Is Elizabeth Warren Native American? 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Elizabeth Warren bio, Elizabeth Warren husband, Elizabeth Warren Senate

Warren and her second husband, Bruce Mann, after she was elected as Senator of Massachusetts in 2012. (Getty)

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has been repeatedly criticized by Donald Trump over her claims of Native American heritage.

The president has called her “Pocahontas” and accused Warren of making up Native American ancestry.

Warren has not minced words when referring to Trump, either, saying he has “hate in his heart,” is a “small, insecure money grubber” and a “racist bully.” At the Democratic National Convention on July 25, Warren again launched into a series of attacks against Trump, and he again referred to her in a Tweet as “Pocahontas.”

CNN reported that Trump “taunted Democrats by telling them “Pocahontas is now the face of your party” in February 2017.

But is Warren really American Indian/Native American?

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Warren Insists She is Part Native American & Says She’s Proud Of It

Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren and Chris Dodd, Elizabeth Warren Democrat

Warren has become a leader in the Democratic Party, seen her with fellow Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer (L) and Chris Dodd (C). (Getty)

Warren does, indeed, claim that she is part Native American, says CNN, quoting her as saying that she is “very proud of my heritage.” Warren is from Oklahoma.

The Boston Globe said in 2012 that Warren “has been unable to document the claims.” New York Magazine calls Warren’s heritage claims “murky” but said it was “obvious racism” for Trump to repeatedly call Warren “Pocahontas.” Added the magazine in June 2016, “The problem is that no one ever found evidence to support Warren’s claim that she is part Cherokee and Delaware either.”

The Boston Globe also said that Warren claims she is part Native American. “Native American is part of my family. It’s an important part of my heritage,” the newspaper quoted Warren as saying.

CBS News is among the many other media outlets that have reported Warren’s claims. CBS News quoted her as saying: “Being Native American is part of who our family is and I’m glad to tell anyone about that. I am just very proud of it.”

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2. Warren Cites ‘Family Stories’ & Her Grandfather’s ‘High Cheek Bones’ As Proof That She is Part Native American

Elizabeth Warren, Donald Trump

Some had thrown Warren’s name out as a possible VP candidate for the Democrats. (Getty Images)

According to CNN, Warren has cited family stories “passed down to her through generations as evidence” that she is part Native American.

However, some media sites have said the family lore is not backed up by anything more concrete. The Washington Post said Warren’s account of “family stories” didn’t “appear to be bolstered by any actual evidence.”

CBS News said that Warren had never “asked her relatives for documentation of her lineage.” The network said she claimed to “have lived in a family that has talked about Native Americans, talked about tribes since I had been a little girl.” CBS said Warren offered up as evidence the fact her grandfather had “high cheek bones.” She pointed out that, in a picture of her grandfather, she noticed that he “had high cheek bones like all of the Indians do,” said CBS.

The Boston Globe did a thorough investigation of the question in 2012 and found that some members of Warren’s family had also heard the family lore, but others had not. The Globe also found that one Warren biography at California State University at Fullerton found that “one of Warren’s relatives once shot at an Indian.” The family had no documentation showing Native American heritage and was not on tribal rolls, the newspaper said, adding that people with Indian heritage might have hidden it for many reasons, including racial discrimination. The Globe said that “Even if Warren has some degree of Native American blood, it is unclear if it would meet conventional standards of what constitutes a minority.”

3. Her Republican Senate Opponent, Scott Brown, First Raised The Issue & Wanted Her to Take a DNA Test

Elizabeth Warren, Donald Trump

Warren said Trump couldn’t wait to take advantage of the economic crisis of the 2000s. (Getty Images)

Republican Scott Brown made Elizabeth Warren’s claims of Native American heritage a campaign issue when he ran against her in the 2012 Massachusetts Senate race, said The Washington Post. He suggested that Warren take a DNA test to settle the claims, The Post said. Brown revived the criticisms in 2016; there is no evidence that Warren has taken such a test.

Brown’s campaign ran an advertisement against Warren that raised the Native American issue:

Brown, who lost to Warren, said, “First of all, as we all know, she’s not Native American. She’s not 1/32nd. She has no Native American background except for what her family told her.”

4. A Genealogist Has Said Her Claims Might Be True, But That’s Contested

A genealogist has claimed that Warren may be 1/32 Cherokee. The Atlantic says that, even if that’s true (it’s debated), “Warren would not be eligible to become a member of any of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes based on the evidence so far surfaced by independent genealogists about her ancestry.”

