The leader of an unrecognized and “mixed-blood” tribe in Oregon has officially offered Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren membership. The “Una Nation” in Oregon is made up of individuals who are of mixed ancestry.
It was founded in 2009 by people who were rejected from existing Native American tribes for not meeting bloodline requirements.
The “King” of the tribe, Richard B. Lake III, says a person only needs one Native American or indigenous ancestor to qualify for their group, according to the Washington Free Beacon. The Una Nation is courting the Democratic presidential hopeful to join its ranks because of the lax requirements.
“If she’s Native American, or of Native American decent, that means she’s a mixed blood. We stand by her in her statement that she is part Native American,” said Lake, also known as King Richard II Ziwahatan.
The Una Nation sent Warren a “welcome packet,” which includes a certificate of tribal enrollment, to her Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., offices.
“We’re granting her, as a gift, enrollment in the Una Nation … When she’s asked next if she’s a member of the tribe, hopefully, she’ll be able to say proudly she’s a member of the Una Nation, who accept me for who I am,” Lake explained. “We want to ensure that people like us — like her — are not overlooked or pushed aside any longer.”
Despite its claims of recognition, the Una Nation has received no such status from the federal or state governments. The tribe believes endorsing Warren may help them with their quest to get acknowledgment of their existence.
The membership offer comes as Warren is still taking criticism for claiming Native American history throughout her life. The Democratic senator, whom President Donald Trump routinely calls “Pocahontas,” apologized after releasing a DNA test that indicated she was somewhere between 1/64 and 1/1024 Native American.