The Massachusetts senator surprised the audience at the National Congress of American Indians in Boston, where she delivered a rather powerful speech addressing the controversy and slammed President Donald Trump for repeatedly using the "Pocahontas" slur to insult her.
Warren said the story her parents lived "will always be a part of me". "People have a right to know, and if Elizabeth Warren wants to be President of the United States, the call for full transparency will only grow louder".
Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of MA has grown exhausted of President Donald Trump ridiculing her Native American lineage.
She went on to address the problems in the Native American community and promised that she would share their stories in Congress. "I never used it to advance my career", said Warren.
At Wednesday's speech, Warren acknowledged that she isn't enrolled in a tribe and that her family isn't included in tribe rolls. That was further exacerbated by the event's setting, which took place in the Oval Office where Trump displays a portrait of Andrew Jackson, the former president who forced the removal of tens of thousands of Native Americans from their lands.
But Warren told the Native American group that she respects the distinction between Native American heritage and membership in a tribe.
"I get why some people think there's hay to be made here", she said. To help her, I have drafted an apology, which she has my full permission to appropriate.
"And I want to make something clear", Warren continued.
Each time, she said, "someone brings up my family's story, I'm going to use it to lift up the story of your families and your communities". "Warren has maintained since 2012 that this is an issue of family lore".
Jefferson Keel, president of the tribal congress, said his group was "deeply honored by the courage" Warren showed in addressing a topic that has vexed her for almost six years.
Yes, the joke is on her and not, as she asserts, on Native Americans in general. "We appreciate her candor, humility and honesty, and look forward to working with her as a champion for Indian Country".
Warren spoke first, at length, about the real Pocahontas, and how the Native woman's life story - particularly her marriage to a Jamestown settler - was twisted into a "fable ... used to bleach away the stain of genocide".
She said her mother was born on Valentine's Day 1912 in Oklahoma, and when she met Warren's father, "my daddy fell head over heels in love with her".
"And for nearly as long, her story has been taken away by powerful people who twisted it to serve their own purposes", she said.