Elizabeth Warren: Is she or isn't she Native American?
Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren's claims of Native American ancestry have drawn fire.
September 25th, 2012
04:59 PM ET

Elizabeth Warren: Is she or isn't she Native American?

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) - Writer Mark Trahant guessed the situation was a first: campaign jabs that centered on a candidate's claim of Native American roots.

He was referring to the Senate race in Massachusetts that pits Harvard University law professor Elizabeth Warren against Republican Sen. Scott Brown.

There are many issues of contention in this hotly contested race, but one of them has become Warren's claim to Native American ancestry. After Brown accused her of taking advantage of minority status, Warren fired back in an ad that came out Monday.

"As a kid, I never asked my mom for documentation when she talked about our Native American heritage," Warren says in the spot. "What kid would? But I knew my father's family didn't like that she was part Cherokee and part Delaware, so they had to elope.

"Let me be clear: I never asked for or never got any benefit because of my heritage," she continues, addressing the central concern that Brown has brought up on the campaign trail and at the candidates' first debate last week. "The people who hired me have all said they didn't even know about it."

It's a bit more complicated, said Trahant, a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.

"The usual standard is citizenship, being a member of a tribe. Elizabeth Warren does not meet that test," he said.

Who's Native American? It's complicated

"It's not right that she would use her self-recalled heritage for any academic advancement ... even if there are no academic standards that define who is legally a Native American (except the citizenship issue). On the other hand, when you see videos like this one, you cringe."

He was referring to a video that shows Brown staffers chanting war whoops and gesturing Tomahawk chops. It was posted Tuesday on YouTube by the liberal blog Blue Mass Group.

"I think Sen. Brown has some explaining to do about the nice guy, respectful tone that he sets in his office, and on his campaign," the blog said. "And maybe we can put this whole preposterous issue to bed once and for all."

Brown responded to CNN affiliate WCVB in Boston.

"It is certainly something that I don't condone," he said. "The real offense is that (Warren) said she was white and then checked the box saying she is Native American, and then she changed her profile in the law directory once she made her tenure."

The National Congress of American Indians said it was troublesome that Brown's staff members acted in such fashion. The rights organization urged Brown to take action.

It also blamed Warren was responsible for failing to speak up.

"She has every right to be proud of her family," the organization said. "However her campaign failed to educate a non-Native media and the public unfamiliar with federal tribal enrollment rules or about historic federal policies that make proving Native ancestry very difficult for some people."

Also at issue was Brown's reference during a televised debate to Warren's white skin color as proof that she was not Native American.

"Skin color or physical appearance has no bearing on one’s Native American heritage or status as an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe," the national congress said. "As a result, numerous national television programs and websites have irresponsibly echoed Senator Brown’s statements by referring to someone’s skin color as an indicator for Native American identity. These claims are false and Senator Brown should correct the record and retract his statement immediately."

Elizabeth Warren vs. Scott Brown: Priciest race this year

The debate about Warren has gone on since May, when Warren confirmed that she had described herself in faculty directories as having Native American blood. She said she did it to meet others like her.

But her explanation didn't sit well in some corners.

A website called Cherokees Demand Truth From Elizabeth Warren says Americans ought to care deeply about such claims.

"America should care because they care when someone falsely claims to be a decorated military veteran. They care when someone falsely claims to be a recovering drug addict in a book passed off as the truth. And they care when someone falsely claims to be a survivor of the Jewish Holocaust. America cares about these things because America cares about integrity, honesty and fair treatment.

"Elizabeth Warren has not just stolen an ethnic identity that does not belong to her, but she has also personally benefited from it and harmed the integrity of the American ethos of advancement based on quality of work, not color of skin."

The New England Historic Genealogical Society provided initial research that shows several members of Warren's maternal family claiming Cherokee heritage. Warren's great-great-great grandmother O.C. Sarah Smith, is said to be described as Cherokee in an 1894 marriage license application. The genealogical society gathered that information through a 2006 family newsletter and said the original application cannot be located.

Warren's critics were out in force Tuesday on Twitter, including the editor of the conservative Red Alerts Politics website.

Blogger Donny Furguson posted:

But Warren was not without her supporters.

