Way back, long before smart phones, the internet, and Google, people used to pass information along by talking to each other. Yes! They really did. This is how many of us learned about our family history. We didn't run to Ancestry.com; we sat around the kitchen table and listened to Grandma tell stories.
David Herring, Warren's brother, explains it like this:
The people attacking Betsy and our family don't know much about either. We grew up listening to our mother and grandmother and other relatives talk about our family's Cherokee and Delaware heritage. They've passed away now, but they'd be angry if they were around today listening to all this.
So, it's not such an odd thing that Warren, who grew up hearing stories about being Native American, would claim just that. All was well, until Donald Trump came on the scene and began to challenge the notion of Warren's genealogy, going so far to say if she could prove her Native American heritage, he would donate a million dollars to charity.
Now with a DNA test, Warren has published results saying some of her blood line showed "the results strongly support the existence of an un-admixed Native American ancestor." even though the majority was European.
Warren has used the results to go after Trump to pay up. She has even designated a charity.
In a thread on Twitter, Warren laid it all out.
But not everyone is celebrating. Many Native people have mixed feelings about all of this back and forth of what they see as white politicians fighting over and and using DNA tests to "prove" their heritage.
Many folks pointed to a thread created in 2016 by Kim TallBear for education on the matter.
Some folks pointed out that it was never Warren's intention to claim to be Native American; she was simply going by what she'd heard growing up.
It was only when it became a mocking point of President Trump that she hit back.
This may take some very nuanced conversation to sort out, but we can all at least agree Trump needs to pay up.
It would seem his memory is slipping.
Make that check out to National Indigenous Women's Resource Center.