Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has publicly acknowledged for the first time that she told officials at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania that she had Native American heritage.
The Harvard Law School professor's campaign said in a statement that she gave that information to the schools only after she had been hired.
The Boston Globe first reported the statement. The newspaper also reported that documents obtained from Harvard's library show that the law school first reported a Native American female professor in 1992, when Warren was a visiting professor. She returned to Harvard in 1995.
Warren has provided no documentation of Native American heritage, which she has said was part of family lore.
She is running for the Massachusetts Senate seat held by Republican Scott Brown.
-- Here's Warren's complete statement:
Growing up, my mother and my grandparents and my aunts and uncles often talked about our family’s Native American heritage. As a kid, I never thought to ask them for documentation – what kid would? – but that doesn’t change the fact that it is a part of who I am and part of my family heritage.
The people involved in recruiting and hiring me for my teaching jobs, including Charles Fried – solicitor-general under Ronald Reagan who has publicly said he voted for Scott Brown in 2010 – have said unequivocally they were not aware of my heritage and that it played no role in my hiring. Documents that reporters have examined also show I did not benefit from my heritage when applying to college or law school. As I have confirmed before, I let people know about my Native American heritage in a national directory of law school personnel. At some point after I was hired by them, I also provided that information to the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard. My Native American heritage is part of who I am, I'm proud of it and I have been open about it.
The people of Massachusetts are concerned about their jobs, the future for their kids, and the security of retirement. It’s past time we moved on to the important issues facing middle class families in Massachusetts.
This program aired on May 31, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.