BOSTON (AP) — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has acknowledged for the first time that she told officials at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania that she had Native American heritage.
The Harvard Law School professor's campaign said in a statement that she gave that information to the schools only after she had had been hired for faculty positions. She had previously confirmed that she had allowed herself to be listed as a minority in a national directory of law school faculty.
"At some point after I was hired by them, I also provided that information to the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard," Warren said. "My Native American heritage is part of who I am, I'm proud of it and I have been open about it."
Warren grew up in Oklahoma and has provided no documentation of the ancestral claims. She has said her heritage is part of family lore.
Warren is running for the Massachusetts Senate seat held by Republican Scott Brown.
The statement was released as The Boston Globe reported Thursday that documents obtained from Harvard's library show its law school first reported a Native American female professor in federal statistics in 1992, when Warren was a visiting professor.
She returned to Penn before returning to Harvard Law School as a tenured professor in 1995, when the school resumed its listing of a Native American faculty member, the Globe reported.
Warren previously has said she was unaware that Harvard had listed her as a minority until she learned of it in a report in the Boston Herald last month.
The Democratic candidate noted in her statement that people involved in recruiting her for teaching jobs have stated that they were unaware of her claims of Native American heritage, including Harvard Law School professor Charles Fried. Fried served as U.S. Solicitor General in the Reagan administration and has said he voted for Brown for Senate in 2010.
"Documents that reporters have examined also show I did not benefit from my heritage when applying to college or law school," she said.
In a separate statement Thursday, Warren demanded an apology from Brown for what she claimed was an attack on the integrity of her parents, the late Don and Pauline Herring.
During a visit Thursday to Springfield, Brown again called on Warren to release her employment records. Asked about her claim that she learned about her Native American ancestry from her mother, The Republican newspaper quoted Brown as responding: "My mom and dad have told me a lot of things, too, but they're not always true."
Warren said her parents should be left out of the campaign.
"Scott Brown's comments about my parents are totally out of line," she said. "I resent him questioning their honesty. My mother and father are not here to defend themselves and should be off limits."