Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has privately and quietly apologized for a DNA test that conclusively showed she was no more than 1/1024th American Indian.
The Cherokee Nation acknowledged the apology Thursday, the Tulsa World reported. Warren’s revelation resulted in ridicule when she made the announcement last October, and she is currently hinting at making her presidential run official.
“We are encouraged by this dialogue and understanding that being a Cherokee Nation tribal citizen is rooted in centuries of culture and laws, not through DNA tests,” Julie Hubbard, Cherokee executive director of communications, told Tulsa World. “We are encouraged by her action and hope that the slurs and mockery of tribal citizens and Indian history and heritage will now come to an end.” (RELATED: Liz Warren Compares Scrutiny Of Native American Heritage Claim To Obama Birtherism)
After Warren trumpeted her news last fall, the Cherokee Nation did not share the progressive politician’s enthusiasm. “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,” Cherokee Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr. noted at the time.
Hoskins was still not registering any approval this week when he wrote an op-ed piece for the Tulsa World, suggesting Warren’s obsession with Native ancestry constitutes unwarranted meddling. (RELATED: Majority Of State Voters Don’t Want Elizabeth Warren To Run For President)
“We know that many people across the nation have treasured family stories about having Native lineage,” Hoskins wrote. “There is nothing wrong with being proud of that. However, every day, people make claims of Native heritage and Cherokee ancestry across the country to take advantage of laws intended to level the playing field for Indian Country.” He added that merely saying “my grandmother was Cherokee” or “citing vague results of consumer DNA test” does not constitute “responsibilities of tribal membership.”
Warren seemed reconciled to her ethnic reality when she told a commencement ceremony last December, “I am not a person of color.”