and only tribes determine tribal citizenship and I respect that difference. I grew up in Oklahoma and like a lot of folks in Oklahoma, we heard the family stories of our ancestry.”
Warren’s most recent apology satisfied some Native American leaders, but not all. Some are calling on Warren to make a public apology on video.
David Cornsilk, a historian and genealogist and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, told the Post, “I want to see it in writing. I want her to go on national TV. I want her to do a video like she did to announce her DNA results. It just seemed very lacking.”
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