When I worked at the radio station we’d get a call now and then from Sam, a faithful caller who was also an American Indian. He began his calls the same way: “Migwich,” he’d say. If I recall correctly, it meant hello, let’s talk. Mostly he called about local absurdities, but if you wanted to talk about Indian culture, he was up for it. A low-key, kind, and fascinating man, perfect for late-night talk radio. He reminded us of the range of Indian cultures, how crude the “F-Troop” childhood stereotypes really were. Me Chief for many moon! Heap big wampum for braves! It’s like reducing all European languages down to Chaucerian English.
Anyway. The Boston Herald reports:
Elizabeth Warren was touting her claim of Cherokee heritage as early as 1984, according to a cookbook titled “Pow Wow Chow” edited by her cousin that includes Warren’s recipes for a savory crab omelet and spicy barbecued beans.
Warren, who has been under fire for claiming Indian lineage despite a lack of documentation, is identified as “Elizabeth Warren, Cherokee” under each of five recipes she contributed.
At this point that’s like a certain cartoon canine proffering a business card that reads “Wile E. Coyote, Genius.”
One Cherokee tribe genealogist said the cookbook was “Silly,” adding:
“Cherokees don’t even traditionally have powwows.”
Didn’t she get a twinge in the cheekbones when she was asked to contribute to the book? Heck no: she was 1/32nd Indian, which meant a deep soulful affinity for powwows and all that Indian stuff. You suspect Warren once fixed someone in the faculty lounge with a baleful stare and said “Don’t make me go on the warpath over this.” And whoever she was talking to nearly bit through his cheek to keep from laughing.
UPDATE: Elizabeth Warren has now clarified her biography, and says she was born in Kenya.