Elizabeth Warren was wrong to identify as Native American on a form 34 years ago. Having one known, named Indigenous American ancestor from many generations back is part of her family story and backed up by DNA, but does not qualify for tribal affiliation. She has honored her family story, and acknowledged where she misinterpreted how that applies in forms from many decades in the past.
But FACTS matter and here are some FACTS that no one has disputed:
1. Warren has only repeated the family lore she heard growing up in Oklahoma, where Indigenous tribes were nearby and intermarriage was common, that she had ONE specific NAMED indigenous American ancestor (O.C. Sarah Smith), her maternal great-great-great-grandmother.
2. Because of that single ethnic “impurity” in her mother’s distant background, her father’s family rejected her mother. Her mother and father eloped anyway, and her father remained estranged from his family.
3. Warren has told this story all her life, to explain her visceral repudiation of racism. But while she identified as American Indian, she has NEVER attempted to claim any specific tribal affiliation nor sought (nor received) any kind of benefit whatsoever.
4. The DNA test is 100% consistent with Warren’s claim of ONE SINGLE indigenous American ancestor five generations earlier who is identified and has a name.
If the DNA test “backfired,” it is only because her actual claim has been distorted and misrepresented (read: LIED ABOUT) by dishonest liars trying to demean her but who can’t address her at the level of issues.