SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Sen. Elizabeth Warren apologized for her past “mistakes” Monday, Aug. 19, at a presidential candidate conference dedicated to discussing Native American issues.

“I know that I have made mistakes. I am sorry for harm I have caused,” she said. “I have listened, and I have learned a lot. And I am grateful for the many conversations we’ve had together.”

In the past, Warren, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, made claims to Native American ancestry. She’s since apologized to tribal leaders, with the latest apology coming Monday at the Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum in Sioux City, Iowa, which every candidate from major parties was invited to attend.

A panel of seven tribal leaders from across the country sat on the stage to ask Warren questions during her talk Monday morning at the Sioux City Orpheum. They were quick to move on from the past — some even alluding to her as a future president — and focus their questions on issues of sovereignty, treaty obligations and voting rights.

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Warren said she is working with Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M, to create “big structural change” in Congress to address Native American issues such as the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women.


“The federal government’s history has been one of broken promises,” she said.

Before the two-day presidential forum, Warren released a set of policy proposals intended to help Indigenous people. The proposals included a plan to revoke the permits for the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, and another to expand tribal jurisdiction to be able to prosecute non-Native Americans for crimes committed within tribal nations.

Haaland, one of the first Native American women in Congress, said Warren’s tribal plans are “truly gold” and will help move forward bills such as Savanna’s Act and the Not Invisible Act of 2019. Haaland introduced Warren at the event and gave support for her presidential candidacy.

“I’ve seen her up close conversing with tribal leaders and tribal youth, listening and asking the questions that move deep thought and ideas forward,” Haaland said. Warren’s tribal plans “will give all tribes the executive attention they need and deserve.”