Seroe Michaud commented on Native News Network's page:

"Good for you Elizabeth, I am 1/8 Blackfoot but am fair skinned and light haired, I am the only light one in the family. If like me your blood is part native on your mother's side and your heart is walking the red road, we will not be driven into the shadows. I hope that you win, you had my vote before I learned of your roots."

As Trahant said, it's complicated.

What makes someone "legitimately" Native American? And who gets to make the call? Our blog attempted to answer those questions when the Warren controversy erupted.

Julia Good Fox, professor of American Indian studies at Haskell Indian Nations University, said there's plenty of ignorance around Native American citizenship.

"It's all in past-tense, and we don’t get a sense of what an Indian today looks like," she said in May.

And that, she said, can be confusing.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Ethnicity • Native Americans • Politics • Race • Who we are
soundoff (1,047 Responses)
  1. Jim Dandey

    You're all missing the big picture; who CARES if she has Native American ancestry or not. If you feel she's the better person for the job, vote for her...

    October 23, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Tony2046

      To me the reason for affirmative action is to ensure that people of minority status get a fair opportunity in the workforce or in society. My family has stories of American Indian blood in our family but we are definitely seen and are Caucasian. If I checked a box indicating I was a minority I would be cheating a system of its intended purpose. “Warren first listed herself as a minority in the Association of American Law Schools Directory of Faculty in 1986, the year before she joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She continued to list herself as a minority until 1995, the year she accepted a tenured position at Harvard Law School.” Hence one American Indian possibly lost an opportunity. She has been dodging this issue by stating “family folklore” etc.. but stating that you may possibly have American Indian blood is not a problem but being listed as a minority Teacher is another thing all together.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truth Sayer

      she proved herself to NOT be the better person, when she lied and contiued to perpetuate the lie.

      why is it when a WHIT person lies, they get to take it back and clarify (change the lie) to something else, but when a minority does it, we are just trash?

      fair play is fair play for everybody.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Milton

    I think the people that defend Elizabeth Warren do not understand just how large of a "leg up" that Affirmative Action provides. I have a comprehensive understanding of this at both the college and corporate level.

    For selective colleges, affirmative action allows "disadvantaged minorities" (e.g. Blacks or Native Americans) to be admitted with SAT scores almost 600 points lower than whites. So if the white student scored 2300 (nearly perfect, and well into the top 1%), the Native American student could score just 1700, or slightly below average and still get into elite colleges.

    At the corporate level, there is an 80% rule that employers must follow in order to avoid the presumption of bias. This 80% rule means that an employer should try to have disadvantaged minority representation of their employees at least equal to 80% of the general population. So if the disadvantaged minority population is 20%, then the corporation desperately tries to reach 16% in order to avoid potential lawsuits against racial discrimination. Ironically, corporations will always say that they neve hired anyone due to their race, but that thinking always goes on.

    Elizabeth Warren has a law degree from Rutgers. Almost *everyone* else at Harvard has a degree from Yale, Harvard, or Stanford. Nobody else has a law degree from such a low rated school.

    This is why the charges are likely to have some validity. Elizabeth Warren never claimed Native American lineage until after she joined Harvard. Why would she do so then, unless that was the reason she was hired?


    October 14, 2012 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  3. Josie

    Honostly who cares...most of my life and my silblings we have been told we had Native American on my mom's side of the family...through her fathers side. Well since the tribe she is a part of goes through the maternal side and not the paternal side, my mom's father sister is an actual member, where as he is not. Each tribe is different. I still claim the Native American...as well as French, Scottish, Irish, English and German. But most of all I am an American and that is what I will always be.

    October 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. zombiehoosier

    Using this same criteria, I would have great difficulty proving my own French or Cheyenne roots. For the most part my family came from Germany and Ireland for which there are plentiful records. From my point of view, Ms. Warren says she's part Cherokee, not a Cherokee tribal citizen. Demanding Ms. Warren first be able to claim Cherokee citizenship before she can say she's part Cherokee, is the same as telling me to prove French citizenship before I can say I'm part French. My ancestors were French citizens, Ms Warren's were Cherokee citizens, we're Americans of a certain decent.

    October 8, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chat Pata

    Obama is half-black, looks black, claims to be black, and nobody says he is not black. Warren is part native, claims to be part native, and I do not see why she should be called not part-native.

