A Pocahontas descendent is calling on Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., to apologize for claiming Native American heritage.
Debbie White Dove Porreco, who says she is a descendant of the 17th-century Native American Pocahontas famous for allegedly saving the life of Englishman John Smith, appeared on Fox News Tuesday and called on Warren to “come back and apologize to everybody for what she’s done.”
The interview came a day after the Democratic senator released the results of a DNA test that “strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor in the individual’s pedigree, likely in the range of 6-10 generations ago,” according to Carlos D. Bustamante, a professor at Stanford University, and the author of the report Warren released on her DNA results.
On “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Tuesday, Porreco noted that while she was “glad” Warren took a DNA test, “It did prove that she isn’t the Cherokee Indian that she’s been claiming to be for so long.”
Porreco, a member of Trumpettes USA, had also appeared on Carlson’s show in May and called on Warren to take a DNA test to prove her Native American heritage.
After becoming a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Warren had the university change her listed ethnicity from “white” to “Native American,” according to Vox.
While teaching at Harvard Law School, Warren was featured by Harvard University as proof of expanding faculty diversity. The Crimson, the student newspaper at Harvard, even referred to Warren as “the first woman with a minority background to be tenured,” the Boston Herald reported in 2012.
On Fox, Porreco said she felt “betrayed” by Warren’s claims, and said others in the Native American community “feel disappointed.”
In a rare move, the Cherokee Nation released a statement on Warren’s DNA test and labeled Warren’s use of the test to claim Cherokee heritage as “inappropriate and wrong.”
“A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a statement. “Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America.”
Sovereign tribal nations set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it is not evidence for tribal affiliation. Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven. Sen. Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.