Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has previously claimed tribal ancestry, publicly apologized for “the harm I have caused” during her speech Monday at the Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum in Sioux City, Iowa.
Warren, who’s been surging in 2020 Democratic primary polls in recent months, opened her speech at a forum organized by a group fighting for Native American voting rights with an apology and was greeted with a warm reception. She didn’t directly reference the controversy over the DNA test results released last year to prove her ancestry.
The Massachusetts senator has previously apologized for releasing the DNA test results and claiming to be Native American during her time as a law professor. And Warren has privately apologized a number of times to Native American leaders and tribes.
The Democrats Running for President
“I want to say this, like anyone who’s been honest with themselves, I know that I have made mistakes. I am sorry for the harm I have caused. I have listened and I have learned a lot,” Warren said Monday.
“It is a great honor to be able to partner with Indian Country, and that’s what I’ve tried to do as a senator and that’s what I promise I will do as president of the United States,” she added to applause.
In the days leading up to the forum, Warren released a series of new proposals aimed at helping Native Americans, including tribal sovereignty, a massive grant program for broadband access, and other funding to boost tribal nations and indigenous people.
At Monday’s forum, Warren was asked about the missing and murdered indigenous women on tribal lands. Warren noted that her plan addresses this ongoing issue, pushing for the federal government to “get serious” about collecting and reporting data about these women.
“Over and over, I’m struck by women who go missing and it doesn’t make a headline for a week. A month,” Warren said.
Warren was introduced by freshman Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico, who was one of the first Native American women elected to Congress. Haaland has endorsed Warren’s presidential campaign and helped draft Warren’s recently announced proposal.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly called Warren by the derogatory nickname “Pocahontas” on Twitter and at campaign rallies. At a rally last week in New Hampshire, Trump said he plans to “revive” the nickname.