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Cherokee Nation won't question Elizabeth Warren heritage claim

The Cherokee Nation won't question the Indian heritage claims of Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, a spokesperson for the tribe said.

Warren, who grew up in Oklahoma, has claimed Cherokee ancestry. She has not produced documentation of her heritage despite criticism from her opponent, the Republican incumbent Scott Brown.

“This is a very common claim,” Cherokee Nation spokesperson Amanda Clinton told The Washington Post. “However, we do not feel it is the tribe’s place to second-guess someone’s family tree. There is a big difference between citizenship and heritage.”

Cherokee Nation citizenship is tied to the Dawes Roll. Without a direct ancestor on the roll, a person cant enroll in the tribe.

Polls show Warren and Brown in a very tight race, although a significant percentage of voters appear to be undecided. But at least one person has been turned off by the way Brown has pushed the Indian issue.

“If it were today, I think the image of those guys whooping with the tomahawk chop, I’d vote for Ms. Warren,” a 53-year-old undecided voter told The Boston Globe.

While Brown was at a campaign rally in Boston on September 22, some of his Capitol Hill staff were seen on video stereotypical "war whoops" and doing "tomahawk chops" in a confrontation with Warren supporters.

Get the Story:
Native Americans chafe at Brown-Warren race (The Washington Post 9/30)
‘Tomahawk chop’ pops up in Massachusetts Senate seat debate (AP 9/30)
Elizabeth Warren appears to inch ahead of Scott Brown in new Globe poll, 43 - 38 (The Boston Globe 9/30)

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