Twenty-four hours after Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren shocked the political world with a five-minute video (and a mountain of documentation) aimed at putting to bed the controversy over her claims of Native American heritage, it's becoming increasingly clear the strategy amounts to a swing and a miss.
Yes, Stanford geneticist Carlos Bustamante tells Warren in the video that "the facts suggest that you absolutely have a Native American ancestor in your pedigree." But the estimates of just how much Native American blood Warren actually possess range from 1/64th to a whopping 1/1024th. Which, um, ain't a lot.
Direct paragraphs pulled from: CNN (link)
The Cherokee Nation[...] released a blistering statement Monday in response to the test: "Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong[...] Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage."
Direct paragraphs pulled from: The Washington Post (link)
Over the course of her life, Warren did at times embrace this family story of Native American roots. In 1984, she contributed five recipes to a Native American cookbook entitled “Pow Wow Chow: A Collection of Recipes From Families of the Five Civilized Tribes: Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole.” In the book, which was edited by her cousin and unearthed during her 2012 campaign by the Boston Herald, her name is listed as “Elizabeth Warren, Cherokee.”
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. 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. 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.
Direct paragraphs pulled from: The Boston Globe (link)
Despite a nearly three week flap over her claim of "being Native American," the progressive consumer advocate has been unable to point to evidence of Native heritage except for a unsubstantiated thirdhand report that she might be 1/32 Cherokee. Even if it could be proven, it wouldn't qualify her to be a member of a tribe.
The New England Historic Genealogical Society backtracked on Warren's ancestry, saying it has "no proof" of Cherokee descent.
“There's a running joke in Indian country: If you meet somebody who you wouldn't necessarily think they're Native, but they say they're Native, chances are they'll tell you they're Cherokee.”
Direct paragraphs pulled from: The Atlantic (link)