This is my Grandmother. Like most people from the Ross family, she has predominantly Scottish heritage. She may also have a bit of Cherokee or Choctaw heritage, but I do not know for sure. We have family names on the Rolls, and I have relatives by both blood and adoption who are Indian, but I haven't taken the time to find out for certain if any of those in my direct bloodline were also Native American. I was raised Irish/Scottish-American. That is who I am; that is my culture. I know that even if I do turn out to have some minimal Cherokee or Choctaw blood, this does not make me Indian.
Like Elizabeth Warren, I grew up assuming some of my distant ancestors were Native American. In addition to all the Ross relatives among the Cherokee and Choctaw, I have Scottish and Irish ancestors who lived in community with Native people in Indiana and Montana, and in more distant generations among the tribes in the Carolinas. As far as we can tell, some of their descendants still live among those tribes now. As a child I occasionally attended cultural events that were open to non-Natives; I ate pumpkin fry bread with Seminoles in Florida, and attended a salmon bake and dance on an island in the Puget Sound. But because I knew real Native Americans, I knew I was not one. Unlike Elizabeth Warren, my belief about my ancestors led me to work in solidarity with Native people, to support their struggles for tribal sovereignty and protection of sacred sites. Unlike Elizabeth Warren, I did not "check the box" on college or job applications; I did not choose to exploit vague family stories in order to gain unfair advantages in addition to the white privilege from which she and I already benefit.
I stand in solidarity with my Cherokee relatives. I was initially planning on voting for Elizabeth Warren. I am one of the people who signed the petition to get her on the ballot. But given what we now know about her lies about her heritage and, even worse, her treatment of the Cherokee people who have tried to talk to her about this, along with her dismissal of issues of Native American Sovereignty as "unimportant", I cannot vote for her. If she meets with the authorized Cherokee representatives who are protesting her, sincerely asks how she can make amends, and then makes amends to the satisfaction of the Cherokees she has insulted and exploited, I will reconsider. But not unless and until she does these things.
I stand in solidarity with my Cherokee friends and relatives.