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July 16, 2019

Elizabeth Warren apologizes again for claiming Native heritage as new document surfaces with designation

February 7, 2019
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. (Carlos Giusti / AP)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has apologized again for claiming Native American heritage, this time as it surfaced on her Texas Bar registration card, dated 1986.

“This was about 30 years ago, and I am not a tribal citizen,” Warren told reporters on Tuesday.“Tribes and only tribes determine citizenship.”


She had apologized to the Cherokee Nation last week. On Tuesday reporters she gave a bit more context.

“When I was growing up in Oklahoma I learned about my family the same way most people do,” she said, according to CNN. “My brothers and I learned from our mom and our dad and our brothers and our sisters, and those were our family stories.”

However, she said, she was now more aware of the difference between indigenous heritage and tribal citizenship, in the wake of the backlash from enemies and allies alike to her initial test results announcement.

“There really is an important distinction of tribal citizenship,” she said. “I am not a member of a tribe. And I have apologized for not being more sensitive to that distinction. It’s an important distinction.”

The document in question is a yellow card that affirms her membership in the Texas Bar, dated 1986. The line on the lower left asks for “race,” and she wrote, “American Indian.”

She took the test in October to put to rest criticism from President Donald Trump, who has taken to calling her Pocahontas. Warren is planning to launch a presidential bid.

“I can’t go back,” she told The Washington Post. “But I am sorry for furthering confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and harm that resulted.”

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