Sen. Elizabeth Warren listens to question from Aaron Payment, tribal chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and vice president of the National Congress of American Indians.
Published August 19, 2019
SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Without specifying any particular incident, Senator Elizabeth Warren used the venue of the Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum on Monday to apologize to Indian Country “for harm” she caused.
“Like anyone who’s being honest with themselves, I know that I have made mistakes,” Warren said before her speech. “I am sorry for harm I have caused. I have listened, and I have learned a lot.”
Warren made her apology shortly after she began her comments.
Warren was referring to checking the “Native American” box when she was in academia.
Her apology was met with applause from the crowd and she answered questions about what she would do for Indian Country if she is elected president of the United States.
Warren was one of other presidential candidates who attended the first ever Native American presidential forum.
Warren was introduced by Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., one of two Native American women in Congress.
The presidential forum is important because Native Americans are taking their role in the electoral process seriously as tribal communities become stronger contributor to economies near tribal lands throughout the United States.
“Using the 2016 electoral college results and the slim margins that determined the outcome, the proportion of American Indians in these states was multiples greater than the margin of victory. While American Indians are just over 2 percent of the U.S. population, we are more than enough to determine the outcome of key battle ground states in 2020. Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nevada, and Arizona are all in play. Candidates need to no longer take the Indian vote for granted and have substantive platforms for upholding the treaty and trust responsibility. I will support the candidate who has the best policy proposals for American Indians,” said Aaron Payment, tribal chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and vice president of the National Congress of American Indians