Elizabeth Warren Hints at Other Documents Claiming Native American Heritage

CAMBRIDGE, MA - DECEMBER 31: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), addresses the media outside of her home after announcing she formed an exploratory committee for a 2020 Presidential run on December 31, 2018 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Warren is one of the earliest potential candidates to make an official announcement in what …
Scott Eisen/Getty; Inset: Washington Post

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) insisted once again on Wednesday that “family lore” was sufficient justification for claiming — beginning in 1984 in the Pow Wow Chow cookbook and in 1986 on her Texas Bar registration card — that she has Native American heritage.

She also hinted that more documents from “from that point in time” — presumably the 18-year period between 1986 and 2004 — may surface in which she identified as an American Indian in legally significant documents.

“Are there any more documents or forms like this out there that you have listed yourself as that could come out?” one reporter asked Warren specifically on Wednesday.

Warren responded:

Look, this is who I grew up believing with my brothers, this is our family’s story and it’s all consistent from that point in time, but as I said, it’s important to note I’m not a tribal citizen and I should have been more mindful of the distinction with tribal citizenship and tribal sovereignty and that is why I apologized to Chief Baker and why I’ve made a very public apology.

“Could there be other documents out there with you self-identifying as American Indian?” another reporter asked.

“So all I know is during this time period, this is consistent with what I did because it was based on my understanding from my family’s stories. But family stories are not the same as tribal citizenship and this is why I have apologized both to Chief Baker — who was very gracious about it — and have apologized publicly,” Warren answered.

At no time during this 18-year period did Warren present a single piece of documentation or genetic evidence to support her false claim of Native American heritage. Nor, apparently, did any of the institutions that accepted her claims demand any evidence to support those claims.

The timeline of Warren’s false claims of Native American heritage on legally significant documents begins in 1986, the year she signed her Texas Bar registration card and declared her race to be American Indian. 1986 was the same year she claimed to be a minority in the 1986-1987 Association of American Law Schools directory of faculty, which was used at the time by most law schools as a recruiting guide for potential new faculty members.

At the time, Warren was on the faculty of the University of Texas Law School where her husband Bruce Mann was also on the faculty and considered a rising law school star.

In 1989, two years after she was hired by the University of Pennsylvania Law School as a trailing spouse to Mann, who was hired by the University of Pennsylvania Law School at the same time, Warren declared herself to be  Native American in a University of Pennsylvania personnel document.

Warren allegedly continued to self-identify as Native American in legally significant documents until 2004.

“Several months after Warren started working at Harvard Law School in late 1995, Harvard recorded her ethnicity as Native American, according to university records reported by the [Boston] Globe. The records include a memo showing that Warren signed off on the change,” the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

“Harvard continued reporting Warren as a Native American until 2004, the records show. Warren has never explained what happened that year to prompt the change,” the Post noted.

Meanwhile, the Boston Herald reported on Thursday that Warren still plans on formally announcing her campaign for president in Lawrence, Massachusetts, this Saturday:

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren signaled today she still intends to jump into the 2020 presidential race despite the furor over her Native American heritage claims — releasing plans to tour seven states starting with New Hampshire and Iowa after her big announcement Saturday in Lawrence.

The Democrat, facing new fire for listing herself as “American Indian” on a Texas bar registration card, announced this morning she will hit the campaign trail this weekend.

“After Lawrence, Warren will travel to Iowa and New Hampshire. Details to come on South Carolina, Georgia, Nevada, and California,” Warren’s camp stated in an email today.

The stops include Dover, N.H., City Hall after her announcement Saturday and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Sunday morning, with other stops in the Hawkeye State later that day.

Warren’s release of DNA test results in October, which were intended to put to rest the issue of her claims of Native American heritage, backfired, as Breitbart News reported:

The DNA test was conducted by a lab in Georgia, which provided no chain of custody of the DNA sample from Warren to them. They forwarded the data results of that DNA test to Stanford University professor Carlos D. Bustamante, who analyzed that data and wrote a report based on his analysis of it. Bustamante’s report stated that Warren shared DNA with residents of Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, not Native Americans who are members of tribes in the United States.

The results of that analysis, published on October 16, showed Warren may have a common ancestor who lived approximately six to 10 generations ago with residents of Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. These results mean that at the very least, Warren shares 1/1024 common DNA with residents of Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. At the very most, she shares 1/64 common DNA with residents of Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.

She had previously said her Native American roots were part of “family lore.”

The Cherokee Nation complained then that tribal nations, not DNA tests, determine citizenship and that Warren was “undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”

“A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said at the time. “Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America.”

Though Warren appears determined to go forward with her announcement, many political observers, in light of the growing number of revelations and subsequent apologies to Native Americans by the Massachusetts senator, question how realistic her presidential ambitions really are.


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