    October 8, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. John Steel

    Like all pathological lairs Liewatha keeps piling up the lies to support her previous lies. Her claim that her parents eloped is blatantly false. They had a nice Church wedding and reception. Warren never mentioned nor discovered her "Indian roots" until she filed a job application claiming minority status. She should be on trial for filing false Federal forms. Note also she won't meet with Indian groups – not even Democratic Indians.

    October 7, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Beatlearl

    She's a human being and that is all that should matter,the loons and the goons from the GOP will stop at nothing to smear this woman.

    October 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elmo

      Just another lier in the Senate.... Why can't people put integrety first?
      She benifited from her deception....What a piece of work....

      November 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bob

    She is a fraud. She used Native American and knew it. Its one thing to have mommy tell you about gramps and his high cheek bones and believe it as a kid. She used it to her advantage as an adult. She plays the system very well and her supporters believe her. She worked for big insurance to limit the little guy without a law license and became a multimillionaire. She started the whole "you did not build that" yet doesn't play by the same rules. What if a biz owner got a grant based on being a native, would that be brushed aside ? What if Mitt Romney was gaming the system, he looks more native than Warren. Harvard was into affirmitive action back then, thats how Obama got the law review job.

    October 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • dee

      Hyperbole without evidence. Please provide such evidence before you make accusations.

      October 7, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. true

    please understand something if your reading this the problem with the dream act is that we are putting foreigners in our military even though we are giving them amnesty and citizen ship they are still foreigners in our United States military that is against the law back in 2009 a survey was taken in the air force and marines soldiers were asked if they would fire on American citizens if ordered to do so and 94% said they would not. Hence the dream act foreigners will shoot Americans because they want to take what others have governments throughout history used guerrillas and foreign troops to oppress its population. Our country is going to hell in a hand-basket the economy will not improve it will get worse. And to whoever is reading this reject the REAL ID do not take the REAL ID ACT coming January of 2013 google REAL ID ACT 2013

    October 7, 2012 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  10. 1twinsfan

    Either way, does it make her less qualified than Scott Brown to hold office? And Senator Brown, you can't tell just by looking. How many people think Hispanic when they watch a Cameron Diaz movie?

    October 6, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erich Snider

      Liz "Nurse Rachet Warren is a liar. If she checked the box as a minority and know notes it did not help her in her career,then why did Harvard provide it, if it does not help the minority in anyway?

      October 11, 2012 at 5:33 am | Report abuse |

    You have to hand it to Scott Brown for taking this non-issue to distract from the important issues of the race. All of you are more concerned with this topic than the GOP giving the top 1% a tax break at your expense? Scott Brown claims he is an independent, but guess who introduced him at the podium when he won the Governorship? Review your news, MITT. Scott Brown will vote GOP all the way....get ready, it is coming.

    October 3, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. inthemidl

    Brown knows that he cannot win in the Blue State of Massachusetts no matter how much he keeps insisting that he is an Independent. Who was the person who introduced him when he won the 2010 election?.....Romney. His voting record is not 50/50. He bleeds RED, he needs a diversion to win.

    October 2, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • rich

      If he can't win in a Blue State, how did he become Senator? How did Gov Romney win ? We are not as Blue as the media would have you believe.

      October 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • shirley823

      You do realize that your comment makes absolutely no sense.

      October 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. CryBabies

    My take......No, just a liar.

    October 2, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. LA

    A DNA test will give what % exactly she is/isn't. Ancestry.com and Nat Geo offer them. Other places as well. I'm waiting for my test to come in so I can do it. The story goes that I am 1/8 Cherokee, but naturally, I would like more proof.

    October 2, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  15. dailydustin

    So when should people check the box? Should they be half native american or 1/4 or 1/8? She is 1/8 native American so does that count. My wife is 1/4 Filipino and she looks it with her dark skin, but her sisters who are also 1/4 Filipino are really white and fair skinned. My wife thinks it's ok to check for herself because she sure looks the part but her sisters don't check Filipino because they don't look the part, so they check White or Caucasian.

    October 2, 2012 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  16. NativeBornUSA

    Hell no she is not native American, not even native by the terms her ancestors here before it was a country.......She said she was an indian and a tribe whose members were not even in the state she came from...........Liar is what she is basically not much more and she did it for a job.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Lee Oates

    There has been so much intermarrage over the years that it is not unusual for someone who is half Indian or more to look white, or to look "Native". Skin colour is meaningless in mixed marrages.

