The Cherokee Nation issued a sharp rebuke to Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren on Monday, after Warren released DNA test results which she said showed that she had some Native American heritage. The sternly-worded statement said that Warren was “undermining” tribal interests by continuing to insist that she has Native American ancestry.
You can read the full statement here:
Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr said in the statement:
“A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even determine whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America…Using a DNA test to lay claim 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. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”
Warren Released Her DNA Test Results on Monday Morning, in an Apparent Response to Taunts from President Trump
Elizabeth Warren has been talking about her Native American ancestry for a long time. Even back when she was a professor at Harvard University, the school mentioned her supposed Native American roots as a source of pride. But Warren has also come under fire from many people — including President Trump — for her claims. Republicans have accused her of claiming to be Native American on job applications — something which Warren, and her past employers, all deny. President Trump, in particular, likes to jab at the Massachusetts Senator by calling her “Pocahantas.” In July, the president vowed that he would pay Warren a million dollars if she would just take a DNA test to prove that she has Native American ancestry.
On Monday, Warren did release the results of a DNA test. She also released a video of her extended family talking about their response to President Trump, and discussing their Native American ancestry. Warren’s relatives told family stories and displayed family pictures which they say showed that some of their shared ancestors were, indeed, Native Americans. The video also includes testimony from Warren’s former employers, who all say that Warren’s ancestry did not influence them in any way when they hired her.
Warren said she was looking forward to getting that million dollars from Donald Trump; she asked the president to make the check out to National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, a group that works to prevent sexual violence towards Native American women.
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Warren Said She ‘Respects the Distinction’ Between DNA and Tribal Affiliation
After the Cherokee Nation issued its rebuke, Warren went on Twitter to clarify what she was talking about. The Massachusetts Senator said she agrees that there is a lot more to tribal affiliation than just genetics. She said she “respects the distinction” between ancestry and true membership in a tribe, and she stressed that she doesn’t list herself as Native in the Senate.
Warren said that she took the DNA test and published her results because she didn’t want to “sit quietly” for what she called President Trump’s “racism.”
Warren then jabbed at Trump’s own family history, implying that the president himself is peddling a phony version of himself. She wrote, “If @realDonaldTrump – a cowardly elitist who has never known or cared what life is like for anyone who’s ever lived outside of a skyscraper in Manhattan – wants to talk about authenticity, well then, let’s talk about who’s REALLY pretending to be someone they’re not.”