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The Glaring Absence At This Week's Tribal Nation's Policy Summit

- February 13, 2018

 

FAUXCAHONTAS IS NOT ATTENDING A TRIBAL POLICY SUMMIT IN WASHINGTON D.C. THIS WEEK

The National Congress Of American Indians Is Holding Its Policy Summit This Week, But Senator Elizabeth Warren Is Not Attending

The National Congress Of American Indians Will Hold Their Policy Summit From February 12 Through February 15 In Washington, D.C. "NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AMERICAN INDIANS TRIBAL NATIONS POLICY SUMMIT 115TH CONGRESS EXECUTIVE COUNCIL February 12-15, 2018 ● Capital Hilton ● 1001 16th St NW ● Washington, DC." (Tribal Nations Policy Summit, National Congress Of American Indians , Accessed 2/12/18)

Although A Number Of Democrat And Republican Members Of Congress, Including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Will Attend And Speak At The Event, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Is Not Listed As An Attendee. (Tribal Nations Policy Summit, National Congress Of American Indians , Accessed 2/12/18)

AS A LAW PROFESSOR, DESPITE ANY EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT HER CLAIM, WARREN IDENTIFIED AS A "MINORITY" BECAUSE SHE CLAIMED NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE

During Her Rise In Academia, Warren Self-Identified As A "Minority"

Sen. Warren Listed Herself As A Minority In A Legal Faculty Directory From 1986 To 1995, But Then Stopped Listing Herself As A Minority After That. "Warren also listed herself as a minority in a legal directory published by the Association of American Law Schools from 1986 to 1995. She's never provided a clear answer on why she stopped self-identifying." (Annie Linskey, "Elizabeth Warren's Native American Problem Goes Beyond Politics," The Boston Globe , 1/19/18)

Sen. Warren Was Listed As A Minority In The Directories While She Was A Professor At The University Of Texas And University Of Pennsylvania, But Ceased Listing Herself As A Minority When She Began Teaching At Harvard. "The Association of American Law Schools desk book, a directory of law professors from participating schools, includes Warren among the minority law professors listed, beginning in 1986 and continuing through 1995. The years include time she spent teaching at the University of Texas and the University of Pennsylvania, before she joined the faculty at Harvard Law." (Stephanie Ebbert, "Directories Identified Warren As Minority," The Boston Globe, 4/30/12)

While Working For Harvard University And University Of Pennsylvania, Sen. Warren Was Listed As A Native American In Federal Forms Filed By The Schools. "She was also listed as a Native American in federal forms filed by the law schools at Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania where she worked." (Annie Linskey, "Elizabeth Warren's Native American Problem Goes Beyond Politics," The Boston Globe , 1/19/18)

In 1996, A Harvard Law School Spokesman Told The Harvard Crimson That Sen. Warren Was Native American To Rebut Claims The School Lacked Diversity. "And in 1996, as Harvard Law School was being criticized for lacking diversity, a spokesman for the law school told the Harvard Crimson that Warren was Native American." (Annie Linskey, "Elizabeth Warren's Native American Problem Goes Beyond Politics," The Boston Globe , 1/19/18)

However, There Is No Documentation To Back Up Warren's Claims Of Native American Heritage And To Date She Has Not Apologized Or Offered Much Of An Explanation For Her Dubious Claims

New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Stated "We Have No Proof That Elizabeth Warren's Great Great Great Grandmother O.C. Sara Smith Either Is Or Is Not Of Cherokee Descent." "The New England Historical Genealogical Society, which originally announced they found evidence of Elizabeth Warren's Native American heritage, said today they have discovered no documentation to back up claims that she is 1/32 Cherokee. 'NEHGS has not expressed a position on whether Mrs. Warren has Native American ancestry, nor do we possess any primary sources to prove that she is," said Tom Champoux, spokesman for the NEHGS. "We have no proof that Elizabeth Warren's great great great grandmother O.C. Sarah Smith either is or is not of Cherokee descent.'" (Hillary Chabot, "Genealogical Society: No Proof Of Warren's Cherokee Heritage Found," The Boston Herald , 05/15/12)

The Washington Post Noted That Warren Has "Never Substantiated Her Claim With Documentation." Warren claims she has Native American ancestry. She's never substantiated her claim with documentation, saying she learned of her background from her family. (Sean Sullivan, "Donald Trump Just Called Elizabeth Warren 'The Indian.' Here's What That's All About," The Washington Post , 03/21/16)

