Elizabeth Warren Privately Apologizes To Cherokee Nation For Getting DNA Test

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Back in October of 2018, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) released the results of a much-publicized DNA test that showed she is as little as 1/1,024 Native American. Laughingly, she did so to prove she indeed had Native American ancestry. Now, she is apologizing to the Cherokee Nation for having done so.

The Cherokee Nation has stated that she did so in private. 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 stated. “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.”

“We are encouraged by this dialogue and understanding that being a Cherokee Nation tribal citizen is rooted in centuries of culture and laws, not through DNA tests,” Julie Hubbard, Cherokee executive director of communications, told Tulsa World. “We are encouraged by her action and hope that the slurs and mockery of tribal citizens and Indian history and heritage will now come to an end.”

At the time of the test, the Cherokee Nation was offended and hotly condemned the publicity stunt. “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. “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.”

Hoskin also published an opinion piece last week, entitled “Elizabeth Warren can be a friend, but she isn’t a Cherokee citizen.” In it, he stated that it offends the tribe “when some of our national leaders seek to ascribe inappropriately membership or citizenship to themselves,” adding, “They would be welcome to our table as friends, but claiming to be family to gain a spot at the table is unwelcome.”

“We know that many people across the nation have treasured family stories about having Native lineage,” Hoskins wrote. “There is nothing wrong with being proud of that. However, every day, people make claims of Native heritage and Cherokee ancestry across the country to take advantage of laws intended to level the playing field for Indian Country.” He added that by merely stating “my grandmother was Cherokee” or “citing vague results of consumer DNA test” does not constitute “responsibilities of tribal membership.”

In January, Warren doubled down on her claim that she is Native American in Iowa, but said she is not a tribal citizen. “I am not a person of color,” Warren said. “I am not a citizen of a tribe. Tribal citizenship is very different from ancestry. Tribes — and only tribes — determine tribal citizenship, and I respect that difference.”

The New York Times even said that Warren was playing into President Trump’s hands. Trump didn’t miss the opportunity for input on this. “Now that her claims of being of Indian heritage have turned out to be a scam and a lie, Elizabeth Warren should apologize for perpetrating this fraud against the American Public,” Trump tweeted in October. “Harvard called her ‘a person of color’ (amazing con), and would not have taken her otherwise!”

Warren was quick to defend the test against the president’s taunts. “The first Native American in our family that can be proved is generations back, and the geneticist says there could be others,” Warren said to her supporters in an email. “No matter. It’s my family, and — like it or not Donald Trump — my family’s stories are supported by this test.”

Warren is expected to formally announce that she is running for the presidency in 2020. This is evidently a weak attempt to put the ancestry debacle to rest. But President Trump is not likely to let it go.

Sources: The Daily Wire, The Daily Caller, Breitbart, The Washington Free Beacon

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