Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren has apologised to the Cherokee Nation for taking a DNA test in October to prove her Native American ancestry.
David Cornsilk, a Cherokee genealogist and historian whose work showed that Warren could not document her claims to Cherokee ancestry, said he found the apology "totally lacking". The Cherokee Nation and some Native American activists harshly criticized the release of the DNA results, saying it elevated President Trump's racial attacks and reinforced harmful ideas about "blood quantum" determining tribal identity.
"I am not a person of color", Warren said. "The first Native American in our family that can be proved is generations back, and the geneticist says there could be others", Warren said to her supporters in an email.
But her campaign-style video reveal drew sharp criticism from some tribal leaders and Ms Warren's political rivals. He began referring to the MA lawmaker using the slur Pocahontas and requested that she take a DNA test to prove her Native American status.
But even after Warren successfully defeated Republican Scott Brown in 2016, Trump continued to press her on her Native American lineage. She described the conversation as brief and private. She signed her entries "Elizabeth Warren - Cherokee". Warren has insisted that her claims of Native American heritage "played no role in my hiring - ever".
"We are encouraged by this dialogue and understanding that being a Cherokee Nation tribal citizen is rooted in centuries of culture and laws, not through DNA tests", Julie Hubbard, Cherokee executive director of communications, told Tulsa World.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly mocked Warren for her claims, calling her "Pocahontas" in at least 16 separate tweets.
Warren is expected to formally announce her candidacy for President of the United States following several visits to early battleground states like Iowa and New Hampshire.
UPDATE: 2:00 P.M.: This article was updated with information about Warren's phone call to Baker.