Author Topic: Elizabeth Warren and her disproven claims of being Cherokee  (Read 31121 times)

Offline Diana

  • Posts: 435
  • I Love YaBB 2!
Re: Elizabeth Warren and her disproven claims of being Cherokee
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2018, 02:23:08 am »
Warren rejects DNA test idea to prove Native American ancestry: 'Nobody is going to take that part of me away'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., argued that her family’s claim to Native American ancestry is an indelible part of who she is — something that can never be taken away.

Warren defended herself on NBC’s “Meet the Press with Chuck Todd” Sunday morning when asked what she thought about taking an easily accessible DNA test, such as those offered by 23andMe or Ancestry, to settle the ongoing controversy over her heritage.

Rather than address that question specifically, Warren told a story about how her mother and father, born and raised in Oklahoma, met as teenagers and fell head-over-heels in love. Her father’s family was bitterly opposed to their relationship, she said, because her mother was part Native American, but the couple eloped and persevered.

“That’s the story that my brothers and I all learned from our Mom and our Dad, from our grandparents and all of our aunts and uncles. It’s a part of me, and nobody is going to take that part of me away — not ever,” Warren said.

After hearing this story, Todd returned to his initial concern: Why not do genealogical research or take a DNA test to find out her actual heritage? What’s wrong with knowing whether her family’s story was the truth?

“I do know. I know who I am. And never used it for anything, never got any benefit out of it anywhere,” she said.

Warren has many liberal admirers who wish to see her pursue the Democratic presidential nomination for the 2020 election. But she’s also been dogged by the allegation that she has claimed Native American ancestry to advance her academic career. The claim emerged as a controversy in 2012 when she successfully challenged Scott Brown’s Senate seat. But it took on new life when President Trump incorporated “Pocahontas” into his list of insults for political opponents.

On March 6, the Berkshire Eagle, a daily newspaper published in Pittsfield, Mass., published an editorial calling upon Warren to take one of the many commercially available DNA tests to settle the controversy. If the test showed Native American DNA, her claims would be vindicated, and it might even shut down Trump. If it did not, she could offer an apology to Native American tribes and anyone else offended by her claim.

“By facing the truth and taking responsibility for it, she would disarm her enemies and show potential voters that she was human and capable of mistakes, just like them,” the editorial reads. “Handled properly, it could become a testimonial to her integrity and truthfulness at a time when that quality is in short supply among the nation’s leadership.”

Offline Defend the Sacred

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3289
Re: Elizabeth Warren and her disproven claims of being Cherokee
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2018, 05:48:56 pm »
Again she pretends this story wasn't debunked during her initial senate run. So insulting.

Offline Defend the Sacred

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3289
Re: Elizabeth Warren and her disproven claims of being Cherokee
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2018, 06:27:09 pm »

Elizabeth Warren doesn't need to take a DNA test. Here's why...

To be very clear, despite everything Warren said and promised in her speech to the National Congress of American Indians and despite all her new efforts to support Indian country through legislation, she is not taking a pro-Indian position because she continues to claim she's Native American while admitting she is not enrolled.

Those who continue to insist Warren take a DNA test to "settle the issue" are not taking a pro-Indian position either. DNA doesn't define who is or is not an Indian. Only tribes can do that. To say anything else, including DNA, determines who is or is not Indian is a political attack on tribal sovereignty. The three Cherokee Indian nations who have government to government relationships with the United States have said Warren is not Cherokee. That should have been the end of it. Unfortunately it wasn't.

The genealogy of Warren has been done and shows no indication of Cherokee, Delaware, or any other Indian nation ancestry. The genealogy along with the fact no legitimate Indian nation claims her should have been the end of it. Unfortunately it wasn't.

Now we have no choice but to address the areas of family lore and DNA. This is where it gets ugly and I'm not happy that I feel I need to write about it. I will not get into a discussion of DNA as a whole. Warren's family lore is very specific and her claim hinges on one person as a racially 'full blooded Cherokee.' That person and their origins will be the sole focus of my discussion of DNA.

I'm a genealogist who adheres to the Standards for Sound Genealogical Practices adopted by the Board for the Certification of Professional Genealogists. The research our team did documents Warren's lineage back to Preston Crawford, a white man who was born in Tennessee and died in Missouri. At this time, no credible documentation has been found that conclusively lists the names of the parents of Preston Crawford.

Sadly, Warren doesn't care about documentation or facts. She's based her entire claim to being Cherokee or Native American on a family story that says Preston Crawford's parents were Jonathon Crawford and "Sarah" Neoma (Oma) Smith. This same story continues by declaring Neoma Smith as the daughter of Wyatt Smith and sister of William Bracken Smith.


Excerpt above  copyright 2018, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB. Read the full article here:

It goes on to document the Y-DNA done by other members of Warren's family. Everyone is white. The man she said was the father of her "full blood Cherokee" ancestors was white. She reiterates that DNA has nothing to do with enrollment, but that for those who really, really will not shut up until they see some alleles, here they are: R-M269, the dominant branch of R1b in Western Europe. Aka, White.

