Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate challenging Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts, has had to address her claims of Native American heritage, despite the fact that genealogists have not been able to confirm Warren is descended from the Cherokee tribe. Warren is a law professor currently teaching at Harvard and had listed herself for years as a Native American. She recently said she stopped this practice.
But Hillary Chabot at the Boston Herald discovered that Harvard Law still lists one faculty member as a Native American. But the university won't say who that person is:
Warren — who has been dogged by questions about whether she used her claims of Cherokee lineage to further her career — has insisted she never authorized Harvard Law to count her as a Native American in the mid-1990s, when the school was under fire for not having enough minority professors.
Prior to that, from 1986 to 1995, Warren had listed herself as a minority in a law school directory administrators then used as a tip sheet when making diversity hires. But by 1996, when Harvard Law was boasting that Warren was the faculty’s first minority female, she had stopped appearing in the law school directory.
Harvard Law’s 2011 diversity report does not indicate who the Native American professor is. And the school refused to say whether it’s Warren.
Warren has cited family lore and the fact that her aunt frequently commented on Warren's grandfather's "high cheekbones" as evidence of her Cherokee blood. One genealogist has said Warren is likely 1/32 Native American.