    October 1, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • NativeBornUSA

      Except in her case where she can point to not one single relative with indian blood even in their veins.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  18. JusDav

    well, of course she is a "native" American... she was BORN here, that makes her a native.
    these American Indians that claim to be "Native Americans" are full of crap. their ancestors are simply the first immigrants.
    people have been on planet earth for hundreds of thousands of years, yet in the western hemisphere people have only been in residence for 10-14 thousand years, so.. no "natives" other than those of us whom were born here.

    not picking on the American Indians, I disagree with the phrases "African Americans" Mexcan Americans" etc. etc.
    if you were born here you are native, if not, you are an immagrant. but for goodness sake people... we are all AMERICANS (or not)


    October 1, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Well said JusDav.

      October 1, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • NativeBornUSA

      She did it for minority status to get a job.........she lied. And as far as Indians not being native well that is just ludicrious.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • JusDav

        ludicrious? really. jump online and look up pictures of current Mongolians. they look a lot like our American Indians, so much so that one might think they are not so distant relatives... umm THEY ARE. that is from where most American Indians hail. they walked across the land bridge between what is now Russia and Alaska 10-14 thousand years ago.
        so what if your ancestors have been here a couple thousand years. you are not any more Native than I am, and I am only second generation American. if you get right down to it, you probably are not much of an Indian anylonger either. but hey, we all (or at least some of us) have our own little fantasy worlds.. so enjoy yours "native" born USA.


        October 2, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
      • dee

        You are spouting hyperbole, have no evidence of your claims, so touting it as a fact makes you look bad, not Ms. Warren.

        October 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • lojo

      Are you an anthropologist? Fell for the theories? So it was a one-way street? How about you keep up on that education JusDav. This land bridge theory is a theory. Unless you were alive back then, you can't speak for fact. New studies come out all the time. I suppose you believe in Christianity as the ultimate religion as well. Lol.

      October 2, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Humans didn’t live with the dinosaurs.. so I guess they are just a theory too right? The land bridge is not a theory you moron.

        October 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Jsmith

    Warren is lying. Yes, it's that simple.

    October 1, 2012 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
  20. robin carns

    If she elected she can go down to Washington and root for the red skins, just kidding. I've admired Mizz Warren since I first saw her on a Front Line show on credit card abuse.Brown is just grasping at straws. He and his stripe need to go ! YHS (your humble servant)

    September 30, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Yes! Let's elect liars and professors who practice law without a license!! I can't understand how ANYONE can support a liar, a cheat and a law breaker!

      October 1, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  21. Cheeser

    She apparently checked an ethnicity box on her job application that doesn't apply to her and sought to benefit from the deception. She also practiced law without a license in several states. Sounds like fraud.

    September 30, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Donna Johnson

    What do you do about people that don't know either their biological mother or fathers' race/nationality? I have dark hair, blue eyes and fair skin. I was adopted in 1945..many years later, due to one of my daughters' request, my adoptive mother gave us the information she had regarding my bio mother. She had died well before we found out..I met a half-sister & half-brother, but nothing was discussed about the above topic. And absolutely no one had any information about my bio father..the hospital I was born in burned down many years ago, so that avenue was closed. I've done some research based on what I found out, but never discovered anything. I'm sure there are many others like me with only rumors to try to check out. Consequently, Scott Brown is totally out of line and Elizabeth Warren should win by default!

    September 30, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  23. carmen

    It shows Republicans will say and do anything to please the right wing base of the party. Their desperation and pandering is becoming too common. It really shows a lot about the GOPs lack of character.

    September 30, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • alf564

      What does that have to do with this woman lying about WHAT she is?

      September 30, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • denise

        Well Mr. Brown, I am blonde blue eyed with fair skin. My 6th great grandmother on my mothers side was full Cherokee and a Mohawk 7th generation back on the grandfather side. Just because she doesn't look it doesn't mean it's not true. My family imigrated arrived here before the Mayflower.

        September 30, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Actually yes, that’s exactly what it means. They’ve found Neanderthal DNA in modern humans.. that doesn’t make them Neanderthals.

        October 1, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  24. clark b

    The GOP is run by birthers and tea party extremism they are clueless. Ronald Reagan would not recognize these people today.

    September 30, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Romney1

      And the DEMS are full of liars pretenders, and socialists.

