I'm not really that interested in possible/future Democratic presidential candidates—I just wanted to be the first to use our newest Slog tag. 2016, bitches!
In April 2012, the Boston Herald reported that in the 1990s, Harvard Law School had, in response to criticisms about the lack of faculty diversity, publicized Warren's law directory entries from 1986 to 1995, which listed her as having Native American ancestry. Warren said she identified as a minority in the law directory listing (of the 1980s and 1990s) in hopes of being invited to events to meet people of similar background. Harvard Law professor Charles Fried, who had served as Solicitor General in the Reagan administration and sat on the appointing committee that recommended Warren for hire in 1995, said that her heritage was never mentioned and played no role in the appointments process.
The Brown campaign called on Warren to "come clean about her motivations for making these claims and explain the contradictions between her rhetoric and the record". Warren's campaign responded that she was proud of her heritage and denied any wrongdoing. Warren said she had not received any preferential treatment due to her claimed Native American heritage, and stated, "Every single person who has been involved in hiring me has issued a statement to that effect."
The New England Historical Genealogical Society initially announced in May 2012 that it had found evidence for Warren's claims, but later recanted, saying, "We have no proof that Elizabeth Warren’s great-great-great-grandmother O.C. Sarah Smith either is or is not of Cherokee descent."