Funny. She apparently said — and I assume that is verbally stated in the original references — this thing that gets repeated as “mammaw and pappaw” like that is some kind of incriminating phrasiology or sign of mental deficiency or something. (Gee, she could have said Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa, like you might have. Isn’t how this is spelled somewhat indicative of a general bias against her, done simply to make her look bad?)
She obviously believes that she is part American Indian and a review of the articles used in background for your story sure do not incriminate her for anything. It is some CRIME that she believes she is part Cherokee? If she is, or if she is not, is her belief that she is some kind of evidence that she is not spectacularly successful as a tenured college professor or as a Senator? Has she not gotten more done for Americans (think Consumer Protection Agency) than my guys (Lindsay “Benghazi” Graham and Tim (nothing) Scott), neither of which I cannot think of having done ANYTHING for the little people? — Mountains out of Molehills.
How IMPORTANT is this to anything? Is she apparently lying? Is that the understory? If she is or isn’t 1/32nd “minority”, is that relevant? Were crimes against humanity committed or is she some kind of racist for believing family stories about being part of a great American culture?
The phrase I hear a good bit, living in the South, seems to fit: “Picking fly shit out of the pepper.” Can’t you find more important things to write about than rehashing this stuff trying to make her look bad (or whatever)?