      September 30, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • rich

      Ronald Reagan started as Democrat, but he left them when he did not recognize them anymore. As he said "the Dem party left me, I didn't leave them."

      October 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • dee

      Absolutely, Clark. All hyperbole, no evidence.

      October 7, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  25. yem

    What does it matter if Warren is of Indian origin or not. if she has falsified her resume and attained such a high academic position, she must be extremely smart. I want her to go to the senate and fight for us.
    Scot Brown, is on the side of the GOP. Their core belief is to safe guard their wealth and not care about the rest of America. I admire wealth creation and wealthy people but if the GOP policies and budget plans do not include provisions for medical insurance for all and make going to college affordable. Mitt shows that he has no idea how the average American lives from day to day. In influencing policy,we need and democrat in the senate who will vote with Obama all the time and not part time.

    September 30, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  26. GregM

    I was a fan of Elizabeth Warren way before the Obama appointment. She caught my eye and ear as one of the most intelligent,common sense speakers on true down to earth economics affecting real average people I've ever come across.
    She kind of reminds me of Obama in that she is speaking TO the people about the subject matter we all know to mean the very most to all of us. She speaks the truth of the position the average American is in and addresses the true nuts and bolts as to why. There is REAL intellect and REASON. I was ecstatic over Obamas appointment of her and actually can't wait for her to progress as I know she will!
    All these polls and such. Everyone should KNOW who the MOST outspoken are and have been over the last few years. Someone credible does has no need to project themselves loudly. Those loudly projecting themselves ar eobviously the threatened adn in need for extremism in their desperation. Also in doing so they dig the hole much deeper and thus we are where we are. It only makes sense that so close to the election that the polls will finally start to properly reflect the nations true predominant sentiment. Why? Because with Obama supporters, there is no need to project oneself loudly in any fashion. We are very subdued and confortable with Obama and his policies. Fact supports itself while rhetoric needs all kinds of outlandish extracurricular actions. OBAMA/BIDEN/ELIZABETH WARREN & THE HOUSE 2012!!!!!!!!!The People WILL speak!!!! Accept it!!

    September 30, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  27. tonya

    Scott Brown is a disgrace.

    September 30, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  28. greg

    What a surprise another extreme Republican making an unsupported claim.

    September 30, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  29. greg

    Who cares?

    September 30, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  30. noPC

    You mean a red-skin Indian?

    September 29, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  31. TheGreenMan

    If she is "native American" then I am a native banana.

    September 29, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • BZZ

      Well......Obama claims to be all black his tax forms. Doing so gives him "the black experience" he never lived

      October 1, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  32. NavaJohn

    There are a lot of people with mean discusting comments about this subject. Didn't you read there is *EVIDENCE* to her claim. Are all republicans BIRTHERS? Crap! Enough!

    I'm from Massachusetts and have seen first hand what it's like being under Romney's and Brown's leadership. No WAY are they getting my vote. So there!

    September 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Extremely proud to be White with no guilt God blessed me

    If you have to ask yourself if this very white female is a "native american" then your opinion on anything is junk and you should be ignored because you are not a sane person, you are intensely delusional and have a very low IQ.

    If you have to slap a race label on yourself that you are not because you don't want to be the race that you are you are only fit to sweep trash in public restroom. These types of people like this Warren white female, should be ridiculed,
    laughed at relentlessly put down because they deserve it.

    September 29, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • dx2718

      In the days of segregation, there was a term known as "passing" when someone who was part black but pale enough to pass as white, would attempt to pass as white. It is possible to be part something and not look it at all. I know fully half-Asian kids who look completely white. She only claims to be a very small part Native American, and only wrote it in "social" places like faculty directories in order to meet other people with some Native history in their families. She didn't write it on job applications because she didn't want to be treated with affirmative action. You can't tell from looking at someone what their racial history is, especially these days when people have a lot of mixed heritage.

      September 30, 2012 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      I jokingly describe myself as Tex/Mex Indian with a touch of Eurotrash. My father was a Mexican/American Indian, and my mother was European. I have reddish brown hair, green eyes, and not dark skinned, but I do tan fairly quickly. If you saw me, you would say I was 'white', and I would have to tell you "No, I'm not white.. I'm beige." Not all those of Native American heritage are black haired, dark eyed and reddish brown skin. She has cousins on her mother's side that corroborate her family history. The only ones having a problem with it are Sen Brown, and TeaPublicans, and since you're not Senator Brown....