Offline White Horse

  • Posts: 118
Re: Elizabeth Warren and her disproven claims of being Cherokee
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2019, 02:49:34 pm »
DNA tests are a JOKE!  Here is a link to a Canadian DNA test that was given to a Chihuahua that showed the DOG was 20% Native American belonging to 2 separate tribes.  The DNA test did NOT pick up the fact that this was a DOG and it has more "Native" ancestry than Elizabeth Warren.
Living that life, some consider a Myth!

Offline Defend the Sacred

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3289
Re: Elizabeth Warren and her disproven claims of being Cherokee
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2019, 06:47:24 pm »


Critical Ethnic Studies

Published by University of Minnesota Press


December 19, 2018


The goal of this syllabus is to frame the recent claims to Cherokee ancestry by US Senator Elizabeth Warren as part of a longer history of cultural appropriation, erasure, and settler colonialism. Warren’s claims reveal the pervasive influence of biological essentialism--through the supposed certainty of DNA testing--in the globalized present. As is documented in this syllabus, the juncture of culture, genetics, and Indigenous sovereignty has become a crucial domain of discursive and political contestation. At stake is the ability of sovereign Indigenous nations to determine citizenship and belonging according to their own cultural beliefs and historical understandings of community. In compiling this syllabus, we underscore the work of Indigenous writers, scholars, and activists, and we have focused primarily on the historical position of the Cherokee Nation in these debates. We hope that this syllabus can serve as a practical guide, but also to alleviate some of the emotional and intellectual labor that we, as Indigenous peoples, are often forced to produce in such a moment as this. In the days after Warren released her DNA test results the demand from the media was such that scholar Kim Tallbear was forced to create a press release detailing the points she has made exhaustively since her writing on Native DNA began over a decade ago. Others of us fielded dozens of interviews with reporters, and were forced to spell out the basics of Indigenous identity and sovereignty over and over. It is our hope that this syllabus can be a tool for deeper understanding, but also a first stop for those who know little about Cherokee history, identity, and DNA. Thus, rather than having to explain one more time, we hope you can say: take a look at this syllabus and then we’ll talk.

In October 2018, US Senator Elizabeth Warren released the results of a DNA test in an effort to prove her claims to Native American ancestry. Far from resolving the question of her supposed Cherokee and Delaware heritage, her actions distracted from urgent issues facing Indigenous communities and undermined Indigenous sovereignty by equating “biology” with culture, “race” with citizenship. In response, Indigenous scholars, activists, and the Cherokee Nation itself, rebuked the dangerous connection between DNA testing and Indigeneity.

The syllabus project aims to contextualize the history of colonialism erasing and assimilating Indigenous populations through the regulation of blood--found in the contemporary iteration of DNA testing. It collects some of the responses from Indian Country in the wake of Warren’s misguided political gamble, and fills in historical gaps with important scholarship about Cherokee citizenship, blood quantum, DNA and genetic testing, and tribal sovereignty.

The following texts have been compiled by three citizens of the Cherokee Nation, Adrienne Keene (@nativeapprops), Rebecca Nagle (@rebeccanagle), and Joseph M. Pierce (@pepepierce).

Key Words

DNA and Genetic Testing

Indigenous Citizenship

Cherokee History


Cultural Appropriation


Tribal Sovereignty

Readings by Theme and Topic
DNA and Genetic Testing

Gupta, Prachi. “‘Our Vote Matters Very Little’: Kim TallBear on Elizabeth Warren's  Attempt to Claim Native
     American Heritage”. Jezebel. October 16, 2018.

TallBear, Kim. 2013. Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science.     
     Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Tsosie, Krystal. “Elizabeth Warren’s DNA Is Not Her Identity”. The Atlantic. October  17, 2018.

Tsosie, Krystal and Matthew Anderson. “Two Native Americans geneticists interpret
     Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test”. The Conversation. October 22, 2018.
Early responses from Indian Country to Warren

Franke-Ruta, Garance. “Is Elizabeth Warren Native American or What?”. The Atlantic. May 20, 2012.

Nagle, Rebecca. “I am a Cherokee Woman. Elizabeth Warren is Not”. ThinkProgress. November 30, 2017.
Indian Country's response to Warren's DNA test

Blake, Aaron. “Why the Cherokee Nation’s Rebuke of Elizabeth Warren Matters”. The
     Washington Post. October 16, 2018.

Brewer, Graham. “Warren’s DNA Test Perpetuates Stereotypes, Native Communities
     Say” WNYC The Takeaway. October 16, 2018.

Cherokee Nation. “Cherokee Nation responds to Senator Warren’s DNA test”. October 15, 2018.

