As recently as Friday evening June 29, 2012, Elizabeth Warren continued to say that due to family lore she is a Cherokee Indian. Never mind that there is no documentation, her family told her so it must be true. There’s one big problem with that however. When it came time to list the race of her Aunt Bea, she of the “high cheekbones” stories, Warren listed her as white on a government form.
Yet when Aunt Bea died, she was not identified as American Indian by the person who informed the State of Oklahoma about the death. That “informant” was none other than Warren, and she identified Aunt Bea as “White,” even though the Certificate of Death listed American Indian as the first of several alternatives.
That Warren chose to identify Aunt Bea on an official record as “White” doesn’t disprove absolutely that Aunt Bea told stories about being Native American, but it does show that as of the date of the Certificate of Death in 1999, Warren did not deem such stories (assuming they were told) to render Aunt Bea Native American for reporting purposes.
The interesting part to note in all of this, is as Jacobsen at Legal Insurrection notes, warren was identifying herself as a Native American at this same time. The listing of which, was based, according to Warren, on her Aunt Bea’s stories.