Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate Elizabeth Warren faces reporters during a news conference at Liberty Bay Credit Union headquarters, in Braintree, Mass., Wednesday, May 2, 2012. Warren responded to questions from reporters on her Native American heritage.

Video: Elizabeth Warren’s Controversial ‘High Cheekbones’ Comment


In this video, Elizabeth Warren, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, addresses the media frenzy that has followed the suggestion of Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.) her likely opponent about Warren forging her Native American Identity.

The video is of Warren’s May 2 interview where she describes her family’s Native American roots, and has since grown increasingly controversial in Indian country and beyond.

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page



redwood's picture
Submitted by redwood on
We've all heard the same comment from thousands of people, many of them who probably do have a "Cherokee ancestor." I've heard the same thing from many who actually are federally-recognized tribal members. It is a sad-but-true commentary about the disconnection of our lineal descendants. However, many tribes have switched to purely lineal descendancy as criteria for membership, and because of self-determination, have the absolite right to do so. I've heard that Elizabeth Warren is supposed to be 1/32 Cherokee, but is not a recognized member of any of the Cherokee bands. This may be an oversight, as perhaps she is actually eligible... or perhaps she is one of the many who've fallen through the cracks, and whose ancestor doesn't show up on any of the establishing rolls. We all know many, including those of considerably high blood quantum, who are in that position across this country. In Plessy v. Ferguson, a landmark case about "separate but equal," a black man (described as an "octoroon," but I've also heard that he was actually only 1/32 black) was determined to be black, nonetheless. Since many of the tribes across the country have gone the purely lineal descendancy route, I think we need to exercise some caution. I have no idea if Elizabeth Warren has used her lineal descendancy to gain any advantage in her career, but she certainly wouldn't be the first, nor the last to do so. Criteria has changed throughout the years. We all can remember when it was the Bureau who determined who was eligible for a particular program, and now that is in the hands of federally-recognized tribes, which have widely divergent criteria for tribal membership. In general, I've watched Elizabeth Warren standing up for the un-empowered. Rather than attack her, I think she should be enlightened about our issues, because she would be a strong advocate for us, especially when she feels a connection to our community.