FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 14, 2018
BOSTON, MA - Pocahontas has declined an invitation from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign to stand with her during her many campaign rallies across the state of Massachusetts. Warren is up for election this year, after being elected in 2012 as a first -time senator in the state.
Warren campaign spokesperson Gabrielle Farrell recently contacted Disney, which owns the rights to the animated movie about her life story, to ask for Pocahontas assistance with their campaign.
“We think that the story of Pocahontas aligns perfectly with Sen. Warren’s efforts to stand up to special interests and stand for the middle class,” Farrell said.
Although the Warren campaign welcomed the opportunity, a representative for Walt Disney Pictures said it would probably not be a good idea because of the controversy surrounding Warren and her claimed Native American heritage.
“We are not sure that Warren reflects the spirit of Pocahontas character, so we’re not willing to take that step at this time,” said a representative for Walt Disney Pictures.
While Warren claims the same brave mantle of Pocahontas, she may have only used the Native American ancestry claim to advance her career. She asserts that her heritage is based on “family lore,” on what she was told about her ancestry as a child.
Warren has provided the names of no Native American relatives from where she grew up, in Oklahoma. In other words, her claim of Native American ancestry could be just “family lore” and nothing more.
In a speech to the National Congress of American Indians in 2018, Warren claimed that her mother’s family was part Native American, but has provided no names or birth records of those people.
Warren identified as a minority law professor during her tenure at Harvard, and was touted by the school as a Native American hire.
She declined to meet with Harvard’s Native American Law Student Association (NAlSA) while she was a professor there, though she was personally invited by Dr. Gavin Clarkson, a citizen of the Choctaw Nation.
"I was on campus at Harvard for five years, from 1998 to 2003," Clarkson said. "Warren was identified in the AALS law teacher directory as an American Indian faculty member.”
"I personally invited Elizabeth Warren, face to face, three separate times," Clarkson said.
"I did it at least once per year for three straight years," he said. "She basically dismissed me all three times."
Warren has also refused to take a DNA test similar to the popular DNA tests such as 23andMe, AncestryDNA or Living DNA.
Warren and her husband, are renowned contributors to “Pow Wow Chow: A Collection of Recipes from Families of the Five Civilized Tribes : Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole.” The book was published by Five Civilized Tribes Museum, in 1984.
Pocahontas was a Powhatan Native American woman, born around 1595. She was known for her involvement with English colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia.
She saved the life of Englishman John Smith, by placing her head upon his own at the moment of his execution. Pocahontas later married a colonist, changed her name to Rebecca Rolfe and died while visiting England in 1617.
For more information, contact Gabrielle Farrell at (617) 565-3170
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