      September 30, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • GregM

      She NEVER indicated she HAD to make this comment. It was a comment for christ's sake, just like any of us in conversation refer to our past ethnic heritage...JUST conversation! She herself really doesn't care what she her past is and you shouldn't either. This woman is WAY more intelligent than someone like yourself could ever understand, but if you could you would know there is absolutely NOTHING to gain by her claiming the native american blood line. We are ALL....ALL from somewhere else and nobody really cares about things like this unless you are ignorantly and desperately trying to discredit the speaker.

      September 30, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  34. jim atmad

    My wife is part Native American on her mother's side. At least thats what her grandma told her. As pasty white as I am, she is pastier and whiter.

    Scott Brown's 'Look at her" remark was stupid and insulting.

    September 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • GregM

      Exactly! Where did ANYONE get the stupid idea that mixed breeds never change physical appearances? There are blonde, light skinned latinos, blonde white skinned africans and puerto ricans. My ex wife is pure bred puerto rican. My two oldest children are whiter than I am without any hint of latino blood whatsoever!!!! These are just some VERY,VERY uninformed people.

      September 30, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • bill il

        yeah ive seen plenty of blonde white skinned africans also GregM we must be so informed

        September 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      What stupid and insulting if that you believe family rumor is equivalent to a DNA test.

      October 1, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  35. fossilhund

    My Dad's father's English Tabor family went to Virginia in the 1650s, and Tabors were in the 1790 Virginia census in Tazewell county Virginia, in the Appalachians. I've been told since I was five that our family was Indian on Dad's side. In 1995 I went to Colorado for a DNA/genetics class. The person teaching the class took one look at me and asked me what was I, Mexican or Indian. That reallly floored me, since I never figuered anyone could tell. The teacher told me it was my facial features that let him know I was Indian. In the last year or so an African American coworker asked me one day if I were all Caucasian. I said no, I am also Indian. She said she could tell by my skin. I have tried for 45 years to find what tribe my family is from; likely I will never know. What I can say is this: I am as proud of my Indian ancestry as I am of the rest of my ancestry. My brother has two sons. I am happy knowing at least for the next generation our Indian ancestry (along with all of our Irish, German, English, Norwegian and the Good Lord alone knows what else) lives on in them. When they are of an age to become interested I hope I will be here to pass on the family stories to them.

    September 29, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  36. wellie

    Well, if Mitt Romney can classify himself and his family as "immigrants" then I guess this woman can be Native American. Romney's story? His family first fled the U.S. when they decided to take more than one wife (after it became illegal). They fled to Mexico. Then, when Mexico got to volatile – they moved BACK to the U.S. I guess that makes you an "immigrant." To me, it makes you and yours felons.

    September 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  37. davecu

    I get the feeling that this woman, a politician, has never let the truth stand in the way of a good, self-serving lie.

    If the Blackfoot Nation wants here, they're welcome to her.

    September 29, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • dx2718

      She's not a politician. She's a Harvard professor.

      September 30, 2012 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
      • GregM

        Ah,Ah,Ah.... Did you forget Obama's appointing her as head of the Consumer Protections Agency?

        September 30, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • GregM

      Please tell us what you personally know about Elizabeth Warren? Only three years ago you know she was an economics professor from Harvrad. What is YOUR educational level? Was it Ivy League? Do you think it is a common characteristic of those with massive amounts of education to lie? To me that sounds like someone that doesn't understand what character building education does as they themselves have never had much. But the more education you have the more humble towards other you become, the more self confident, the need to self project decreases, your bottom line beliefs and knowledge are so powerful there is absolutely no need to lie as your knowledge of truth and understanding cnanot really be debated. Those attacking others with this extreme educational level are almost always uneducated themselves.
      BUT...There is however the rare example fo those educated that are purely evil in intent and use their education and knowledge in self serving selfish ways.

      September 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Atlas Mason

        Good Lord Greg, do you actually believe that? That is unbelievably naive.

        October 2, 2012 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
  38. HM8432

    She's only claiming to be Native American so that she can claim SOME Politically Correct multicultural status for her own personal political gain. I'm 1/8 Cherokee, but I'm not going to be running around bragging about it anytime soon; I'm mostly White and proud, so should she.

