Elizabeth Warren Confronted on Native American Ancestry Claims: ‘I Am Not a Person of Color’

Senate Banking Committee members Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., right, and Sen. Mark Warn
AP/Andrew Harnik

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) participated in a candidate forum in New Hampshire Thursday, where she ultimately apologized for identifying as a Native American and admitted that she is “not a person of color” and “not a citizen of a tribe.”

The presidential candidate participated in a “Conversation with the Candidate” event in the Granite State Thursday and faced a question on her past Native American ancestry claims, which have been the subject of widespread controversy.

A mother of black twins asked Warren how she can “overcome the bridge with voters” who question her past decision to claim Native American heritage, which she seemingly used to elevate herself in years past.

Warren told the woman that she simply believed the story her parents told about her family history and argued that it did not play any role in her career.

Warren identified as a minority professor at both the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Harvard Law School, and she claimed Native American heritage on her Texas Bar registration card, it was revealed in February:

“I can’t go back,” Warren said after the report surfaced. “But I am sorry for furthering confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and harm that resulted.”

Warren repeated her apology at Thursday’s candidate forum, admitting that she is “not a person of color” and “not a citizen of a tribe.”

“Like most people, my brothers and I learned about who we are from our mom and our dad. My family’s very important to me, and based on that, sometimes, decades ago, I identified that way,” she said.

“But nothing about the way I identified ever had anything to do with my academic career,” she continued.

“Even so, I shouldn’t have done it. I am not a person of color. I am not a citizen of a tribe, and I’ve apologized for any confusion over tribal sovereignty, tribal citizenship and any harm caused by that,” she added.

Warren released the results of a DNA test last fall, revealing that she had anywhere from 1/64th to 1/1,024 Native American ancestry, which put her way out of range for any type of tribal citizenship.

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

“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,” he continued.

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.

Warren ultimately apologized to Cherokee Nation for “causing confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and the harm that has resulted.”

The Massachusetts senator did not go down without a fight, though, accusing President Trump of making “creepy physical threats” toward her after he challenged her claims to Native American heritage:


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