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Elizabeth Warren calls Donald Trump’s ‘Pocahontas’ references disrespectful

Global News logo Global News 2018-02-14 Rebecca Joseph
FILE- In this Dec. 5, 2017, file photo, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., waits to speak during a meeting of the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. © AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File FILE- In this Dec. 5, 2017, file photo, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., waits to speak during a meeting of the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren says President Donald Trump’s use of the nickname “Pocahontas” is disrespectful in her most expansive public remark on the topic yet.

On the campaign trail, and after he became president, Trump has continually called Warren, “Pocahontas.” His most recent remarks were met with silence at an event honouring Native American “code talkers” in November.

READ MORE:

Trump calls Elizabeth Warren ‘Pocahontas’ at event honouring Native American veterans

Warren has previously called the term a “slur” but expanded on her thoughts in an appearance before the National Congress of American Indians on Wednesday.

She accused Trump of reducing native history to “the butt of a joke” at her expense, and twisting native history – something that she says has been done before.

She called Pocahontas’ story one “of heroism, and bravery and pain.”

“And for almost as long, her story has been taken away by powerful people who twisted it to serve their own purposes,” she said.

WATCH: Trump revives 'Pocahontas' nickname in jab against Elizabeth Warren

The Massachusetts Democrat also discussed her native heritage which has previously been called into question. She says her mother’s family was part Native American and her father’s parents “were bitterly opposed to their relationship.”

Warren says her parents married in Oklahoma in 1932, and that “the story they lived will always be a part of me. And no one — not even the president of the United States — will ever take that part of me away.”

Warren was criticized for not having documentation during her 2012 election campaign.

WATCH: Elizabeth Warren calls Trump's 'Pocahontas' comment at event honouring Native American veterans 'disturbing'

But Warren told the Native American group that she respects the distinction between Native American heritage and membership in a tribe.

“I understand that tribal membership is determined by tribes — and only by tribes,” she said.

But contrary to claims by opponents, “I never used my family tree to get a break or get ahead,” Warren said. “I never used it to advance my career.”

She also criticized Trump's continued use of a portrait of former president Andrew Jackson in the Oval Office, which she said honours “a man who did his best to wipe out native people.”

The type of violence Jackson and his allies perpetrated on Indian tribes “remains part of life today” for Native Americans on and off Indian reservations, Warren said, noting that more than half of Native American women have experienced sexual violence.

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