Who's a Native American? It's complicated
May 14th, 2012
02:47 PM ET
3 years ago

Who's a Native American? It's complicated

(CNN) – The recent controversy over Massachusetts congressional candidate Elizabeth Warren's Native American ancestry, where the campaign of her opponent for a senate seat called for her to release documents claiming her Cherokee ancestry, has caused some to ask: What makes someone "legitimately" Native American? And who gets to make that determination?

"Fundamentally, it's the tribe’s right to determine who its citizens are and are not. If we don't know (whether someone is American Indian), we can ask the tribe," said Julia Good Fox, professor of American Indian Studies at Haskell Indian Nations University.

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Filed under: Elizabeth Warren • Massachusetts • Scott Brown
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Elizabeth "Lying Dog" Warren speaks with forked tongue. Heap big dung heap.

    May 14, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Yup, blond haired, blue eyed... looks like she's from a tribe in central Germany.

    May 14, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. RealityBites

    The fluffy headline tells us its a democrat making shady racial claims.
    What a difference political affiliation makes to CNN's, so-called, journalists..

    May 14, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Yes "it's complicated" and Obama is "evolving".... Because the looney leftist elitests think we're all just ignorant simpletons that can't figure out they are simply LIEING. Nothing "complicated" or "evolving" here. Just more leftists getting caught up in thge web of lies they spin.

    May 14, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. bill johnson orlando fl.

    she is a dummeycrat that makes it ok to lie.

    May 14, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    If anyone is the American is The American Indian Hold up Mitt Romney father was born Mexico does make Mitt Romney a Mexican with American ancestry WHAT UP. IS THIS NOT TRUE THINK ABOUT

    May 14, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    @Obama 2012 and yada yada: "Yup, blond haired, blue eyed... looks like she's from a tribe in central Germany."

    I'm blond-haired and blue-eyed – and my great-great-grandmother on my mother's side was a Cherokee woman born in Missouri in 1835. I've got the census info to prove it, on which they just listed her as "a Cherokee woman" without a name (her English name was Anna).

    She married a man from Ireland; I've also got German blood from that side of the family. On my dad's side, there's German, Norwegian and English. My kids have Lithuanian blood, also (from their father of German-Lithuanian descent).

    So, yeah, Elizabeth Warren being blond-haired and blue-eyed makes sense to me.

    May 14, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  8. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    "Elizabeth "Lying Dog" Warren speaks with forked tongue. Heap big dung heap."

    Dear Mr. Ben Dover,

    Thanks for showing everyone what a racist you are.

    Love,
    The Internet

    May 14, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I see Romney lied about being supportive of gays being able to adopt children, and 5 hours he reversed his position. What a spineless lying POS Mittens is, which is a main trait of the GOP.

    May 14, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    After nearly destroying our country, republicans can only be described Taliban Lite.

    May 14, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. gg

    brown should go back to his tribe–running idiots

    May 14, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I thought Sen. Brown's Indian name was, "Running From Responsibility."

    May 14, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens needs to run on the fact that he can destroy our country even faster than Lil' Bush and the republican majority in the house and senate did.

    May 14, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. righttighty

    Progressives are moraless, logic loonies that can't think for themselves. Which why Elizabeth Warren had no problem claiming and using her 1/32 racial makeup to advance in our dumbed down schools. Only when challenged by the right does the truth finally come out in the collaberating news networks.

    May 14, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    @Obama 2012 and yada yada: "Because the looney leftist elitests think we're all just ignorant simpletons that can't figure out they are simply LIEING."

    Learn to spell or at least upgrade to a browser that has auto-spell check.

    Anyway, you're doing that typical Repub thing of accusing Democrats of all your own bad behavior. President Obama has long been a supporter of gay marriage; as President, he hasn't pushed it as an issue, knowing how divisive it is and respecting others' views.

    Contrast this to Mittens supporting a woman's right to choose (based on his personal experience of a relative who died from a botched abortion) to signing an anti-choice pledge and promising to "eliminate" Planned Parenthood. As governor of Massachusetts, he supported gay marriage; now he is completely opposed to it.

    If you can't tell which person is lying (note the spelling), then I feel sorry for you. Makes me wonder how much of the rest of your life is messed up from your inability to deal with the truth.

    May 14, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. WATCHDOG

    It seems that the group HEZBOLLAH, has a few new members working mortgage frauds in usa
    we have learned that top ranking members Mahmoud Razzaghi,Maryam Khavar,Mike Khavar,
    and many other names used by these people, including Khavari, Bayat, Khaleghi,Zaghami,Imani,
    hosaini,Hosseini,Abedi,Reza, Rezza,
    Just to name a few names that mortgages have been obtained through the Bank of America,
    Bank of New York, US Bank,

    properties are bought forclosed on and short saled to other family members ,,using false ids, when the properties are sold they use insurance fraud to upgrade them,.

    May 14, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. PaulCat

    I think we need to find out about Mitt Romney citizenship.. was he born in Mexico like his father and his grandfather, you know, the one with many wifes. Where is Mitt's birth certificate?

    May 14, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    I'm feel very safe in claiming that not a single person commenting here by bending over and farting Breitbart World Net Daily Faux Noise talking points at us has even read the article in its entirety.

    May 14, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    righttighty – Think for yourself. You are merely repeating Fox foreign news talking points.

    May 14, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. PJ/TX

    righttighty says "only when challenged by the right does the truth finally come out.."
    Would that be the truth that she is proven to be 1/32 Cherokee, and that the "blood" content is used by the
    Government for compensation to minority Indians?
    Or, did you not read the article and start spewing along with "Bend forward". Of course, if you ever
    had to swallow the truth, you couldn't rant like the idiots you are, and we can't let that happen.

    May 14, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. Malory Archer

    ThinkAgain

    @Obama 2012 and yada yada: "Yup, blond haired, blue eyed... looks like she's from a tribe in central Germany."

    I'm blond-haired and blue-eyed – and my great-great-grandmother on my mother's side was a Cherokee woman born in Missouri in 1835. I've got the census info to prove it, on which they just listed her as "a Cherokee woman" without a name (her English name was Anna).

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I've got red hair, bright baby blues and half of all freckles in the world, and I'm 1/8 Cherokee. I'm also a dead ringer for my grandmother, who was 1/2 Cherokee & 1/2 Irish. Our features are very native (and as I get older, it becomes even more evident), but our coloring is all Irish.

    Yada Yada is an ignoramous who wouldn't know an American Indian unless they were wearing ceremonial dress & Hollywood-style face paint.

    May 14, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. Myviewis

    She lied and got caught and everyone is helping her keep up her lie.

    May 14, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. cali girl

    sniffitt, you said it.....

    May 14, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  24. Dr. Knowitall

    Wire, I'm glad to see you're earning your paycheck this week.
    But... Its time to get these flakey libs out of politics.

    May 14, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. tellin it like it is

    lying... its what democrats do best. only the stupid believe them. dummies produced by the union run failure factories known as public schools.

    May 14, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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