    September 29, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • GregM

      She is not running around proclaiming anything of the sort. Where did you get that idea? That she is actually running around proclaiming this?????? You just now made a statement in regards to your own ethnic heritage. You know you actually spent more time in doing so than Elizabeth did of her own? All the rest has just been her response to attacks from the very short statement she made just once. Everything you are hearing about is all media hype. Are you a parrot and follow everything you hear or do you actually have your own mind?

      September 30, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Bubba

    Harvard University DID report her in their Federal Statistics reporting as a Native American as well which means they benefited in not only reporting compliance with Federal hiring quotas but they also received Federal dollars because of it, so this was a fraud all the way around if untrue..

    September 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • dan

      how do you know all of this information?
      and if she is native american, SO WHAT..
      all of us has some sort of background

      September 30, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  40. JJ

    After reading this, I still do not know whether Warren used her Indian heritage to get anything. If she did not, this is a non-issue.

    September 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • dx2718

      She says she did not.

      September 30, 2012 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  41. ForGoodOfAll

    The GOP, including Senator Brown is desperate. Desperate times makes for desperate measures = lying, deceiving & cheating. That is what the Republican Party is doing now. That is all they have left to fight. Very pitiful...

    September 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  42. ll

    Scott Brown, Todd Akin, Allen West, Paul Ryan and the rest of the loony right wing tea party base are proving why they are the worst congress in history.

    September 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  43. woody

    Fauxcahontas may not be 1/16th Cherokee but she is 1/1th Elitist Liberal Liar.

    September 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  44. rp

    Senator Brown=1st class loser.

    September 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • NativeBornUSA

      Like you?

      October 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  45. jay

    Scott Brown is an idiot for bringing up this ridiculous facade.

    September 29, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  46. DNA

    She actually does have some of the Cherokee facial characteristics... higher cheekbones, deeper eye sockets, and slightly protruding round chin.
    And regardless, Sen. Brown is an ignorant racist.

    September 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Zo0tie

    The term 'native american' appears to be a legal or bureaucratic definition applied to a person for different reasons that have little to do with reality. Just shows where racial politics can take you. I once met a blond blue eyed woman who boasted of 1/10 Cherokee heritage and who absolutely bristled at my comment that "if you scratch a mexican you'll find an indian". All this despite the fact many of my family have the tan skin and straight black hair that defines the per-columbian natives of this land, who by the way were called indians in my old social studies textbook. We came from Texas since before the US border changed. Brown's attack on Warren confuses me. Are we not supposed to vote for her because she is part indian or not vote for her because she 'might' have gained financial advantage because she claimed to be one (she didn't)? If he means the former he's a racist and if the latter he'd better be able to prove it. Otherwise he's a liar.

    September 29, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • ram

      Well said.

      September 29, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  48. ram

    Oh seriously. I have always "known" I am of Scotch/Irish genetic heritage, by my maiden name, my fair skin and auburn hair with freckles, and my family stories, along with a little research I did online. So if it turns out that my family was wrong and we came from somewhere else, so what, and why would that make me a liar? If her family told her she was part NA cool. For heaven's sake, look at what the article says. It says from what the researchers see she does have the heritage she thought she did, so how about you stop trying to make her out a liar and focus on the issues, Mr. Brown.

    Oh yeah, that is what this is all about. How hateful and nasty to look at someone and say that...wow. If she had said she had slaves in her background would he look at her and say he can tell by looking at her she is lying? How would that go over, you think? How about he stop with the magic, "I see your whole gene sequence" ability he thinks he has and debate the issues he is afraid of. What a bunch of diversionary tactics! This basically says to me that he is afraid that she will win on the issues. What if she had said he didn't look English or whatever he is? He needs to stop attacking her on this nonsense and campaign on issues. Why is anyone putting up with or buying this from him?

    September 29, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  49. Really?

    Why don't they just do the Genealogical DNA test? Whole lotta fuss about nothing. As far as her skin color goes, my Godchildren are at least 1/8 Creek, and they are all pale as ghosts. So that skin color thing hold no weight the further down the line you go.

    September 29, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  50. altalks21

    I belive that it's up to the tribes themsevles to determine who is and who isn't Native American but I seem to remember when casinos came around & money started coming in, those who had been livlingwith the tribes were thrown out, if they weren't Native American or didn't have a determined amount of Native American heritage.

