Elizabeth Warren apologized to a group of Native Americans on Monday, saying that she’s sorry for the “harm” she’s caused, Yahoo News reports.
The Massachusetts Senator and 2020 Democratic candidate for president appeared at the Native American Presidential Forum in Sioux City, Iowa, this week, in part to address the controversy over having claimed to have Native American ancestry, likely erroneously.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Warren, who was born and raised in Oklahoma, claimed on her paperwork at both the University of Pennsylvania and then Harvard that she had Native American ancestry. Whether or not she gained any advantage academically or professionally for this is unclear, according to a 2017 Politifact report. Harvard, however, might have derived some advantage, obliquely and intangibly, from Warren’s claim. According to a 2012 Boston Herald report, Warren’s supposed Native American ancestry was once claimed by Harvard officials as proof of the school’s diversity.
Her claim of Native American ancestry would later, however, become a thorn in her side, in no small part because Donald Trump has continually called her “Pocahontas” over the claim.
To make matters worse, Warren took a commercial ancestry DNA test, which found that she did have a Native American ancestor, likely six to 10 generations ago. She stated that the test was “proof” that her claims of Native American ancestry weren’t false. However, taking the test was largely seen as an embarrassing and unnecessary political misstep, and the Cherokee Nation, for its part, characterized it as “inappropriate and wrong.”
Warren later apologized to the Cherokee Nation. The Nation said in a statement that her apology was accepted.
On Monday, she apologized to the Native American community at large. She was introduced by New Mexico Democrat Deb Haaland, who is one of two Native Americans in Congress.
“Like anyone who’s being honest with themselves, I know that I have made mistakes. I am sorry for harm I have caused. I have listened, and I have learned a lot.”
The crowd appeared to accept her apology, as it was met with applause.
Warren’s spurious claims of Native American ancestry don’t seem to have become a factor in her presidential campaign, yet. Despite concerns that her campaign could be derailed before it even begins, Warren’s poll numbers have steadily increased since she announced her candidacy.
That’s not to say that Donald Trump is prepared to retire the “Pocahontas” label if Warren eventually becomes the Democratic Party nominee. Trump told supporters in New Hampshire last week that if Warren gets the nomination, he’ll “revive” the “Pocahontas” label.