Elizabeth Warren's signature on a cookbook entitled 'Pow Wow Chow'

Video: Elizabeth Warren 'Punked' Into Signing 'Pow Wow Chow' Cookbook

ICTMN Staff
9/21/12

Below is a video that has turned up on Buzzfeed.com showing Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic candidate hoping to unseat Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, signing a cookbook of Native American recipes to which she contributed some time ago.

According to Buzzfeed, the Scott Brown campaign has been "sending around" (e-mailing, perhaps) this video, which was posted on the YouTube channel run by conservative radio host Howie Carr.

Warren and Brown participated in their first debate last night, and as ICTMN reported, Brown brought up the issue of Warren's Native claims. The back-and-forth had Brown calling into question Warren's "character" and Warren rebutting that "the question has been asked and answered."

Yet such a relatively polite exchange at the podium isn't the only manner in which Warren's "Indian problem" is discussed in public. This video and the text on the YouTube page where it is hosted give more of a street-level view -- and what's happening in the streets isn't always pretty. Warren is called "Fauxchahontas" and "Lieawatha" on the YouTube page. (For the record, Hiawatha was a man.)

The United States is a deeply polarized country; in this election cycle any sign of weakness is seized upon by the other side with glee, and troops are rallied with chants and digs. It's been observed that the electorate sometimes seems more like a professional wrestling audience than voters. Warren's "Indian problem" is a topic deserving of discussion -- but it has also become a schoolyard taunt. As the text on the YouTube page points out:

"As you watch, be sure to listen for the Indian war whoops coming from the cars passing through Kelly Square."

Yes, we heard them.

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myche's picture
myche
Submitted by myche on
This whole controversy about Elizabeth Warren's Native American ancestry is a complete farce. Many long years ago I taught on in Dunseith, North Dakota on the Chippewa, French, Cree Reservation. I had quite a mixture of students. I had one blue eyed red hair boy who said he was Native American and another with light brown skin, brown eyes, and dark air that said he was not. I just let it go. Since I was teaching in a public school and not a BIA School which really doesn't mean anything because non Native Americans can to to a BIA School. I had two children who did so in Arizona. In that community and in the school the rule was that if a kid said he was Native American he was as far as we were concerned. If he said he wasn't, we accepted that also. This makes Senator Browns statement at the debate the other night very prejudicial. He told us that Elizabeth Warren was not Native American because she didn't look Native American. He said she didn't look like a person of color. Now to some one who grew up in Indian Country, I never heard of a Native American referred to as a person of color. I bet that most Hispanics have never been called this either. This basically demonstrates Senator Brown's ignorance and prejudice because he can declare that he knows someones ancestry just by looking at them and lumps all people that he does not consider white as people of color. Elizabeth Warren is not applying for tribal membership so she does not have to provide documentation as to her Native American roots. Her family may have no documentation only oral history which may have been passed on to some members of the family and not to others. The United States military also tried to break up and scatter tribes as well as move them to the reservation. Individual Native Americans who were isolated from their tribes and scattered into the rest of US society may have no documentation of their tribal affiliations. If Elizabeth Warren really cared to make a point of it she could have her DNA tested for possible ethnic heritage. Or she could just take the word of her family. If Elizabeth Warren were not qualified for the job she now holds or past employment she would not have been hired because there is a fierce competition from a lot of intelligent articulate educated people to have been hired instead of her. You can't prove that Elizabeth has or does not have Native American ancestors. She has her family history. So leave it alone. Its a non issue.

myche's picture
myche
Submitted by myche on
There is nothing I can find on the internet where anyone has done an extensive biography of Elizabeth Warren. Nor could I find the small bit of biography that I did find that she was using her personal story to gain anything. What I saw was a intelligent woman who graduated from high school at 16 and latter married an intelligent well educated man. Her husbands education and profession allowed her to go to school and further her education. She is a strong self made woman who has a family with Native American ancestry. From what I can tell from the comments about their being Native American physical facial features is that her Native American ancestors struggled in the white man's world and had emotional struggles about having Native American features. I grew up in Indian Country in the Dakotas about the same time as Ms Warren did and I know of the deep prejudices of many whites toward Native Americans. Native Americans could be accepted as individuals living within the white towns while the Native Americans living on the Rez were distrusted and hated. This was true in some of the communities I lived in. Native Americans growing up on the Rez would not have even though about Native American features. But mixed Native American and white people growing up in the white towns would have. Having taught on the Rez's in North Dakota and Arizona, I discovered that all of the whispered prejudices I grew up with were just plane wrong. Also whites growing up in towns in the Dakotas which were on the Rez or surrounded by the Rez looked at life differently than those of us who grew up in towns thirty miles from the Rez who had one or two Native Americans going to our schools who were treated like everyone else but at that time Native Americans did not shop in our town. It is very possible that Ms Warren's Native American ancestors disappeared into the white world with out any documentation of their existence. I really don't think this way any more. And their were different ethnic communities on the prairie. Those of us living in the German, Norwegian towns were not to drive around on the Rez and also not to drive around in the Ukrainian community either. And Lutherans were not supposed to marry Catholics or Methodists even though they did. I the time Elizabeth Warren grew up in Oklahoma and I grew up in the Dakotas we thought a lot differently then we do today.

