Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Monday apologized for past “mistakes” — like those thousands of times over the last 40 years that she claimed to be Native American.
“Before I go any further in this I want to say this — like anyone who’s been honest with themselves I know I’ve made mistakes. I’m sorry for any harm I’ve caused,” Warren said in a speech to the Native American Issues Forum in Sioux City, Iowa.
“I have learned a lot and I am grateful for the many conversations that we’ve had together. It is a great honor to be able to partner with Indian country and that’s what I’ve tried to do as a senator, and that is what I promise to do as President of the United States of America.”
Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat running for president in 2020, listed herself as Native for years in the Association of American Law School Directory, and according to the Boston Globe, she “had her ethnicity changed from white to Native American at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she taught from 1987 to 1995, and at Harvard University Law School, where she was a tenured faculty member starting in 1995.”
Warren even submitted recipes to a Native American cookbook called “Pow Wow Chow,” which was released in 1984 by the Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee, Oklahoma. She signed her entries “Elizabeth Warren — Cherokee.”
President Trump has hammered her over her claims that she is Native American, dubbing her “Pocahontas.”
“She said she was Indian,” Trump said at his rally in Cincinnati last month. “And I said that I have more Indian blood than she does, and I have none. I’m sorry.”
“And we drove her crazy. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing. And she went out and she had a blood test done and it came out 1/1024th. He says somewhere back there hundreds of years ago there may have been an Indian — or it may have been a statistical error ‘cuz it was so small,” the president said.
“Everything she did was a fraud,” Trump said. “She got into colleges, she got teaching jobs, she said she was of Indian heritage, it turns out to be a lie. So Elizabeth Warren really has a big lack of credibility,” he said.
Warren last year released results from a DNA test last week that showed she is anywhere from 1.5% to .09% Native American (and also showed she’s 98.5% to 99.1% white, with European ancestors).
After the DNA test, Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said “Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”
“A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America,” Hoskin said.
“Sovereign tribal nations set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it is not evidence for tribal affiliation. Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven.”
Warren later said “I shouldn’t have done it. I am not a person of color. I am not a citizen of a tribe, and I’ve apologized for any confusion over tribal sovereignty, tribal citizenship and any harm caused by that.”