Simon Moya-Smith: Sen. Elizabeth Warren keeps avoiding Indian Country

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) speaks at the annual St. Patrick's Day breakfast in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 20, 2016. Photo from Facebook

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) maintains a high profile due to her criticism of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump but where does she stand on Indian Country? Simon Moya-Smith, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, thinks the Democratic politician must account for her tribal ancestry claims:
We're wondering because ever since the controversy surrounding her contested background became public discourse in 2012, when she ran for the U.S. Senate, Warren has avoided Indian country like an ex. That is seriously problematic for Native Americans since she is being talked about as a potential running mate to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. It's hard enough to get new presidents to pay us any attention, let alone a vice president.

But that isn't the only reason Warren should apologize. She has also reinforced racist Native American stereotypes.

Quoting an aunt of hers, Warren said one of her relatives supposedly "had high cheekbones, like all of the Indians do."

I am an enrolled citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation, and I don't have high cheekbones. I have fat cheeks. Folks, cheekbones are not proof of one's indigenous lineage. (By the way, in what America is it OK to say "I have [name a stereotypical physical feature], so that means I am [name a marginalized ethnicity]")?

I guess this America.

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Simon Moya-Smith: Warren should apologize to Native Americans (CNN 6/29)

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