To be clear, I have nothing against Elizabeth Warren. I’m a huge fan of the vast majority of her political positions. But her Cherokee heritage claims are in the news a lot right now, and this article takes that news story as an opportunity to look at the history of those claims. My goal isn’t to discredit Warren (again, I like her) — it’s to give people a little context and backstory on an issue they’re currently hearing a lot about.
In short, no it’s not a crime to claim you’re Cherokee without proof. Rather, it is a tradition.