Elizabeth Warren claimed her parents had to elope because of her grandparent’s concerns over her mother’s supposed Native American ancestry while running for Senate in 2010.
Watch her account of the dramatic, yet ultimately dubious and self-serving story here, while speaking on a Massachusetts TV channel:
“My father’s parents said absolutely not… you can’t marry her because she’s part Cherokee and part Delaware. After fighting as long as they could my parents went off, they eloped… It was an issue in my family the whole time I grew up.”
Warren has made elaborate claims of Native American ancestry for years, claiming to be as such in law school applications and other professional documents when she potentially stood to benefit from such an ethnic identity.
Her critics doubted the veracity of such claims, and were largely vindicated when Warren released a DNA test that indicated she had 1/1024 Native American ancestry. Warren apparently initially believed that such a minuscule relation to Native American people was enough to identify as one, a misconception that was corrected when the official Cherokee Nation Secretary of State, Chuck Hoskins Jr, released a statement rebuking her use of Native American identity as a political prop.
In order for Warren’s story about her parent’s marriage to be true, exaggeration about her supposed Native American ancestry would have have to been a tradition practiced on her mother’s side of the family for generation. It’s perhaps more likely that the story of a forbidden marriage was simply exaggerated or just simply made up.
It’s possible that hundreds of millions of Americans have Native American ancestors, but American Indian organizations such as the Cherokee Nation frown upon the notion of reducing Native American identity to mere DNA tests, which generally don’t specify between American Indians and all indigenous peoples of the Americas.
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