As a member of the tribe (Maternal 2nd great grandfather and grandmother, great grandfather and grandmother, grandfather and his brothers are on the Dawes Rolls), this controversy and the reaction has perplexed me. On the one hand, Warren appears to have no documentation to support her family’s storyline. On the other hand, it is true that many with Cherokee blood didn’t sign onto the rolls. Does it matter? I am beginning to think it really doesn’t mostly because so many individuals claim the same thing. But like the lack of clarity over Warren’s heritage, this analysis, particularly that of the South’s affinity to the Cherokees during the Civil War, lacks some context. Stand Watie, who was the last Confederate general to surrender, was a signatory of the Treaty of New Echota that gave Andrew Jackson cover to force the Trail of Tears. When Cherokees arrived in the West, leaders of the effort in signing that document, particularly Major Ridge, his son, John, and Elias Boudinot, were murdered by tribal members following John Ross, who was principal chief at the time of the treaty signing and opposed it as he fought to keep the Cherokee lands in Georgia and North Carolina. While the Cherokee Tribe initially backed and fought for the Confederacy, it switched sides in 1863 and joined the Union in freeing their slaves despite Watie’s continued support for the confederacy. Outraged, Watie’s men burned down all Cherokee government buildings in Tahlequah as well as Ross’ home in nearby Park Hill. That period for the tribe was a very murky one where tribal members were at odds with each other as much as with the U.S. government or the Confederacy. I guess in some ways the controversy of Elizabeth Warren is much the same. It’s tough to tell whose right and whose wrong, but everyone apparently has an opinion.