A leader of an organization representing Native American tribes said Monday that Donald Trump calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” during an event honoring Native American Code Talkers “smacks of racism.”
“The reference is using a historic American-Indian figure as a derogatory insult and that’s an insult to all American-Indians,” John Norwood, general secretary of the Alliance of Colonial Era Tribes, told NBC News.
In a separate statement obtained by ABC News, the president of Navajo Nation, Russell Begaye, said that “in this day and age, all tribal nations still battle insensitive references to our people.”
“The prejudice that Native American people face is an unfortunate historical legacy,” Begaye said. But he added “the Navajo Nation does not want to engage in this dialogue between Sen. Warren and President Trump.”
Trump on Monday honored three Navajos who helped the U.S. Marine Corps develop a secret code during WWII.
“You were here long before any of us were here,” Trump said, standing beneath a portrait of former
President Jackson. “Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.”
Here's the video: Trump calls Elizabeth Warren 'Pocahontas' while honoring Native American code talkers: "You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas." pic.twitter.com/hjZ5MInDDf
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 27, 2017