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To Advance Her Career, Fauxcahontas Suddenly Champions Native American Issues

- February 26, 2018

 

WITH 2020 LOOMING, SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA) IS TRYING TO MAKE GOOD WITH THE NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITY AFTER YEARS OF WRONGLY SELF-IDENTIFYING AS ONE OF THEM

After 6 Years Of Inaction For Native Americans In The U.S. Senate, Warren Is Now Trying To Show Her Support By Joining Old Bills And Attending Conferences

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Is Building A Concerted Campaign To Try To Move On From Her Deceptive Heritage Issue. "Elizabeth Warren's surprise address this month on her disputed Native American heritage was just one piece of a concerted campaign by the Massachusetts senator and potential 2020 hopeful to put the controversy behind her. Derisively nicknamed 'Pocahontas' by President Donald Trump over allegations that she used claims of Native American heritage to get a head start in her job search - a claim she and former colleagues strongly deny - Warren has met with close to a dozen tribal leaders and prominent activists recently." (Gabriel Debenedetti, "Elizabeth Warren's Stealth Campaign To Shed 'Pocahontas,'" Politico , 2/26/18)

Sen. Warren Has Signed Onto Six Bills Related To Native American Policy, Even Though Some Had Been Introduced Months Earlier. "She has also signed onto at least six bills directly related to Native American policy. It's clearly an organized effort: Four of those co-sponsorships came within two days of her speech, and Warren endorsed two bills around that time even though they'd been introduced months earlier." (Gabriel Debenedetti, "Elizabeth Warren's Stealth Campaign To Shed 'Pocahontas,'" Politico , 2/26/18)

Sen. Warren Signed On To A Five-Month Old Housing Bill And A Ten-Month Old Educational Program That Would Benefit Native Americans. "The meetings came just as Warren was signing onto a series of bills to help Native Americans. That included a resolution introduced by Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) to commemorate 'missing and murdered Native women and girls,' as well as another Daines proposal to grant tribes more resources to combat the opioid epidemic. Yet some of the legislation she backed had long been in motion: A housing bill led by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) had been introduced five months earlier, and a bill from Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) updating an educational program was 10 months old." (Gabriel Debenedetti, "Elizabeth Warren's Stealth Campaign To Shed 'Pocahontas,'" Politico , 2/26/18)

In February 2016, Sen. Warren Made A Surprise Visit At The Tribal Nations Policy Summit And Attempted To Defend Her Heritage Claims. "On Tuesday, The Daily Caller reported that Warren was conspicuously not scheduled to speak at the Tribal Nations Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., despite being the only senator to claim a Native American heritage. Warren apparently changed her mind about appearing at the summit and made a surprise appearance on Wednesday, addressing allegations that she has lied about her ancestry. Cherokee genealogists have traced Warren's family tree and found no evidence to support her claim of minority status. Warren kicked off her speech by bashing President Donald Trump for jokingly referring to her as 'Pocahontas,' asserting that the real Pocahontas is 'far darker' than the Disney movie and is routinely 'twisted' to serve political purposes." (Amber Athey, "Liz Warren Makes Surprise Appearance At Tribal Nations Policy Summit," The Daily Caller , 2/14/18)

Sen. Warren Is Trying To Neutralize What Is "Seen As An Achilles' Heel" And Bring In Wary Activists. "Now, Warren and her backers are hoping to move beyond the argument entirely and spin it into a positive. The aim is to neutralize what's seen as an Achilles' heel for a potential national bid, turning wary activists into allies." (Gabriel Debenedetti, "Elizabeth Warren's Stealth Campaign To Shed 'Pocahontas,'" Politico , 2/26/18)

Some Native American Tribes Want Sen. Warren To Apologize For Claiming Native American Status Without Any 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 Even Serve On The U.S. Senate Committee On Indian Affairs. (Membership, U.S. Senate Committee On Indian Affairs , Accessed 2/12/18)

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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)

Sen. Warren Has Not Identified As Indian To The Senate Historian And Has Declined To Comment On 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)

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 Evidence To Back Up Warren's Claims Of Native American Heritage And She Has Not Apologized

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)


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