Navajo Nation Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty on Monday blasted President Trump for calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “Pocahontas” the same day.
“Today’s careless comment from President Trump is the latest example of systemic, deep-seated ignorance of Native Americans and our intrinsic right to exist and practice our ways of life,” she said in a statement.
“The intentional disregard of the historical trauma of Pocahontas as a sexual assault survivor directly resulting from colonization is disturbing,” Crotty continued.
“The reckless appropriation of this term is deeply offensive and dangerous to the sovereignty and identity of our peoples.”
Crotty also slammed Trump for calling Warren “Pocahontas” during an event honoring three Navajos who helped the U.S. Marine Corps create a secret code during World War II.
“The Navajo Code Talkers are not pawns to advance a personal grudge, or promote false narratives,” she said. “Such pandering dishonors the sacrifice of our national heroes.”
“Let us not allow this display of immaturity and short-sightedness distract from the important issues we advocate for collectively as sovereign nations on this continent, but continue to advance the cause and secure the future of indigenous people in America,” Crotty added.
Trump on Monday called Warren “Pocahontas,” using the derisive nickname to needle her for previously claiming Native American heritage.
“You were here long before any of us were here,” he told the three Navajos beneath a portrait of former President Andrew Jackson.
“Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago,” Trump added in the Oval Office. “They call her Pocahontas.”
Warren’s claims she has Native American ancestors became an issue during her 2012 election campaign against incumbent Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA).
Trump has since repeatedly mocked Warren as “Pocahontas,” a reference to the famous Native American linked to the colonial settlement in Jamestown, Virginia.
Warren on Monday criticized Trump’s use of the nickname during an event “to honor heroes, people who put it all on the line for our country” like the Navajo Code Talkers.
“It is deeply unfortunate that the president of the United States can’t even make it through a ceremony honoring these heroes without throwing out a racial slur,” she said on MSNBC.