Warren: Native Americans should be 'part of the conversation' on reparations

Warren: Native Americans should be 'part of the conversation' on reparations
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHere are the potential candidates still eyeing 2020 bids Sanders unveils education plan that would ban for-profit charter schools Warren policy ideas show signs of paying off MORE (D-Mass.) said Friday that Native Americans should be “part of the conversation” on reparations, The Washington Post reported.

Warren, a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, made the remarks to about 900 supporters at New Hampshire's annual McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Dinner.

Warren is so far the only 2020 candidate to float the notion of reparations for Native Americans.

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“I think it’s a part of the conversation,” she said when asked whether they should receive some kind of relief. “I think it’s an important part of the conversation,” she added, according to the Post.

Asked to explain her position on reparations, Warren offered few details but pointed to America's "ugly history" of racism and pointed to her bill to address housing discrimination against black Americans, the paper reported.

“America has an ugly history of racism,” Warren told attendees, according to the paper. “We need to confront it head-on. And we need to talk about the right way to address it and make change.”

“I have a housing bill that talks about more recent forms of discrimination which we also need to address head-on,” she continued.

Warren's bill, if passed, would increase the availability of low-income rent housing around the country. It has won the backing of members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Warren's remarks came as she continues to navigate blowback from her previous claims to Native American heritage.

She apologized earlier this month for previously identifying as Native American. 

Warren, who also apologized recently to the Cherokee Nation for taking a DNA test to show that she had Native American ancestry, said the apology was meant to include identifying herself as Native American while a professor at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Last year, Warren publicly revealed the results of a DNA test showing the existence of a distant Native American ancestor. The move sparked backlash from some Native American groups.

Warren previously indicated support, along with Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHere are the potential candidates still eyeing 2020 bids Warren policy ideas show signs of paying off Hillicon Valley: Florida county that backed Trump was one of two hacked by Russians | Sandberg pushes back on calls to break up Facebook | Conservative groups ask WH to end Amazon talks over Pentagon contract MORE (D-Calif.), for reparations for black Americans affected by slavery. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro also suggested support for reparations for black Americans, the Post noted.

Harris affirmed her support for the idea of reparations in a statement Thursday in a radio interview.

"We have to be honest that people in this country do not start from the same place or have access to the same opportunities," Harris said in a statement. "I’m serious about taking an approach that would change policies and structures and make real investments in black communities."