Native American Democrats Disappointed with Warren

Thursday, 06 Sep 2012 11:38 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Native American Democrats who took offense at Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren's claim of Cherokee ancestry were disappointed at her decision not to meet with them at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
 
"I would like to have confronted her [about] why she used the Cherokee affiliation even though she's not an enrolled member," Harlyn Geronimo, the great grandson of the legendary Apache warrior, told the Boston Herald Wednesday.
 
According to the Herald, Warren brushed off the Indian delegates at the convention, where she delivered a rousing speech in support of President Barack Obama's re-election. 
 
Warren's claim of Cherokee heritage was an issue earlier this year in her campaign against incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown after reports surfaced she had listed herself as a minority in law school directories based on family stories of having a great-great-great-grandmother who was Cherokee.
 
If true, the Herald noted, she would be 1/32 Native American, which is hardly enough to claim any significant Indian ancestry, according to Geronimo.
 
"One thirty-second is very small," Geronimo told the newspaper. "It don't get you nowhere. That's what I'm upset about."
 
Jim La Point, a Rosebud Sioux, also told the Herald, “A lot of people will take advantage of maybe a small degree of Indian ancestry when it suits their purpose. I’m not going to judge anyone, but at the same time my concern is for the Indian people, how they’re represented.”
 
But at least one convention attendee came to Warren's defense.
 
"Your ancestry is your own business and government should honor privacy of individuals, and whatever you want to release about your own personal history and your own tribal history depends on your circumstances," said Alaskan delegate Chuck Begnan.

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