At Thursday’s Montana rally, President Donald Trump repeatedly called Democratic U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas.” Montana is home to eight tribal nations and more than 60,000 Native Americans.
The National Congress of American Indians said Trump’s use of the name “Pocahontas” is derogatory. But the president has said it in the past, and on Thursday he said it a lot.
“Pocahontas,” Trump said at the rally in Great Falls. “They always want me to apologize for saying it.”
Trump regularly attacks Warren’s claims of Native American ancestry.
Hey, @realDonaldTrump: While you obsess over my genes, your Admin is conducting DNA tests on little kids because you ripped them from their mamas & you are too incompetent to reunite them in time to meet a court order. Maybe you should focus on fixing the lives you're destroying.— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) July 5, 2018
Jason Small, a Republican state legislator in Montana and a member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe, said he doesn’t condone racism or bigotry, but:
“Basically what I think he was doing was giving her a good ribbing,” he said.
Small is wary of Warren’s ancestry claims.
“It has been known to happen where people give false information to gain some type of benefit,” he said. “So either which way, neither of them is not right.”
Small said he’s happy with how the Trump administration is working with Indian Country. He said they loosened regulations and allowed tribes to mine more coal, oil and natural gas on reservation lands.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.