greenriverkate's picture
greenriverkate
Submitted by greenriverkate on
Since when do we judge Natives, by COLOR? If Warren was raised to believe she is native, THAT IS NOT A CRIME OR DECEPTION!. Whether she is native or not is not a subject to a DEBATE! Was he saying if she is native she should not be elected? I know blue eyed blond native Crees from back east. Yes, they have blood quantum!!! My own kids look white but they have blood quantum! This news paper should have protected their own "white natives" as being judged for COLOR! You can not judge anyone by color!!!!! I know "white natives" that were raised on the rez, speak their native languages, have college education and go back home to the rez to help the PEOPLE. What? They aren't native because they look "more white" than native. Shame on you guys, This idiot republican opened the door for all of you to jump these ignorant bigots. Being native is being native and has NOTHING to do with any political DEBATE!

suzeo's picture
suzeo
Submitted by suzeo on
I see no reason why people think all Native Americans should look so homogenous, except that our school system has taught us that the Native Americans got to the Americas via the Bering Land Bridge alone, and during the one stretch of time when the bridge was in existence. I don't believe in the "Land-bridge-only" theory. It is far more likely that the Americas were "discovered" many times by many people from many directions. The oldest form of transportation, after walking, is the boat, and it is so old no one really knows when it was invented. There are also a lot of people who, like George W. Bush, think that oceans are "barriers" that keep people away from certain areas. In fact, they are the opposite. They are like enormously wide freeways. And the boat doesn't even have to be very sophisticated. If the Bering Strait was iced over, a huge abundance of sea life would have been clustered along the edge. It might have been quite possible for hunters to bob along not far from the ice's edge for miles, pulling the boat ashore to camp and process the meat. Occasionally, one of those camps may have been on one of the exposed Aleutian Islands, at which point a more permanent camp could be made and dwellings constructed of bones and hides - and dried bones used as fuel for fires. From there, they could have continued the process onward. There is even speculation that in the deepest of the Ice Age winters, the entire northern Atlantic Ocean may have frozen over! Of course, most of these migrations would have been before recorded history, and a lot of the people involved didn't think of it as a "discovery". It was just a little ways on from where they lived, which was a little ways on from where their grandparents lived, which was a little ways on from their grandparents, and so forth. Nor did there need to be huge numbers of people all at once. Well-designed kayaks could go back and forth in the Aleutian chain without involving much of a long ocean voyage. People got to Polynesia, including Hawaii and Easter Island - both pretty far from mainland Asia, and I see no reason why some of them wouldn't have sailed further to the Americas. It has been recognized for years that the Polynesian outrigger canoe is one of the most capable ocean-going boats ever invented. Thor Heyerdahl got from Egypt to the Yucatan Peninsula in a reed boat patterned on very ancient designs, and the Vikings not only crossed oceans down to and including the Mediterranean, but navigated way up rivers in shallow-drafted longships that were basically glorified canoes. There is at least one archaeological site that proves they got to Newfoundland. The glaciers of the Ice Ages weren't permanent static ice sheets, but waxed and waned over time, periodically opening parts of the Arctic over to Scandinavia and Europe. Later, ships from as far away as the Middle East came ivory hunting up in the Arctic regions of Northeastern Canada. Just one period of migration across the land bridge might not be enough to account for the huge variety and numbers of languages in the Western hemisphere that existed by the time Columbus happened upon it. Columbus only gets recognition for "discovering" the Americas because the event was recorded in written history. It DOESN'T mean he was first. There was a project started by National Geographic Society a few years ago called the Genographic Project. This was to investigate the reasons for all the varieties of human appearances, using mitochondrial DNA passed on from the mother, and the Y chromosome from the father. Using this genetic information, the NGS was able to trace migrations, languages, the development of agriculture, and all kinds of other things from very, very far back into prehistory. Its primary focus was to study indigenous populations, those which have been located in one particular place over a long period of time, but members of the general public around the world were invited to participate in the sampling by ordering a kit from a website, swab the insides of their mouths to get plenty of DNA information from their cells and send it in. They could then get the analysis online. For all I know, this sampling may be ongoing for anyone interested. There is a short videocast on National Geographic Live where one of the researchers discusses the results. He said he actually got a letter from a woman in Hungary that was sure she needed retesting because the interpretation from her swab was "wrong". It showed her as having Asian, actually Siberian, genetic ancestry when she knew from church records going into the 1500's that all her ancestors came from a small village outside Budapest, and that she was therefore European, and not Asian at all. However, Hungary is actually an anomally in Europe. There had been a migration in prehistory from an area of eastern Russia or Siberia into what is now Hungary, and such ancestry does indeed show up in modern Hungarians, not to mention the language. Perhaps someone could send Ms. Warren one of these kits and invite her to settle the issue once and for all. Senator Brown could also send in a sample, but it's possible he may not be terribly happy to find a bunch of non-white ancestors in his DNA. The fact that there are no pure races just doesn't sit well with some people.
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