ThinkProgress Op-Ed Tears Apart Elizabeth Warren's Native American Claim | NTK Network ThinkProgress Op-Ed Tears Apart Elizabeth Warren’s Native American Claim

ThinkProgress Op-Ed Tears Apart Elizabeth Warren’s Native American Claim

A Cherokee woman took issue with the senator's claim to be a Native American.

By NTK Staff | 11.30.2017 @4:30pm
ThinkProgress Op-Ed Tears Apart Elizabeth Warren’s Native American Claim

After President Trump mocked Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) claims to Native American heritage at an event honoring WWII Navajo Windtalkers – by calling her ‘Pocahontas’ – the senator reacted with disdain at the incident, referring to the moniker as racist.

But a member of the Cherokee nation objected to Warren’s false outrage in an op-ed for the liberal publication ThinkProgress on Thursday.

Rebecca Nagle wrote that the reader probably expected her to side with Warren against Trump. “A real Native American hero, right?” she asked, referring to the liberal senator. “Wrong.”

Nagle blasted Warren’s history with Native American issues:

She was not a hero to me when she failed to foster a haven of support for Native students within Harvard University’s alienating Ivy League culture. She is not a hero for spending years awkwardly avoiding Native leaders. She is not a hero because, despite claiming to be the only Native woman in the U.S. Senate, she has done nothing to advance our rights.

She is not from us. She does not represent us. She is not Cherokee.

According to the op-ed, Warren has also avoided meeting with Cherokee nation members. Warren has also cited “racist stereotypes” as evidence of her heritage, which Nagle denies.

Nagle also took issue with Warren’s use of Native American heritage for career advancement, slamming it as “misappropriation.” She demanded Warren apologize and even wrote a draft for the senator:

I am deeply sorry to the Native American people who have been greatly harmed by my misappropriation of Cherokee identity. I want to especially apologize to the over 350,000 citizens of Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the United Keetoowah Band. In my family, there is an oral history of being Cherokee, however, research on my genealogy going back over 150 years does not reveal a single Native ancestor. Like many Americans who grew up with family members claiming to be Cherokee, I now know that my family’s stories were based on myth rather than fact. I am not enrolled in any of the three Federally recognized Cherokee Tribes, nor am I an active member of any Cherokee or Native American community. Native Nations are not relics of the past, but active, contemporary, and distinct political groups who are still fighting for recognition and sovereignty within the United States. Those of us who claim false Native identity undermine this fight.

I am sorry for the real damage that Native Americans have experienced as the debate about my false identity has revived the worst stereotypes and offensive racist remarks, all while Native people have been silenced. I will do my part as a Senator to push for the United States to fully recognize tribal nations’ inherent sovereignty and uphold our treaty obligations to Native Nations. I will use my national platform to advance the rights of Native Americans and I commit to building real relationships in Indian Country as an ally and supporter.

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