WASHINGTON – A spokesperson for Cherokee Nation said Friday that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has apologized to the group for having taken a DNA test to substantiate claims of Native American ancestry.
“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,” Cherokee Nation spokesperson Julie Hubbard said in a statement initially provided to The Intercept. “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.”
In October Warren released the results of the test. It said her heritage is predominantly European but includes trace amounts of Native American ancestry 6-10 generations ago.
President Donald Trump has mocked Warren’s claim of Native American ancestry in tweets. He often refers to her as “Pocahontas.”
The controversy emanates from Warren’s tenure in academia. Some conservatives have said she lied about having Native American ancestry so as to derive benefits from Affirmative Action. Proponents of the theory have yet to produce any evidence to support it.
Warren’s apology comes as she is expected to soon make a formal announcement that she is entering the 2020 presidential race. Last month Warren formed an exploratory committee to gauge her level of support.