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AFN objects to Trump’s usage of ‘Pocahontas’

The Alaska Federation of Natives issued the following statement about President Donald Trump using the term “Pocahontas” to describe Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who more than once posed as a Native American to gain academic advantage at Harvard University.

AFN Statement on President Donald Trump’s disrespectful reference during honoring ceremony

The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) joins the Navajo Nation and the National Congress of American Indians in expressing our concern regarding President Donald Trump’s use of the name Pocahontas during a ceremony honoring Native American Code Talkers. AFN honors the service, bravery, and sacrifices of our WWII Native Americans and Alaska Native code talkers and all our courageous veterans.

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President Trump’s remarks were disrespectful to the honoring of our veterans’ service. Native peoples serve in the Armed Forces at a higher rate than any other group in the country and have served in every war in this nation’s history. AFN calls upon President Donald Trump and his administration to recognize the harm it does to Americans, and we call upon the Alaska Congressional Delegation to join us in raising our concerns. 

AFN is the largest statewide Native organization in Alaska. Founded in 1966, its membership includes 185 federally recognized tribes, 177 village corporations, 12 regional corporations, and 12 regional nonprofit and tribal consortiums that contract and compact to run federal and state programs. AFN is governed by a 38-member board, which is elected by its membership at the annual convention held each October. The mission of AFN is to enhance and promote the cultural, economic and political voice of the entire Alaska Native community. 


Debbie “White Dove” Porreco, a descendant of Pocahontas and a member of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, told Trump during his presidential campaign that she’s not offended by his use of the word to refer to Sen. Warren of Massachusetts, who has repeatedly lied about being a Native American.

“He asked me one time at Mar-a-Lago. He said, ‘Do you mind me using ‘Pocahontas’ for American Indians?’ I said, ‘It doesn’t bother me,’” Porreco said Wednesday in the Palm Beach Post.


Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. Why don’t you get offended by something that is really hurting our Alaska Native people? The alcohol and drug problems, the incest, lack of morality in a large part of the population, the increasing dependence on welfare programs…etc. Wah wah wah, now you’re going to be offended because I’m pointing our those problems. Those are real problems that affect Natives and non-Natives alike. Wouldn’t it be better to work together than get involved in the political crap? Wouldn’t it be better to teach respect for our President and each other?

  2. I object to all of the money that just gets shoveled to Rural Alaska communities, the leadership of which have significant overlap with the AFN. Anyone remember how the Denali Commission lost $100M?

    “Perhaps the accounts were opened — but drained — long ago,” he writes. “Perhaps cities obediently signed the requirement, but immediately disregarded it as a mere funding ritual. (

    You can’t drain a tundra but it still needs cleaning up. This is just one example of people shoveling money at Alaska Natives for votes. Usually Democratic votes.

  3. Why is it ok when a woman lies about being black to be a leader in the NAACP or being a native American to get ahead at Harvard because ( as she says) she has high cheekbones like all Indians? A remark that I found was racist. Trump gets called out because of his big mouth all the time but not Warren.


  5. What a bunch of racist rhetoric! Go to and see how offended Sen. Warren really is! She is using it as a fundraising tool. Actually she claims she needs money to fight President Trump, not to make America a better more fair place to live, just to “FIGHT” progress. AFN is doing a disservice to their people by supporting this fake Native American, just like the NAACP helped create ghettos for their people by supporting Socialism’s handouts rather than Capitalism’s hand up. Sad to see such ignorance being repeated, no wonder our jails are full of young Native Alaskans with their leadership being so obtuse .

  6. If Trump was using Pocahontas to mock native Americans, then it might be possible to consider it offensive.
    But he’s not, so it isn’t.

    He uses it to mock a liar and charlatan, who tries to curry favor with native Americans, and gain advantage through affirmative action policies, by falsely claiming to be native American.

    Native Americans should be directing their outrage at Warren not Trump.

  7. It is time for the fraud Warren to repay $ for her gains representing herself as a Native American. Free tuition, books, salary as a professor, than voted out as a politician!

  8. My bad, thought it was Faux-cahontas…
    Anyway, a big hurray to the first American who dared offend the Mighty Non-Profit AFN!

  9. Fauxcahontas, legendary Harvard Native American professor and contributor/plagiarizer to the “Pow Wow Chow” cookbook.

  10. Nice crowd you attract, Suzanne. You should feel very proud to be followed by people of such high intellectual and moral fiber.

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