In a historic first, the Cherokee Nation has named an official representative to Congress.
The tribe’s council on Thursday approved former Obama appointee Kimberly Teehee as a delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, CNN reported.
The nonvoting position that Teehee – pending congressional approval – would fill was created by the Treaty of New Echota in 1835.
Teehee told NPR that the negotiation of the treaty came at a high price for the Cherokee, who were granted two years to relocate to the Indian Territory that is now modern Oklahoma.
“Literally blood, sweat and tears,” Teehee said. “We can’t ignore that history and what it meant for us to have a provision like that put in place given the devastation that occurred and the deaths that occurred.”
Social media commenters react by bringing up Elizabeth Warren
Some Twitter users reacted to the news by mockingly referencing Sen. Elizabeth Warren. the Massachusetts Democrat who last month apologized for the “harm” she’d caused by claiming Native American heritage.
BREAKING: It's not Elizabeth Warren. https://t.co/3B0hZzgk0I
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) September 3, 2019
“BREAKING: It’s not Elizabeth Warren,” quipped Steve Guest, the Rapid Response Director for the GOP.
Is Elizabeth Warren, AKA Pocahontas,the leader?
— vincentmurgolo (@vincentmurgolo) September 3, 2019
“Just stopping by for the Elizabeth Warren comments,” tweeted one commenter.
The Warren campaign’s attempt last year to show evidence of her ancestry, by releasing a video in which a geneticist concluded the amount of Native American blood possessed by Warren ranges from 1/64th to 1/1024th, arguably backfired in a major way.
Around the time of the video’s release, a Cherokee Nation official slammed Warren for presenting the results of her DNA test as evidence of her Native American ancestry.
“A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. in a statement.
In August, Warren’s team scrubbed her official website of any mention of claims to Cherokee ancestry.