Pocahontas is officially back… Well kind of. While Massachusetts senator and failed presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is clearly no longer in the running for either the Oval Office or the title of vice president, she’s not precisely out of the game entirely.
That was made evident on Tuesday when she was included on a panel for the DNC’s nearly virtual national convention.
But the most thought-provoking part is what panel she was included in.
If you can believe it, she was allowed to participate in the Native American Caucus meeting, of all things.
Peggy Flanagan, a former state representative and Lt. Governor of Minnesota tweeted, “I’m excited for the DNC Native American Caucus meeting today. Please join @Deb4CongressMN, @sharicedavids, @ewarren, and me (and a whole bunch of other good folks) today!”
Now, if you remember correctly, Warren has claimed for decades that she is of Native American heritage, as many Americans are. More specifically, she said she was Cherokee.
Well, according to her, she has “high cheekbones like all of the Indians do.” And much like her misguided and mathematically incorrect policies on Medicare for All, free housing, and the many other ideas she pushed in her presidential campaign, she expected us to believe her claims. Because, well, she’s smarter than the average American, don’t you know?
To further lay claim to her supposed heritage, she made sure to contribute several recipes to an Indian cookbook titled “Pow Wow Chow.” And under each recipe given, she labeled herself as a Cherokee.
However, during her presidential election, criticism of this claim fell even more heavily. And so, with technology being what it is today, she decided to validate the claim by taking a DNA test.
According to the results, there was little proof that she was much of a Native American at all, let alone decidedly Cherokee. Instead, it offered that it was possible that maybe six to ten generations or so back, she might have had one Native American relative. Maybe. This would mean she could be anywhere from 1/65 to 1/1024 American Indian.
In case you are wondering, the average American is about 0.18 percent Native American, according to a study by Harvard University and 23andMe. Warren is less than that with about .09 percent.
But the seemingly dismal outcome didn’t stop her from proudly posting the results on her website, finally able to offer real proof she was who said she was. I can just imagine her reading over her results, smiling from ear to ear, thinking this was a good thing…
However, the Cherokee didn’t feel the same way.
In fact, over 200 members of the Cherokee Nation wrote a letter to Warren in 2018, demanding that she reverse her claim and apologize for politicizing their heritage.
She wisely wrote an apology letter back to the People, saying, “I am not a person of color. I am a white woman, and that is how I identify. In addition, I am not a tribal citizen. I was wrong to have identified as a Native American, and, without qualification or excuse, I apologize for the harm I caused.”
But, apparently, since then, Warren has been working hard to still have some influence in Native American culture. After all, how heartless would it make her look if she simply and suddenly dropped the issues surrounding American Indians today that she has championed over the years because she no longer can claim she is of the same blood?
Plus, she obviously needed to make up for her mistakes somehow. And so, last December, she reached out to some 40 or so tribes living in Oklahoma, meeting with representatives to be a “part of a broader effort to highlight issues important to them.”
In addition, she made sure to include issues of high importance to American Indian tribes on her ever so long list of policy proposals during her run to the White House for the Democratic Party.
And seemingly, that work has paid off, as she was invited to join the Democratic Native American caucus this week.
However, as she is officially not Native American or at least not enough to even remotely matter, it’s likely her inclusion was only accepted as someone from the outside looking in, and one who could further the group’s interests in Congress.
If she will use them for political gain, then why not use her as well. At least they get more of a voice on Capitol Hill that way.