Sen. Warren Has Not Apologized For Her Claims And Says She Learned About Her Family Heritage "The Way Everyone Does" And Claims To Have Never Taken A Benefit From It. "Warren declined to say if she would consider saying she's sorry to Native communities, or otherwise address this lingering issue. 'My three brothers and I learned about our family heritage back in Oklahoma the way everyone does,' Warren said in a brief phone interview from storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, where she led a delegation of Massachusetts lawmakers this month. 'From our aunts, our uncles, and our grandparents. I never asked for any benefit from it and I never got any benefit from it.'" (Annie Linskey, "Elizabeth Warren's Native American Problem Goes Beyond Politics," The Boston Globe , 1/19/18)

Warren Has Not Identified As A Native American In The U.S. Senate, And Believes The Issue Has Been "Extensively Litigated"

Sen. Warren Has Not Identified As Native American To The Senate Historian And Has Declined To Comment Why. "Warren has not formally claimed to be Native American during her time in the Senate, where the chamber's historian lists three former senators as having American Indian heritage. Senators self-report their ethnicity to the historian's office. Her office has declined to comment on why." (Annie Linskey, "Elizabeth Warren's Native American Problem Goes Beyond Politics," The Boston Globe , 1/19/18)

Sen. Warren Believes This Issue Has Already Been "Extensively Litigated" During Her 2012 U.S. Senate Campaign. "Warren says she believes these issues are in her past. 'These issues were extensively litigated in 2012 and I think the people of Massachusetts made their decision,' Warren said in her brief interview with the Globe this month. 'I think what the people of Massachusetts and what voters are concerned about is the direction that Donald Trump is pulling this country.'" (Annie Linskey, "Elizabeth Warren's Native American Problem Goes Beyond Politics," The Boston Globe , 1/19/18)

ACTIVISTS AND DEMOCRATS BELIEVE WARREN MUST CONFRONT AND APOLOGIZE FOR HER FALSE CLAIMS TO MINORITY STATUS

Warren's Past Is Causing "Discomfort" Among The Left

Warren's Story Of Her Native American Heritage Has Created Discomfort on The Left And Among Tribal Leaders And Activists. "And, more telling, there's also discomfort on the left and among some tribal leaders and activists that Warren has a political blind spot when it comes to the murkiness surrounding her story of her heritage, which blew up as an issue in her victorious 2012 Massachusetts Senate race." (Annie Linskey, "Elizabeth Warren's Native American Problem Goes Beyond Politics," The Boston Globe , 1/19/18)

Some Political Experts View This Disconnect As A Vulnerability Should Warren Seek The Democratic Nomination For President, And Believe She Should Take Responsibility And Apologize. "While it may be easy to dismiss Trump's continued Twitter attacks as bigotry, which has been Warren's response thus far, the view of her more sympathetic critics is that she is leaving herself vulnerable by not clearing the air in a definitive way. Their fear is that the issue could act as a drag on her profile as she considers whether to seek the Democratic nomination for president. 'From a strategic perspective, taking the live step of taking responsibility and an apology, even while noting that it was not her intention to harm anyone, is important,' said Tom Bonier, CEO of the Democratic polling firm TargetSmart. 'Will that change votes? I don't think that doing so will lose her votes.'" (Annie Linskey, "Elizabeth Warren's Native American Problem Goes Beyond Politics," The Boston Globe , 1/19/18)

Allies Of Sen. Warren Worry She Has Displayed A "Stubborn Unwillingness" To Address The Gap Between Her Heritage Story And A "Dearth Of Hard Evidence To Back It Up." "As Warren is mentioned as a serious presidential contender in 2020, even some who should be her natural allies say Warren has displayed a stubborn unwillingness to address the gap between the story she was told of Native Americans in the family tree and a dearth of hard evidence to back it up." (Annie Linskey, "Elizabeth Warren's Native American Problem Goes Beyond Politics," The Boston Globe , 1/19/18)

Tribal Leaders Want Warren To Apologize For Her False Claims, And Say She Still Does Not Do Enough For Native Americans

Some Native American Tribes Want Sen. Warren To Apologize For Claiming Her Heritage Without Solid Evidence. "If Warren seeks to tackle the issue, there are no easy options. Some tribe members want her to apologize to Native Americans for claiming heritage without solid evidence. Tribes across America have spent centuries denouncing whites who claim Indian DNA without a clear basis, claims they find deeply offensive." (Annie Linskey, "Elizabeth Warren's Native American Problem Goes Beyond Politics," The Boston Globe , 1/19/18)

Native American Leaders Are Also Resentful That Sen. Warren Has Done Little To Help Them As A Powerful Senator. "Another path includes pursuing stronger outreach to the tribes with whom she claims to share kinship, a strategy that she's begun to employ. This too is fraught, as some Native American leaders are resentful that she's done, in their estimation, little to help tribes as a powerful senator." (Annie Linskey, "Elizabeth Warren's Native American Problem Goes Beyond Politics," The Boston Globe , 1/19/18)

