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Warren to discuss Native American policy with tribal leaders

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), one of the top-tier Democratic presidential candidates, will meet privately with tribal leaders at a round table in Oklahoma on Sunday to discuss her agenda aimed at Native American communities, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

Warren will meet with leaders of roughly 40 of the state’s federally recognized tribes in Tulsa before the senator holds her town hall in Oklahoma City, people familiar with the meeting told the Post. 

In addition to discussing policy proposals, Warren will address the criticism she has faced over identifying as Native American in the past, people familiar with the meeting told the Post. 

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“Elizabeth is looking forward to meeting with tribal leaders to discuss ways they can continue to work together on many important issues facing Indian Country,” Warren spokeswoman Kristen Orthman told the Post in a statement. “She believes in working on a Nation-to-Nation basis to uphold the United States’ solemn trust and treaty obligations to Tribal Nations and to build a brighter future for Indian Country.”

A spokesperson for the Warren campaign was not immediately available for comment to The Hill. 

Warren has met privately with tribal leaders in Minnesota, Washington state, California, Iowa, Michigan and Arizona over the past year, according to the report. 

Warren has apologized for identifying as Native American in the past. 

The senator released a DNA test last year that showed she was between 1/64 and 1/1028 Native American. Others have also accused her of trying to benefit from identifying as Native American during her career, but a Boston Globe investigation confirmed that Warren was never viewed as a minority when hired at law schools. 

“Like anyone who’s been honest with themselves, I know that I have made mistakes,” Warren said in August at the Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum in Sioux City, Iowa. 

“I am sorry for harm I have caused. I have listened and I have learned a lot, and I am grateful for the many conversations we have had together,” she added. 

Warren unveiled her Native American policy plan in August, days before the forum.

Warren’s plan calls for criminal justice reform on tribal lands as well as proposes a plan for a system comparable to the Amber Alert system for when children go missing.

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