The Corner

Warren: 1/16 Cherokee Mother Forced to Elope

Elizabeth Warren appears to be doubling down, casino-style, on her claims of Native American ancestry. She spoke to Boston Globe columnist Brian McGrory for a piece today, and argued that “I can’t deny my heritage.” She certainly doesn’t:

Her family is not known to have an official affiliation or any registration with an Indian tribe, and any sparse indications that a great-great-great grandmother had Cherokee blood would fall short of federal guidelines that would grant Warren minority status. Warren was born and raised in Oklahoma.

“In the 1930s, when my parents got married, these were hard issues,” Warren said. “My father’s family so objected to my mother’s Native American heritage that my mother told me they had to elope.

“As kids, my brothers and I knew about that. We knew about the differences between our two families. And we knew how important my mother’s heritage was to her. This was real in my life. I can’t deny my heritage. I can’t and I won’t. That would be denying who my mother was, who my family was, how we lived, and I won’t do it.”

Asked what made her mother’s family distinctly Native American, Warren laughed and replied, “It was exactly what I said.” Asked again, she responded, “One side was Cherokee and the other side was Delaware. I never had any reason to doubt them. I never asked for any documentation. It’s who we were.”

She added: “We were between two families. My mother and father loved each other deeply.”

Patrick BrennanPatrick Brennan is a writer and policy analyst based in Washington, D.C. He was Director of Digital Content for Marco Rubio's presidential campaign, writing op-eds, policy content, and leading the ...

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