Sen. Warren Does Not Serve On The U.S. Senate Committee On Indian Affairs. (Membership, U.S. Senate Committee On Indian Affairs , Accessed 2/12/18)

A Principal Chief Of The Oklahoma-Based Cherokee Nation Said Sen. Warren Has Not Been A Part Of The Cherokee Community And Has Not Reached Out To Them. "'She's not part of the Cherokee community,' said Chad Smith, who was the principal chief of the Oklahoma-based Cherokee Nation from 1999 to 2011. 'She hasn't reached out. She hasn't come here and participated much. The mark of value in claiming heritage is: Do you use your position to give back?' Smith said. 'If it is a claim that is valuable to her, she should be helping Indian country. She might be doing it with the overall agenda. But unless she's contributing back, it is a somewhat hollow claim.'" (Annie Linskey, "Elizabeth Warren's Native American Problem Goes Beyond Politics," The Boston Globe , 1/19/18)

Activist Rebecca Nagle Said Warren Is "Not A Hero" And Warren's Defense Relies On "Racist Stereotypes"

Cherokee Advocate Rebecca Nagle Authored A Think Progress Op-Ed Titles "I Am A Cherokee Woman, Elizabeth Warren Is Not," And Said Sen. Warren's False Claims Push The Worst Stereotypes Of Indians. "'Her false claims back up some of the worst stereotypes of Indians, which is that we no longer exist and we're not seen as a contemporary or vibrant community,' said Rebecca Nagle, a Cherokee advocate who, on Nov. 30, penned the scathing rebukeof Warren on ThinkProgress. Nagle's op-ed was entitled: 'I am a Cherokee woman. Elizabeth Warren is not.'" (Annie Linskey, "Elizabeth Warren's Native American Problem Goes Beyond Politics," The Boston Globe , 1/19/18)

In Nagle's Op-Ed, She Said Sen. Warren Is "Not A Hero" Because She Didn't Foster A Haven Of Support For Native American Students At Harvard And Has "Done Nothing To Advance Our Rights." "She was not a hero to me when she failed to foster a haven of support for Native students within Harvard University's alienating Ivy League culture. She is not a hero for spending years awkwardly avoiding Native leaders. She is not a hero because, despite claiming to be the only Native woman in the U.S. Senate, she has done nothing to advance our rights." (Rebecca Nagle, Op-Ed, "I Am A Cherokee Woman. Elizabeth Warren Is Not.," Think Progress , 11/30/17)

Nagle Said That Sen. Warren's Defense Of Her Heritage Claims Draws On "Racist Stereotypes And Easily Refutable Stories About Her Family." "In defending her supposed Native identity, Warren has drawn from both racist stereotypes and easily refutable stories about her family. At a 2012 press conference Warren stated that her family knew her grandfather was 'part' Cherokee because 'he had high cheekbones like all of the Indians.'" (Rebecca Nagle, Op-Ed, "I Am A Cherokee Woman. Elizabeth Warren Is Not.," Think Progress , 11/30/17)

Nagle Said The During The 2012 Democratic National Convention, Sen. Warren Refused To Meet With Group Of Cherokee Women. "To add insult to injury, despite Warren's public claims of Native American heritage, she has decidedly avoided talking with Native leaders and, in 2012, refused to meet with a group of Cherokee women at the Democratic National Convention." (Rebecca Nagle, Op-Ed, "I Am A Cherokee Woman. Elizabeth Warren Is Not.," Think Progress , 11/30/17)

A Cherokee Historian And Genealogist Said Sen. Warren Has A Higher Responsibility Because Of Her Stature And That She Cannot Be A Cherokee Ally Unless She Provides Proof Or Apologizes. "'The problem with Elizabeth Warren is she is not the average wannabe,' said David Cornsilk, a Cherokee historian and genealogist. 'She is an academic. She has a higher level of aptitude to examine these issues. And a higher responsibility to examine them, and accept the research that is done, or to counter it with alternative research.' Cornsilk described himself as a liberal who supports Warren's agenda of attacking income inequality. 'Warren could be an ally,' Cornsilk said. 'But she will not be an ally that we will accept if she continues to claim Cherokee and Delaware heritage without proof.' Cornsilk wants Warren to offer a full apology that acknowledges that she made claims without proof, that those claims have been damaging, and that she will work to repair that damage." (Annie Linskey, "Elizabeth Warren's Native American Problem Goes Beyond Politics," The Boston Globe , 1/19/18)


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