Mother Jones says the genealogist found that “Warren’s great-great-great grandmother on her mother’s side was Cherokee,” which would make her 1/32 Native American. However, the magazine then added a few hedges: “provided the genealogist didn’t miss anything” and only “if her great-great-great grandmother was full-blooded (that’s unclear).”

New York Magazine says that a “genealogist from the New England Historic Genealogical Society believed he’d found a marriage certificate that proved Warren’s great-great-great-grandmother was Cherokee, but later, questions were raised about whether the document exists.”

5. She Was Listed as Being a Minority at Harvard Law School

According to The Washington Post, Brown first raised the issue of Warren “having been identified as Native American at Harvard with the suggestion that Warren might have used her alleged identity to get ahead.”

The Boston Globe said Warren admitted that she had “listed herself as a minority in directories of law professors” when she was a professor at Harvard because she wanted to network with “people like me,” which the Globe said referred to “those with Native American roots.”

In a 1996 story in the Harvard Crimson student newspaper, a Harvard official stressed Warren’s heritage in response to questions about faculty diversity. “Professor of Law Elizabeth Warren is Native American,” a spokesperson for the law school told the newspaper. Trump has accused Warren of pretending to be Native American to “advance her career,” which he called “very racist.”

The Boston Globe said Warren denies that she was hired at Harvard because of her Indian ancestral claims, and the newspaper interviewed two dozen people “who recruited or worked with Warren who said her ethnic background played no role in her hiring.”

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  1. Elizabeth Warren is 0.0000% Native American…The Boston Globe (far left newspaper) put that “1/32” out on April 30 2012 hoping to quash the scandal at least though the news cycle and be quoted years later by fellow left reporters such as this. The Boston Globe story was picked up by New York Times, CNN, Atlantic and Mother Jones…But when presented with overwhelming ancestry evidence, the Boston Globe RETRACTED that claim on May 15 2012.
    In 1984, She authored “Pow Wow Chow Cookbook” filled with plagiarized recipes of non-native meals.
    From 1986-1995, She listed herself as a minority in the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) directories.
    In 1987, she joined University of Pennsylvania Law School (Ivy League)…A huge step up from University of Texas at Austin.
    In 1995, she left Penn for Harvard…then, in 1995 she removed her name from the AALS directory.
    Not only is she 0% Native…Her great-great-great grandfather was a member of the Tennessee Militia who rounded up Cherokees from their family homes in the Southeastern United States and herded them into government-built stockades in what was then called Ross’s Landing (now Chattanooga), Tennessee–the point of origin for the horrific Trail of Tears, which began in January, 1837.


    • Oh, gee! I have blonde hair and green eyes yet my grandfather was Native American and my husband is half native and half Irish. BOTH our sons have blonde hair and green eyes JUST LIKE ME yet they don’t look it at all. Some of you idiots have no idea how genetics work! Just because Warren has blonde hair and blue eyes doesn’t rules it out, the so called “proof” that she isn’t because she doesn’t look like it! A friend of mine has blonde hair and blue eyes and his father is African American and he has a white mother. No, she didn’t sleep around. It was proven in a DNA test because you can’t tell that Michael is half black at all! Warren is 1/32 Native American. Now, you keep going down generation after generation, marrying non natives (white), you’re going to have the children with no visible genetic markers (dark hair, dark eyes, and red toned skin) that most people IMAGINE when they think of Native Americans but it doesn’t mean that they have no ancestry. I am as white as they come because I took after my mother. My sister, on the other hand, you can see it. So, unless you have Native history or you’re a geneticist, GFYS! I find the term Pocahantas offensive! Now I am back onto more important things like helping my family stop DAPL to save the tribes and American farmers from their lands being poisoned by another oil spill. DAPL is going to cross the Mississippi River twice. You ok with that?

      • And, that my dear should include the oil and gas ALREADY being carted off that land by truck and train….GFYS, How about the 40,000.00 that was offered to the people for the pipeline? No, wasn’t good enough, they wanted 10,000.00 more, and lost the whole cookie jar….sorry…GFYS!

