By Mary Margaret Olohan
2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren celebrated indigenous people on Columbus Day, saying in a tweet, “We owe them our respect.”
The Massachusetts senator tweeted Monday, a national holiday commemorating Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, about America’s mistreatment of indigenous people.
“The story of America’s mistreatment of indigenous peoples is long and painful,” Warren tweeted. “And yet, Native communities have proven resilient. We owe them our respect — and we must honor our government’s commitments and promises to them.”
The story of America’s mistreatment of indigenous peoples is long and painful. And yet, Native communities have proven resilient. We owe them our respect—and we must honor our government's commitments and promises to them. #IndigenousPeoplesDay
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 14, 2019
“We must fulfill our trust and treaty obligations to Tribal Nations,” Warren tweeted, linking to her plan for “Honoring and Empowering Tribal Nations and Indigenous Peoples.”
“We must protect Tribal sovereignty and self-determination,” she added. “And we have to go even further to empower indigenous peoples to build stronger communities and a brighter future.”
Warren has taken heat for referring to herself as a Native American minority, causing President Donald Trump to refer to her as “Pocahontas.”
She listed herself as American Indian in April 1986 on a Texas state bar registration form and listed herself as a minority in the Association of American Law Schools directory from 1986 to 1994.
The Massachusetts senator attempted to smooth over criticism by taking a genetic test, the results of which her campaign posted in October 2018. Her campaign said the results showed “‘strong evidence’ that Elizabeth’s DNA ‘contains Native American ancestry,’” but the results showed that she had between 0.1% and 1.5% Native American ancestry.
The Cherokee Nation issued an Oct. 15, 2018 statement and called Warren’s genetic test results release “inappropriate.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren at Native American forum: "I know that I have made mistakes. I am sorry for harm I have caused. I have listened, and I have learned a lot."
"It is a great honor to be able to partner with Indian country…that's what I promise I will do as president." pic.twitter.com/Z0IhlvQnQK
— ABC News (@ABC) August 19, 2019
Warren apologized for any harm she may have caused and scrubbed all signs of claims to Native American ancestry from her campaign website.
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