Elizabeth Warren is not a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
Elizabeth Warren is not enrolled in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
And Elizabeth Warren is not one of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee.
Nor could she become one, even if she wanted to.
Despite a nearly three week flap over her claim of "being Native American," the progressive consumer advocate has been unable to point to evidence of Native heritage except for an unsubstantiated thirdhand report that she might be 1/32 Cherokee. Even if it could be proven, it wouldn't qualify her to be a member of a tribe: Contrary to assertions in outlets from The New York Times to Mother Jones that having 1/32 Cherokee ancestry is "sufficient for tribal citizenship," "Indian enough" for "the Cherokee Nation," and "not a deal-breaker," Warren would not be eligible to become a member of any of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes based on the evidence so far surfaced by independent genealogists about her ancestry.
"These are my family stories," Warren has said. "This is what my brothers and I were told by my mom and my dad, my mammaw and my pappaw." But so far she and her campaign have been unable to establish that her family lore about being part Native American is anything more than one of the most widely shared family myths known to American genealogical researchers, myths especially prevalent in Warren's home state of Oklahoma, the state with the highest percent of Native Americans in the nation and one where the Cherokee are the largest minority group.