Haaland Applauds Warren as a ‘Sister in the Struggle’

New Mexico 1st District candidate likely to be first Native American woman in Congress

Deb Haaland, Democratic candidate for New Mexico’s 1st District, speaks with reporters and editors at Roll Call's Washington, D.C. offices. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call)
Deb Haaland, Democratic candidate for New Mexico’s 1st District, speaks with reporters and editors at Roll Call's Washington, D.C. offices. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call)
Posted October 15, 2018 at 1:55pm

Deb Haaland, a Democratic candidate for Congress in New Mexico, applauded Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s, D-Mass., decision to release the results of a genetic test showing Native American ancestry Monday. A victory in November would make Haaland the first Native woman to serve in Congress.

“Senator Warren has been a sister in the struggle for years for Indigenous peoples’ rights, and for all of us who weren’t born into the top 1%,” Haaland tweeted. “The revelation of Senator Warren’s Native American ancestry is significant for her personally, and I join her in celebrating her ancestry.”

In February, Warren spoke about her lineage to the National Congress of American Indians. The speech coincided with her signing onto six bills that would affect Native American tribes, including a bill to provide tribes with greater funding for combating the opioid epidemic, Politico reported.

But some Native American leaders are troubled by Warren’s use of a DNA test to claim Native lineage.

The Cherokee Nation said the test hurts the tribe’s interests in a statement Monday night.

“Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said.

Haaland is favored to win. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race for the 1st District Solid Democratic

Monday’s test results are Warren’s latest effort in a months-long campaign to put Trump’s “Pocahontas” smear behind her. Warren’s aggressive counter-messaging — including a video featuring her brothers attesting to her Native American lineage and a website where she shares personnel files showing heritage did not factor into her professional appointments — signals a likely 2020 run.