  3. My family lineage on my mother’s side of the family is also from Oklahoma and for many years we children were told that we had American Indian ancestry, too. A couple of years ago, my first cousin (her mother and my mother were sisters) took a DNA test to prove once and for all our American Indian lineage. Boy were we surprised ~ it appears that we do not have any American Indian heritage in our family. The DNA test did not show even a smidgen of American Indian blood. This is was a great disappointment to most of my family, but it is what it is. DNA doesn’t lie. There is only 1 way for Ms. Warren to prove her American Indian heritage and that is with a DNA test. Once she establishes once and for all through the marvels of Science whether or not she is of American Indian lineage, “That will be that.” There will be no more room for speculation and the truth will win out. Now, if Ms. Warren does not have the financial means with which to take the simple DNA test, I will be happy to donate a few bucks into a “general kitty” to help her out.

  4. I’ve got Choctaw ancestors from Oklahoma, but I’m far from being able to claim to be Native American. I suspect Ms. Warren did in fact push her claim to inflate her standing at Harvard and now in the national political arena. Trump’s assessment is accurate. Recall the woman who claimed to be Black?! Lying seems to be contagious among the Democrat women posers.

  5. Dear Sir or Madam
    Congratulations and keep up the fight.
    I want to talk about Sen. Elizabeth Warren and how she Stole Federal Grant Funding Money for her education.
    Myself being Native American I know how difficult it is getting any kind of Grant Funding or Tuition Money or even Acceptance as a Native American that would qualify you for a certain job opportunity.
    I know I went trough it as a Business Owner.
    For Elizabeth Warren to get any kind of (FEDERAL) Grant Money you need proof of ancestry through historical written records, you need DOCUMENTATION that you belong to that Native American Tribe and that you are CERTIFIED showing Proof of belonging to that here said TRIBE. We’re not talking a State Recognized Tribe but a (FEDERALLY RECOGNIZED TRIBE) there is a major difference… Before any approval or Money you RECEIVE its only from the DOCUMENTS of PROOF you Supplied as of you being of Native American Ancestry and all documents are BONFIDE and APPROVED.

    Only during this period in history where we have a President that encourages Liar’s and Cheater’s.

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren has no moral’s or Pride and therefore be rejected by Americans as a credible Senator.

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren should be made and will be made to pay back her education grant money or face Federal FRAUD Charges using a FEDERAL GRANT only designated for Native American’s

    that she deliberately and knowingly stole as a free ticket to pay for her College Tuition.

    The question is how did she get that FEDERAL GRANT MONEY without proper credentials of PROOF.

    Native People NEED A VOICE and should rise up Get a Voice and Speak Out this needs to be Addressed.

    • I do agree that it should be sorted out as to whether she did in fact benefit from her status as “native”.
      If there were rules or laws broken, they should be rectified and punishments given to fit the crime.
      That said, she would be much more likely to help, or at least not hurt, the Native populations, when compared to most other Senators.

    • You don’t have a freaking clue what you’re talking about here. The controversy arose precisely because Warren DIDN’T identify herself as Native American on her college applications, but Harvard Law School later identified her as such after she became a tenured professor there. Scott Brown called her out on the discrepancy during her Senate campaign and ran a series of ads suggesting that she was lying about her ancestry — a charge which remains unproven — but regardless, there’s no evidence that she ever personally benefited from the claim, either academically or professionally, and your accusation that she “stole” federal grant money is nothing but a slanderous lie.

  6. I am 1/16 Native American and my dad is 1/8, which is more so that Warren’s contested 1/32. However, I don’t think that she or I are enough NA to be able to join any of the tribes officially, but I’m not sure. What percentage does someone have to be before being able to to become a member of a tribe?

    • According to what I’ve read on the NA websites, the Cherokee Nation did use blood quantum before and to be recognized as a descendant of the Cherokee Nation, you needed a DIRECT LINEAL ANCESTOR that appeared on the Baker Roll and you needed to posses at least 1/16 of Eastern Cherokee blood, NOT 1/32 like Warren is claiming. You don’t say which Native American tribe. I focused on Cherokee because that was her claim. Navajo and others have different requirements and rules,

  7. Elizabeth Warren said she listed herself as a minority so that she could ” network with people like me”. What people? Other liars?

  8. On the one hand our contemporary society takes offense at an older order that set the 1/16th standard for defining an individual as “black.” Yet in Warren’s case, at least, the 1/32nd standard is deemed acceptable–as long as it benefits her politically/economically. Go figure.