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Mainstream Media Is Blowing Its Coverage Of Elizabeth Warren’s DNA Test

Tribal leaders and Native people say the senator is an ally — and they support her look at her ancestry. But hardly anyone asked them.

By Jennifer Bendery

01/04/2019 05:45 am ET

Original article appeared on HuffPost

WASHINGTON ― Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was positioned to make a strong bid for president in 2020, but she infuriated tribal leaders by releasing the results of a DNA test to prove her Native ancestry and now her future is unclear.

Changing Elizabeth Warren’s Story to One About Native America

The majority of Americans know little to nothing about Native Americans, our issues, or our contributions
By Crystal Echo Hawk

Invisibility of Native peoples to most of America threatens our fundamental rights and the well-being of our children. We are invisible within government, Hollywood, the news media, and in our schools. It’s the reason that the president, lawmakers, and the media use derogatory racial stereotypical language about Native people with impunity. Our invisibility and erasure is seen as normal.

Report Offers “Road Map” for Native Americans to Shed Stereotypes

HELENA, Mont. – A new report explores how Native Americans are perceived in the United States, and according to one of its project leaders, it’s the largest public-opinion research project about Native Americans ever conducted.

Crystal Echo Hawk said the goal of the report “Reclaiming Native Truth” was to find out about the dominant narratives and perceptions of native people from a diverse group of Americans. It included focus groups spanning 11 states and every race. She said toxic and contradictory stereotypes about Native Americans persist, such as ideas that they’re dependent on the government, but also flush with casino money.

Research reveals media role in stereotypes about Native Americans

This month, a team of Native researchers and thought leaders, organized under the project Reclaiming Native Truth, released a groundbreaking report that reveals for the first time how the American public views Native Americans. The report includes some stunning statistics on just how distorted and inaccurate public perception really is. Central to the findings is the role of the media in creating the problem, but also the potential for news and media to be part of the solution.

The false narratives, invisibility, and the erasure of Native peoples must end

Unprecedented research chips away at decades of misconceptions
Forget what your elementary teacher taught you about Native Americans.

American students learn some of the most damaging misconceptions and biases toward Native Americans in grades K-12. In fact, 87 percent of history books in the U.S. portray Native Americans as a population existing before 1900, according to a 2014 study on academic standards. For many Americans, we no longer exist.