Warren Says She Told Universities of Her Native American Roots

Kristen Domonell's picture
Friday, June 1, 2012

Elizabeth Warren, the embattled Democratic candidate for Senate in Massachusetts, has said for the first time that she had told Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania law schools that she had Native American ancestry.

Ms. Warren, who teaches at Harvard, has been dogged by questions about her ancestry for a month, overshadowing her campaign against Senator Scott P. Brown. When the story first arose last month, she told the Boston Herald that she did not know that Harvard had promoted her as a minority when it was under pressure to diversify its faculty and she has said very little since then.

But in a statement Wednesday night to The Boston Globe, she said that she herself had provided the information to Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania, where she had taught before being recruited by Harvard. She has not provided documentation that she has American Indian blood, but repeated in her statement that this was part of her family lore.

“As I have confirmed before,” she said in the statement, “I let people know about my Native American heritage in a national directory of law school personnel. At some point after I was hired by them, I also provided that information to the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard. My Native American heritage is part of who I am, I’m proud of it and I have been open about it.”

It is not clear who or what prompted her to make this statement now and why she had not made it earlier. Even Democrats have complained that she has allowed the matter to engulf her campaign.

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