A member of Cherokee Nation appeared on CNN on Wednesday to demand that Senator Elizabeth Warren make a public apology about her false heritage claims. Warren is expected to officially announce her campaign for the presidency in just days.
Earlier in the week, the Washington Post reported that Warren had handwritten her race as “American Indian” on a State Bar of Texas registration card in 1986. An aide for the senator told the post that Warren is “sorry she was not more mindful” earlier in her career.
Appearing on CNN, Rebecca Nagle, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin that Warren “needs to make a public apology” and noted that she has been calling the senator out on her false claims for years. She explained that Warren’s supporters would often try to wiggle out of the uncomfortable topic by claiming that she “never said she was Native American.”
“Well, now we have the documented proof,” Nagle said of Warren’s attempts to claim minority status to further her career.
“I’m glad that she apologized to the Washington Post and I’m also glad that she apologized to my tribe’s chief — but I think that because she has made these false claims publicly, at this point she needs to make a public apology,” Nagle continued.
Nagle went on to explain that the scandal surrounding Warren’s DNA stunt is harmful because the way that Native identity is determined in the United States is through tribal citizenship — not family lore or DNA tests.
Warren released a DNA test she took to refute Trump’s taunts about her claim of Native American heritage. An analysis of Warren’s DNA sample showed she had a Native American ancestor in her family dating back six to 10 generations.
The Native American community derided her decision to take the test, claiming Warren mistook DNA for identity. She has since apologized.