Navajo Nation to Trump after 'Pocahontas' comment: 'Cultural insensitivity is unfortunate'
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - A statement from the Navajo Nation president is urging the focus remain on the Code Talkers honored at the White House Monday, instead of a controversial remark from President Donald Trump.
On Monday, several Navajo Code Talkers were invited to the White House for a recognition ceremony tied to Native American Heritage Month. During the event, President Trump referred to Sen. Elizabeth Warren as "Pocahontas."
"The reference to Sen. Warren as 'Pocahontas' is a part of an ongoing feud between the senator and President Trump over statements Warren had made to have Native American heritage during her Senate campaign," the statement reads.
"In this day and age, all tribal nations still battle insensitive references to our people. The prejudice that Native American people face is an unfortunate historical legacy," said Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye.
The statement goes on to encourage the focus to remain on the Code Talkers and their contributions to defending the United States.
Trump's comments sparked outrage with many condemning the remarks as racist and insensitive.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump's comments at a press conference later in the day, stating the term "Pocahontas" is not a racial slur and the president did not intended it to be used in that way.
The Navajo Code Talkers are credited with creating a complex code utilizing their indigenous language to help the United States win World War II. According to a White House press release, five code talkers attended the event.