On Tuesday, America’s most famous non-Native American spoke at the Native American caucus meeting featured by the Democratic National Committee, and her name was Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Elizabeth Warren infamously claimed in the past that she was part Cherokee Indian and that she had had “high cheek bones like all of the Indians do.” As far back April 1986, Warren claimed American Indian ancestry in her application for the State Bar of Texas. “Warren filled out the card by hand in neat blue ink and signed it,” The Washington Post reported. “Dated April 1986, it is the first document to surface showing Warren making the claim in her own handwriting. Her office didn’t dispute its authenticity.”
Here is the form Elizabeth Warren filled out for the State Bar of Texas claiming American Indian heritage. pic.twitter.com/VwHifS7BCL
— Amy Gardner (@AmyEGardner) February 6, 2019
“The Texas bar registration card is significant, among other reasons, because it removes any doubt that Warren directly claimed the identity,” the Post added. “In other instances, Warren has declined to say whether she or an assistant filled out forms.”
In February 2019, The Daily Wire reported that Warren apologized to the Cherokee Nation after she had released a DNA test from the previous October that showed she was as little as 1/1,024 Native American. The New York Times reported that Cherokee Nation spokeswoman Julie Hubbard said Warren had a “brief and private” call with Bill John Baker, the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.
“I understand that she apologized for causing confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and the harm that has resulted,” Hubbard reportedly said. “The chief and secretary of state appreciate that she has reaffirmed that she is not a Cherokee nation citizen or a citizen of any tribal nation.”
“Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. in a statement to media after Warren released her the test. “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.”
In February 2020, over 200 members of the Cherokee Nation and other Native American tribes wrote a harsh letter to the Warren campaign, stating:
Your history of false claims to American Indian identity and the defense of these claims with a highly publicized DNA test continue to dog your political career. For Native Americans, this moment is more than an annoyance; it represents the most public debate about our identity in a generation. In a country where Indigenous people are mostly invisible, what Americans conclude from this debate will impact Native rights for years to come…
When you still defend yourself by stating you believed what you heard growing up, you set a harmful example for these white people stealing Native identity and resources with stories very similar to your own …
On Tuesday, speaking on issues revolving around Native Americans. Warren stated, “You know, this is all wrong. Just deep down wrong.”
She had a point.