Senator Warren and the Cherokee

The Story:

Though Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma) has long received ridicule from the right, and from the Oval Office, for her family-lore-inspired claims to Cherokee or Delaware heritage, a story in the leftward periodical HuffPo suggests that discontent over those claims on the part of actual Native Americans is also real.

Nagle’s Suggestion:

In the 1980s, when Warren was teaching law, she sometimes listed herself for the purpose of faculty records as of Native American heritage. There have been slurs (though there is no evidence) that she benefited on this basis from diversity-oriented programs.

In the HuffPo article last week, a Cherokee writer and organizer, Rebecca Nagle, says that Warren ought to clear the air with the following statement:

“Like many non-Native Americans, I grew up with stories that my family was part Cherokee and Delaware. After reviewing extensive research on my genealogy going back over 150 years, I now know these stories are not true. I am sorry for any harm my mistaken claims have caused.”

Nagle says that she could not support a Warren campaign for President in the absence of such a disavowal, because “identity theft” is not “socially acceptable.”

The Thing to Know:

In late September, Sen. Warren said that she would “take a hard look” at whether she should run for President in the 2020 campaign cycle.


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