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Navajo Nation Criticizes President Trump's 'Pocahontas' Comment

President Trump addressing Navajo Code Talkers at a ceremony on Nov. 27

The Navajo Nation has criticized controversial comments made by President Trump Monday.

At a White House ceremony honoring Navajo Code Talkers who helped the United States win World War II, Trump referred to Senator Elizabeth Warren by calling her 'Pocahontas'—a racially-charged term many find offensive. 

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said in a press release that the comments were culturally insensitive and a reminder of the prejudice that Native American people face. 

“In this day and age, all tribal nations still battle insensitive references to our people. The prejudice that Native American people face is an unfortunate historical legacy,” he said. “As Native Americans, we are proud people who have taken care of this land long before there was the United States of America and we will continue to fight for this Nation.”

Begaye also said he didn’t want the Navajo Nation to get caught up in the  ongoing feud between President Trump and Senator Warren.
Trump made the comment while standing in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson, who ordered the forced removal of tens of thousands of Native Americans from their land in the 19th century. 

Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.