Sen. Elizabeth Warren addressed claims of her Native American heritage at an American Indian policy summit on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, The Daily Caller reported that Warren was conspicuously not scheduled to speak at the Tribal Nations Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., despite being the only senator to claim a Native American heritage. (RELATED: Elizabeth Warren Absent From Tribal Nations Policy Summit)
Warren apparently changed her mind about appearing at the summit and made a surprise appearance on Wednesday, addressing allegations that she has lied about her ancestry. Cherokee genealogists have traced Warren’s family tree and found no evidence to support her claim of minority status.
Warren kicked off her speech by bashing President Donald Trump for jokingly referring to her as “Pocahontas,” asserting that the real Pocahontas is “far darker” than the Disney movie and is routinely “twisted” to serve political purposes. (RELATED: Descendant Of Pocahontas Not Offended By Trump)
“The joke, I guess, is supposed to be on me,” she said. “I get why some people think there’s hay to be made here. You won’t find my family members on any rolls, and I’m not enrolled in a tribe.”
“And I want to make something clear. I respect that distinction. I understand that tribal membership is determined by tribes — and only by tribes. I never used my family tree to get a break or get ahead. I never used it to advance my career,” she continued, addressing criticisms that she listed herself as Native American in law school directories. (RELATED: Cherokee Woman Slams Warren For Using ‘Racist Stereotypes’ To Claim She’s Native American)
Still, Warren insisted that her mother’s family was part Native American and that it was always a part of her history.
She went on to address the problems in the Native American community and promised that she would share their stories in Congress.