Firebrand Senator Elizabeth Warren doubled-down on previous comments she made regarding her Native American heritage on Wednesday; telling a conference of national leaders that, "our country's disrespect of Native people didn't start with President Trump".
Recognizing the criticism of her previous statements, Warren explained that her mother's family was part Native American, but said that she never used her ancestry to further her career.
To that end, Ms. Warren, an Oklahoma native, used a recounting of her roots to not just tell her family's ethnic story but to present a tale of Dust Bowl hardship that has the makings of a stump speech aimed at inoculating her against charges of being a member of the coastal elite.
She also criticized Trump's continued use of a portrait of former president Andrew Jackson in the Oval Office, which she said honours "a man who did his best to wipe out native people".
There have been many rumors swirling about the possibility of Warren running for president in 2020, but none have been confirmed.
A handful of influential conservatives have charged Warren with being a fake, arguing that she's used her Native American lineage as leverage to obtain prestigious roles at Harvard University and elsewhere.
"I get why some people think there's hay to be made here", Warren said.
"You won't find my family members on any rolls, and I'm not enrolled in a tribe", Sen.
The other way to claim that her parents are "real people" and launch into a typical politician's "moving" story about them.
While Pocahontas played a key role in mediating relations between the tribes ruled by her father and early white settlers, she later was abducted, imprisoned and held captive and died at about age 21, Warren said. "I'm more concerned with what she stands for than who she claims to be, and the fact is she is a major contributor to the negative dynamic and dysfunction in Washington". I want to especially apologize to the over 350,000 citizens of Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the United Keetoowah Band.
Ms. Warren was plainly hoping to respond to an article last month in The Boston Globe that raised questions about her commitment to tribal issues. "Warren has maintained since 2012 that this is an issue of family lore".
Jefferson Keel, president of the tribal congress, said his group was "deeply honored by the courage" Warren showed in addressing a topic that has vexed her for almost six years.
"So 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 pledged. Warren intends to use her platform to amplify the voice of Native Americans - a laudable goal that is sorely needed.
"For far too long, your story has been pushed aside, to be trotted out only in cartoons and commercials".
Elizabeth Warren's fans want her to be the anti-Hillary.