Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) on Wednesday made a surprise appearance at the National Congress of American Indians, delivering a speech in which she insisted that she is in fact part Native American.
According to a transcript of the speech obtained by the Boston Globe, the potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate attacked President Donald Trump for his continued use of the insult "Pocahontas" to mock her claimed ancestry, which has never been documented.
"Our country's disrespect of Native people didn't start with President Trump," she said. "It started long before President Washington ever took office."
Warren admitted that "you won't find my family members on any rolls, and I'm not enrolled in a tribe," but continued to insist that she is part Native American, and that her parents had to elope because of her mother's supposed ancestry.
"My mother's family was part Native American. And my daddy's parents were bitterly opposed to their relationship. So, in 1932, when Mother was 19 and Daddy had just turned 20, they eloped," she said.
Warren concluded the speech by saying that every time someone brings up her claimed ancestry, she talks about the larger Native American community instead.
"I'm here today to make a promise: Every time someone brings up my family's story, I'm going to use it to lift up the story of your families and your communities," she said.