Pocahontas Descendant: Warren Should Apologize for Using Native American Heritage for Political Gain

Sen. Elizabeth Warren / Getty Images
October 17, 2018

A descendant of Pocahontas, the famed 17th-century Powhatan Native American woman, said Tuesday that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) should apologize for claiming she has Native American heritage for personal and political gain.

Earlier this week, Warren released the results of a DNA test, which showed she is anywhere between 1/64th to 1/1,024th Native American.

"It did prove that she wasn't the Cherokee Indian that she was claiming to be for so long," Debbie White Dove Porreco said during an appearance on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight." "I think she's guilty of claiming she's an American Indian but has no proof—and then [is] using it for applications for college and for political reasons."

"She needs to ... apologize to everybody for what she has done," Porreco added.

In May, Porreco called on Warren to take a DNA test to prove her Native American ancestry and end the controversy over her heritage.

Warren's DNA results were analyzed by Stanford University professor Carlos Bustamante, who determined her "pure Native American ancestor" appeared "in the range of 6-10 generations ago," consistent with Warren's family lore that her great-great-great-grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith, was at least part Native American.

If Warren's Native American ancestor goes back 10 generations, that would make her 1/1,024th Native American, and if the ancestor goes back six generations, she would be at most 1/64 Native American.

The Cherokee Nation responded to Warren's DNA test results by saying she was making a "mockery out of DNA tests" and "dishonoring legitimate tribal governments."

Warren claimed to have been descended from the Cherokee Nation when she contributed to a Native American cookbook from the 1980s, "Pow Wow Chow," in which she signed her name "Elizabeth Warren-Cherokee." The senator also listed herself as a minority in an Association of American Law Schools directory, and, in the 1990s, Harvard Law School described Warren, a professor there at the time, as being "Native American."

President Donald Trump slammed Warren after she released the test results.

"Pocahontas (the bad version), sometimes referred to as Elizabeth Warren, is getting slammed," he tweeted. "She took a bogus DNA test and it showed that she may be 1/1024, far less than the average American."