Elizabeth Warren Kicks Off Policy Speech To Native Americans With An Apology: ‘I Am Sorry’

REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

Amber Athey Podcast Columnist
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Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren apologized for her claim of Native American ancestry during a Monday appearance at a candidate forum in Sioux City, Iowa.

“Now before I go any further, I want to say this. Like anyone who’s been honest with themselves, I know that I have made mistakes. I am very sorry for harm I have caused,” Warren remarked during the event. “I have listened and I have learned a lot, and I am grateful for the many conversations that we’ve had together.”

She continued, “It is a great honor to be able to partner with Indian country, and that’s what I’ve tried to do as a senator. And that’s what I promise I will do as President of the United States of America.”


Warren, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, has been plagued for years by questions about her claim that she is Native American. The scandal reached a fever pitch last year after President Donald Trump dubbed the senator “Pocahontas,” leading her to release a DNA test in the hopes of bolstering her claims.

However, the test only showed that Warren is somewhere between 1/64 and 1/1,024th Native American, and led to ire among Native Americans who pointed out that Warren can make no claim to tribal citizenship based on a DNA test.

Warren later clarified that she is “not a person of color” and does not believe she is a citizen of a tribe, despite listing herself as a minority in the Association of American Law Schools directory from 1986-1994 and identifying herself as Native American to the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard for federal reporting purposes. The senator also identified herself as “American Indian” on a registration form for the State Bar of Texas in the 1980s.

When asked about these claims prior to the DNA test, Warren cited her family’s oral history and her relatives’ “high cheekbones.”