Tribal activist: ‘Shame on her’
By Hillary Chabot and Joe Battenfeld
“I think she owes us that, she owes the Native American community here at least that,” said Stephen Lewis, a member of the Gila River Indian community. “That would go a long way in dispelling that question.”
The Truth Squad paid a visit to a gathering of American Indian delegates to ask their feelings about the Massachusetts Democratic U.S. Senate challenger, and many of them expressed anger that Warren listed herself as an American Indian minority in law school directories without any proof.
“If you are native, there is no doubt, and if one has to research to try and ascertain if they are Native American, I would have great concerns with that and I think naturally I would just wonder if that was a vehicle she would want to use to her benefit,” said Frank LeMere, an American Indian activist of the Nebraska Winnebago Tribe. “If that is the case, shame on her.”
The delegates extended an invitation to Warren to appear at their caucus meeting tomorrow, just before she is slated to give a prime-time address on the convention stage.
“If you’re going to claim that you are American Indian and a descendant of some Native nation then you have to represent,” said Sharon Stewart-Peregoy, a Montana state senator and member of the Crow Nation. “You have to step up and bring those (American Indian) issues forward. That’s what it’s all about.”
Harlyn Geronimo, the great-grandson of the legendary Apache warrior, said he didn’t know the details of Warren’s claims but wanted to make sure she didn’t try to “take advantage” of her Cherokee claims. Warren has offered no proof of her ancestry but says she is relying on “stories” relayed to her by her family.
“I wouldn’t vote for anybody that is being dishonest, and it’s unfair to our people,” he said.
By Hillary Chabot
“I’ve answered those questions, what I’m here to talk about (is) what’s happening to America’s working class families,” said Warren, who had just completed brief appearances on the “Today Show” before the prime-time speech tomorrow.
By Hillary Chabot
“That’s not right at all. She is lying to the American public by running for public office and claiming to be of a race that she is not. If she is claiming that she is Native American, prove it,” says John Grant, a resident of Cherokee, N.C., in a GOP video.
The nearly two-minute Web video was filmed in Cherokee long before the Herald interviewed American Indian delegates Monday who also expressed outrage about Warren’s claims to Indian heritage. The Harvard Law School professor dismissed the delegates’ request that she meet with them and discuss her background.
By Callum Borchers and Noah Bierman
The Boston Herald reported earlier Tuesday that Native American convention delegates invited Warren to Wednesday’s council meeting, after the paper asked them about Warren’s unsubstantiated assertion that she has Cherokee ancestry.
Anyway, it sounds as though Warren is parsing the "invitation" like a typical lawyer/politician. Did the individual delegates invite her but not the Council as a whole? Is she waiting until it's an official caucus, which may not happen until 2016? Is she insisting on an engraved invitation?
Whatever the nature of the invitation, she should meet with the Indians. You claimed you were Native, Liz--now explain yourself.
Warren's mantra that she's "answered those questions" is rubbish, of course. Indians have asked a lot of questions she hasn't answered. Starting with what gives her the right to call herself Native.
Warren is sinking her chances of holding higher office. Her brand is plain-speaking, but she's acting like Mitt Romney hiding his tax returns.
Few people trust a politician who won't answer questions openly and honestly.
For more on Elizabeth Warren, see Warren: Conservatives Back Cherokee Protesters and Warren Benefited from White Privilege.
Below: Harlyn Geronimo in a stereotypical Plains headdress. (Christopher Evans)