Rebecca Nagle, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, made a call for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to make a public apology after documents showed she declared she was American Indian on a form to get admitted to the Texas bar.
“I told him I was sorry for furthering confusion about tribal citizenship,” Warren said. “I am also sorry for not being more mindful about this decades ago.”
Nagle didn’t believe this apology went far enough. During an interview with CNN, Nagle explained her disappointment in Warren’s actions.
Watch the video below:
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“For years, as I have criticized Elizabeth Warren’s false claims to Cherokee heritage, a lot of times, her supporters come back and say, ‘Well, she actually never claimed to be Native American.’ We’ve known all along that she’s made this claim, but now, we have the documented proof. I’m glad that she apologized to The Washington Post, and I’m also glad that she apologized to my tribe’s chief, but I think that because she has made these repeated false claims publicly, at this point, she needs to make a public apology.”
Nagle also pointed to the epic failure that was Warren’s DNA test that showed she might be 1/1024th Native American. Nagle claimed that the misinformation surrounding Warren’s DNA test led to further confusion about what it means to be part of the Cherokee tribe.
“The confusion that the DNA test caused is harmful because how Native identity is determined in the United States isn’t based on family lore, isn’t based on race-based science. It’s based on tribal citizenship and kinship,” Nagle said. “Senator Warren caused a great deal of confusion with a public that already doesn’t know a lot about tribal sovereignty and how our tribes function.”
Nagle claimed that Warren’s private apology in the pages of the Post did “nothing to clear up that public confusion.”
“She owes us a public apology and a clear statement of saying why she’s not Cherokee and why that difference matters,” Nagle said.
It isn’t yet clear if Warren will publicly comment on the recent revelations. While she hasn’t officially launched a 2020 presidential bid, she has announced an exploratory committee.