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Warren campaign says Native American Council has not sought meeting

CHARLOTTE -- Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren’s campaign said Tuesday that the Democratic National Convention’s Native American Council has not asked her to appear at a meeting to answer questions about her claim to Cherokee heritage.

The Boston Herald reported earlier Tuesday that Native American convention delegates invited Warren to Wednesday’s council meeting, after the paper asked them about Warren’s unsubstantiated assertion that she has Cherokee ancestry.

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Warren, who is challenging Senator Scott Brown for his seat, listed herself as a minority in a legal directory during the 1980s and 1990s, and Harvard Law School played up her minority status in the 1990s, after being criticized for a lack of diversity among its faculty members.

Warren has provided no documentation to support her claim that she is part-Cherokee, saying she relies on family accounts.

The Herald reported that its “Truth Squad” visited a gathering of Native American delegates in Charlotte, site of this week’s Democratic convention, and asked them about Warren’s claim. Some said they were concerned that Warren might have claimed undocumented Cherokee ancestry to advance her career as a law professor, a charge Warren and law schools that hired her have denied.

One of the concerned delegates named in the Herald report was Harlyn Geronimo, the great grandson of the Apache warrior Geronimo. But Harlyn Geronimo also told the Herald he was unfamiliar with Warren’s claim, and he is not a convention delegate, according to a list on the Democratic convention website. Three others featured in the Herald story are delegates.

Asked Tuesday at the convention whether she planned to meet with the Native American delegation and field questions about her heritage, Warren threw up her hands in exasperation.

“I’ve answered those questions,” she said. “I’m here to talk about what’s happening to America’s families. That’s my job. It’s my full-time job.”

Callum Borchers can be reached at callum.borchers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers. Noah Bierman can be reached at nbierman@globe.com.
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