WASHINGTON - In a recent interview with the Washington Post, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, apologized for identifying herself as Native American for almost two decades.
Her office did not dispute the card's authenticity, the paper reported.
Here is the form Elizabeth Warren filled out for the State Bar of Texas claiming American Indian heritage. pic.twitter.com/VwHifS7BCL— Amy Gardner (@AmyEGardner) February 6, 2019
In the interview Tuesday, while Warren acknowleged that she "can't go back." She said she's sorry "for furthering confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and harm that resulted."
Warren has been trying for the past year to get past the controversy as she considers a run for president in 2020.
The controversy surrounding Warren's ethnic heritage has long been an issue woven into her political career. In 2012, critics slammed her during her Senate race, claiming she identified as Cherokee to take advantage of affirmative action.
Despite claims that she is part Cherokee, Warren vehemently stood by her decision to represent herself as Native American for years. Warren has cited "family stories" as a basis for her Native American heritage.
The debate over the veracity of Warren's Native American heritage claims has been kept alive not only by Warren herself but also by right-wing opponents who constantly kept bringing the topic back into discussion. President Donald Trump has since nicknamed her Pocahontas, a gesture many find offensive and has been dubbed a racial slur.
Last year, Warren released a DNA test she took to refute Trump’s taunts about her claim of Native American heritage. An analysis of Warren's DNA sample showed she had a Native American ancestor in her family dating back six to 10 generations.
The Native American community derided her decision to take the test, claiming Warren mistook DNA for identity. She has since apologized.
Although Warren’s test revealed that she may have Cherokee blood, and although she was told her great-great-great-grandmother was Cherokee, “that doesn’t mean the woman was pure Cherokee,” Politifact reported.
“Different families and groups interacted in different ways with European settlers in the region," Deborah Bolnick, University of Connecticut professor and past president of the American Association of Anthropological Genetics, told Politifact. “When there was intermarriage, the offspring sometimes became part of indigenous communities, and sometimes they identified with nonindigenous groups.”
There aren’t any genetic markers specific to tribal nations, she added. “The genetic patterns don’t map onto tribal groups that we recognize today.”
Warren is expected to make a major announcement about her candidacy for president in 2020 later this week.
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