Echo Hawk, Crystal. “Changing Elizabeth Warren's story to one about Native America”.
     Indian Country Today. October 18, 2018.

Estes, Nick. “Native American Sovereignty Is Under Attack. Here’s How Elizabeth
     Warren’s DNA Test Hurt Our Struggle.” The Intercept. October 19, 2018.

Hayes, Kelly and Jacqueline Keeler. “Elizabeth Warren connected DNA and Native
     American heritage. Here’s why that's destructive.” NBC News. October 17, 2018.

Hilleary, Cecily. “Native Americans Speak Out on Elizabeth Warren DNA Controversy”.
     Voice of America. October 16, 2018.

Martin, Nick. “Elizabeth Warren’s Deception”. Splinter. October 16, 2018.

Moya-Smith,Simone. “I am a Native American. I Have Some Questions for Elizabeth
     Warren”. CNN. October 15, 2018.

Nagle, Rebecca. “Elizabeth Warren’s ‘part’ Cherokee claim is a joke, and a racist insult
     to Natives like me”. USA Today. October 18, 2018.

 NoiseCat, Julian Brave. “Elizabeth Warren Is Not Native American”. Huffington Post.
     October 16, 2018.

Reese, Debbie. “A Curated List of Indigenous Responses to Elizabeth Warren.”
     American Indians in Children’s Literature. October 20, 2018.
Cherokee History (Especially regarding Diaspora, Allotment, Adoption, and Identity)

Brown, Kirby. 2018. Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Cherokee Writing, 1907-1970.
     Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Carter, Kent. 1999. The Dawes Commission and the Allotment of the Five Civilized
     Tribes, 1893-1914. Orem, Utah: 

Deboe, Angie. 1940 [1991]. And Still the Waters Run: The Betrayal of the Five Civilized
     Tribes. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Garroutte, Eva Marie. 2003. Real Indians: Identity and the Survival of Native America.
     Berkeley: University of California Press.

Jacobs, Margaret D. 2014. A Generation Removed: The Fostering and Adoption of
     Indigenous Children in the Postwar World. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Peterson, Dawn. 2017. Indians in the Family: Adoption and the Politics of Antebellum
     Expansion. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Smithers, Gregory D. 2015. The Cherokee Diaspora: An Indigenous History of
     Migration, Resettlement, and Identity. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Stremlau, Rose. 2011. Sustaining the Cherokee Family: Kinship and the Allotment of an
     Indigenous Nation. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
Becoming Indian and Cultural Appropriation

Deloria, Philip J. 1998. Playing Indian. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Farzan, Antonia Noori. “A DNA Test said a man was 4% black. Now he wants to qualify as a minority
     business owner.” Washington Post. September 25, 2018.

Keeler, Jacqueline. “Pocahontas isn’t a name that should offend you”. Yes! Magazine.
December 1, 2017.

Pierce, Joseph M. 2017. “Adopted: Trace, Blood, and Native Authenticity”. Critical
     Ethnic Studies. 3:2: 57-76. [.pdf]

 Pringle, Paul and Adam Elmahrek. “House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s family
     benefited from U.S. program for minorities based on disputed ancestry”.
     Los Angeles Times. October 14, 2018.

Scott, Brandon. “Cherokee Nation citizens like me are used to people claiming our
     heritage. It’s exhausting”. Vox. October 17, 2018.

Smithers, Gregory. “Why Do So Many Americans Think They Have Cherokee Blood?”.
     Slate. October 1, 2015.

Sturm, Circe. 2011. Becoming Indian: The Struggle over Cherokee Identity in the
     Twenty-First Century. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press.

Wiles,Tay. “Anti-public lands and anti-Native groups converge in Montana”. High
     Country News. October 19, 2018.


Adrienne Keene is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and an Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies at Brown University. Her research interests include Indigenous students in higher education, Indigenous student activism, and Native representations and cultural appropriation. She is the author of Native Appropriations (, where she blogs about topics of Native representations.

{ apologies for the loss of Cherokee Syllabary here, our forum can't translate that font - ed }

Rebecca Nagle is a writer, advocate and citizen of Cherokee Nation living in Tahlequah. Currently, Nagle does writing by night and language preservation and revitalization for her tribe by day. You can read her views on issues of Native representation and tribal sovereignty in the Washington Post, Teen Vogue, USA Today, The Huffington Post, and more.

Joseph M. Pierce is Assistant Professor in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature at Stony Brook University. His research focuses Latin American literary and cultural studies, Indigenous studies, queer studies, and hemispheric approaches to citizenship and belonging. His book Argentine Intimacies: Queer Kinship in an Age of Splendor, 1890-1910 is forthcoming from SUNY Press. He is co-editor with Fernando A. Blanco and Mario Pecheny of Derechos Sexuales en el Sur: Políticas del amor y escrituras disidentes (2018, Editorial Cuarto Propio). He is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 06:56:55 pm by Defend the Sacred »