Democrat Elizabeth Warren apologies to Cherokee Nation for DNA test

Democrat Elizabeth Warren apologies to Cherokee Nation for DNA test

Democrat Elizabeth Warren apologies to Cherokee Nation for DNA test

Warren faced backlash after she released the results of the DNA tests to show Native ancestry.

"Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong", Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr., said in a statement at the time.

Warren angered tribal leaders and some of her fellow Democrats when she chose to take the test to put to rest criticism from Republicans of her ancestry claims.

Warren, 69, the US Senate's consumer protection champion, became the most high-profile Democrat to throw her hat into the ring when she announced a presidential exploratory committee on December 31.

"It was a brief and private conversation but I understand that she did apologize for causing confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and the harm that has resulted", Hubbard said in a statement. We are encouraged by this dialogue and understanding that being a Cherokee Nation tribal citizen is rooted in centuries of culture and laws not through DNA tests.

The Cherokee Nation complained then that tribal nations, not DNA tests, determine citizenship and that Warren was "undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage".

Ms Warren had reportedly told advisers she feared she had damaged her relationships with Native American tribes, according to the New York Times. Tribal citizenship is very different from ancestry.

At a campaign stop in Sioux City, Iowa, last month, Warren told a voter who expressed concern about the decision that given the political attacks, she had decided "to put it all out there". While the tribe did not reveal the exact wording of her apology, they said that Warren had recently "reached out" to them.

Warren's explanation, her stories of a familial history and the DNA test, she added, only made things worse. Trump put the controversy back in the headlines during the 2016 presidential election, when he met Warren's criticisms by calling her "Pocahontas".

Media captionThe US president makes a joke about Senator Elizabeth Warren in front of Native Americans. "I'm going to continue fighting on the issues that brought me to Washington".

But she also took steps to emphasize that she was not claiming minority status, telling audiences, "I am not a person of color", and underscoring that she recognizes only tribes can decide who are members.

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