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Warren Won't Designate Self First Native American Senator from Massachusetts

10:26 AM, Jan 8, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts elected in November, has chosen not to register herself as a minority senator with the Senate Historical Office. The Boston Herald reports:

Despite repeated claims she is “proud” of her Cherokee heritage, newly minted U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is keeping that pride under wraps and won’t be taking advantage of a chance to officially list herself as the Bay State’s first Native American U.S. senator.

Aides said Warren, who describes herself as part Cherokee and part Delaware Indian, won’t contact historians at the Senate Historical Office to tell them she’s Native American. The office lists minority senators in its official directory.

Warren’s aides refused further comment, but Betty Koed, an associate historian at the Senate Historical Office, said, “If her office wants to call and have her listed, we’d be happy to do so.”

Warren, a former Harvard law professor, has in the past registered herself as a minority faculty member, despite a lack of evidence that she has Indian blood and is not registered with a tribe.

Even if her claim to Native American heritage were true, Warren would not be the first to serve in the United States Senate. That distinction goes to Robert Latham Owen, Oklahoma's first senator, a part Cherokee, and a Democrat. Charles Curtis, a Republican from Kansas, was the second Native American to serve in the Senate and who also served as vice president under Herbert Hoover. Colorado's Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a Democrat who later became a Republican, was the last Native American in the Senate. Campbell left Congress in 2005.

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