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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Elizabeth Warren's Native American Ancestry

Our chapter on citizenship discusses the status of Native Americans.  As previous posts have indicated, there is some controversy as to who counts as a Native American.  This controversy is affecting the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts, as The Boston Globe reports:
A record unearthed Monday shows that US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has a great-great-great grandmother listed in an 1894 document as a Cherokee, said a genealogist at the New England Historic and Genealogy Society.
The shred of evidence could validate her assertion that she has Native American ancestry, making her 1/32 American Indian, but may not put an end to the questions swirling around the subject.
Intense focus on Warren’s heritage comes as the Democrat has faced several days of scrutiny about whether she has represented herself as a minority in her academic career.
The Boston Herald reported Friday that Harvard University Law School had promoted Warren as a minority hire when the school was under fire for a lack of diversity in its faculty.
Warren said Friday that she did not know the school had done so and that she did not recall using her Indian ancestry to advance her career.
But the Globe and other news outlets reported Sunday that Warren had listed herself as a minority professor between 1986 and 1995 in the Association of American Law Schools desk book, a major reference for legal professors.