    September 29, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  51. corncop

    Does it really matter? The question people should be focusing on is "Which candidate will best represent my interests?" The mixing of nationalities is pervasive throught our population. Very few people can state with absolute certainty and proof that they are 100% anything! Except that when you become a citizen, whether born or by natuaralization, then you are 100% American! This attack in the press and in the campaign is merely a smokescreen to divert the voter's attention and cloud the issues. It is a commonly used political tactic, on both sides. So folks, focus on the issues and the murkiness will melt away. You will soon have a clear picture of what really matters and which candidate best meets your needs! I abhore dirty politics no matter who the mudslinger is.

    September 29, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • ram

      Well said, corncop. He knows he is in trouble and she isn't backing down on the issues. Since when is it ok to base your campaign on a challenge whether your opponent looks NA enough or what blank she checked? How about running on the issues?

      September 29, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Jsmith (not a Republican)

      Yes, it matters. If the person you vote for to represent you is a fraud, who lied about her ancestry to get an advantage in hiring under Affirmative Action, then you have voted for someone without integrity. I would not want such a person to represent me.

      October 1, 2012 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One (also not a Republican)

        Well said Jsmith.

        October 1, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  52. tom jackman

    funny how people can say they are 1/8 this or 1/8 that but if you are 1/8 black the same person calls them black.

    September 29, 2012 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  53. Hot Karl

    I read the comments on this article and I'm still amazed at the stupidity of people. Warren is another over paid Harvard loser. She was the one who claimed to be Indian and only brought out when she decided to run for office. Too me, I question her character and integrity because of that move alone. I'm white, but there are rumors in our family that their is some Indian in our blood. Its all hush hush, the older generation doesn't speak of it. That's fine and I don't go making a big deal out of it or would ever consider using such information for my own benefit, whether true or not. Warren deserves all the abuse and criticism she gets for her stupidity in making any claims of Native heritage. I will vote for Scott Brown, not because he's a Repub, but I find him to be more human and genuine then Ms Warren. She has no business being in public office representing me.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • danielwalldammit

      "or would ever consider using such information for my own benefit," No, but you would consider using it to bolster attacks on someone else. Isn't that special.

      September 29, 2012 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  54. Jen

    She seriously could have native american in her ancestry. I do. Like she, I don't try to get any benefits or anything. I just know my heratige. I'm an American mix. I call myself a mixican! French, Russian, German, Irish and Blackfoot Indian. My great great grandmother was full Blackfoot Indian. I am white as a ghost so most people would never guess that. I do have great high cheek bones! Thanks to my Native heritage!!

    September 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Sue Farmer

    We are mixed heritage also. I am supposedly 1/16 Shawnee but who knows. We all look more like our English Irish & Dutch ancestry but I am proud of all of my ancestors. They were mostly poor, hardworking folks with distinctive profiles. I don't mark the box but am glad to say I have some Native American blood in the veins! I don't fault Elizabeth for doing so and feel she has that right!

    September 28, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • eldono

      And, I'm about 8% Mayan. BFD.

      September 28, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Mike

    Scott Brown was an idiot for even bringing this up. I know a lot of people who have 1/8th or 1/16 Native American in them and they make the same claims as Elizabeth Warren. Is it silly? Yes. But on the other hand, who cares?

    September 28, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Ty

      as was the call for Mitt's tax returns

      September 28, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • kls817

      Apparently Warren cares. She tried to use her miniscule Indian heritage to get a better job via affirmative action.
      I guess we should all be able to claime some kind of minority status to get special treatment.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  57. JeffB

    Why is this a campaign issue? How about where they stand on issues like, healthcare, budget, jobs, Medicare, Social Security, Military withdrawal.... Let's agree both Brown and Warren are Native American and get to some real issue for all Americans

    September 28, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  58. tired of lies

    Its called common sense Ms. Warren. My family had a similar rumor of indian blood. While it is actually true, I looked in the mirror and saw blonde hair and blue eyes and knew I could not call myself a Native American. My parents also told me I was the bestest athlete and mostest handsome boy too. I did not put any of that on my law school application.

    Get real, if you did not know it was not true shame on you. You wanted an advantage – just admit it.

    September 28, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
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