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Elizabeth Warren: Trump's 'Pocahontas' jab reduced Native Americans to 'butt of a joke'  3 Months ago

Source:   USA Today  

It's been months since President Trump jabbed at Sen. Elizabeth Warren with an old nickname: "Pocahontas."

But that didn't keep the Massachusetts Democrat from calling him out on it during a surprise address to the National Congress of American Indians on Wednesday.

"Our country’s disrespect of Native people didn’t start with President Trump. It started long before President Washington ever took office," she said, according to prepared remarks. "But now we have a president who can’t make it through a ceremony honoring Native American war heroes without reducing Native history, Native culture, Native people to the butt of a joke."

She continued: "The joke, I guess, is supposed to be on me."

The senator was referring to a speech the president gave in November to honor Native American war heroes. "You were here long before any of us were here," the president told the veterans at the time. "Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas," he said, referring to Warren.

However, Trump has frequently called Warren by the name "Pocahontas," a reference to the daughter of a Native American chief in the 17th century.

At Wednesday's speech, Warren acknowledged that she isn't enrolled in a tribe and that her family isn't included in tribe rolls. She also said she hadn't used her family tree to get ahead or advance her career.

Her claims of Native American heritage have stirred controversy in the past. During her 2012 Senate campaign, critics pointed to Warren being listed as a minority professor in the 1990s.

But she insisted that her parents were real people, and that her father's family opposed their marriage because her mother's family was part Native American. They went on to elope, and raised a family through the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.

"They’re gone, but the love they shared, the struggles they endured, the family they built, and the story they lived will always be a part of me," she said. "And no one — not even the president of the United States — will ever take that part of me away."

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