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More Questions About Warren’s Native American Heritage Claims

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Elizabeth Warren speaks to reporters on May 3.

Elizabeth Warren speaks to reporters on May 3.

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BOSTON (CBS) – There are more questions about Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren’s claims of Native American ancestry.

Cherokee genealogist Twyla Barnes of Missouri says she has the death certificate of Warren’s aunt, Bess Reed Veneck, in which her race is marked down as “white.”

It has been published on Barnes’ blog tracking Cherokee genealogy, Polly’s granddaughter.com.

Not only is her Aunt Bea listed as white, Warren herself was listed as the informant.

That’s the same aunt that Warren spoke of as Native American at a news conference back on May 3 in Braintree.

“I still have a picture on my mantle at home and it’s a picture that my mother had before that, a picture of my grandfather. And my Aunt Bea has walked by that picture at least a thousand times, remarked that her father – my (grandfather) – had high cheek bones like all of the Indians do,” Warren said at the time.

That same website also published census forms from 1940, in which Warren’s aunt again listed herself as “white.”

Warren, a Harvard Law School professor, says her claims of minority status had nothing to do with any of the jobs she was hired for at Harvard or the University of Pennsylvania.

Her opponent, Senator Scott Brown, is accusing her of misrepresenting her heritage.

Warren’s campaign sent this statement to WBZ-TV Tuesday afternoon, responding to Barnes’ claims:

“Growing up, my mother and my grandparents often talked about our family’s Native American heritage. As a kid, I never thought to ask them for documentation – what kid would? But I knew, even as a child, that my parents had eloped because my father’s family didn’t approve of my mother’s background – she was part-Cherokee and part-Delaware. So this was an important part of our family story.

I never sought nor gained personal benefit in school or job applications based on my heritage.All of the people involved in recruiting and hiring me for my teaching jobs including the person who headed my recruitment for Harvard Law – Charles Fried, a Republican who served as solicitor general and who supported Scott Brown for Senate in 2010 – have all said that they were not even aware of my Native American heritage when they recruited me and that it played no role in my hiring.”

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