Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) privately spoke with the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation and apologized for taking and publicizing a DNA test that showed she had a Native American in her family ancestry, the New York Times reported Friday.
A spokesperson for the Cherokee Nation told the Times that Warren “apologized for causing confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and the harm that has resulted.”
“The chief and secretary of state appreciate that she has reaffirmed that she is not a Cherokee Nation citizen or a citizen of any tribal nation,” Julie Hubbard, a spokesperson for Bill John Baker, head of the Cherokee Nation, told the Times.
Warren was berated for releasing DNA blood test results that showed she had a Native American ancestor several generations ago. Warren, who initially did not apologize publicly, was criticized for not only for playing into President Trump’s “Pocahontas” mocking, but also for appearing to claim a Native American heritage based on blood and not the culture or citizenship values most Native Americans see as vital to tribe membership.
As the Times notes, Chuck Hoskin Jr., the secretary of state for the Cherokee Nation, penned an op-ed in the Tulsa World this week that outlined why Warren’s move was problematic.