Warren wants to rescind 20 medals of honor in Wounded Knee attack

Hundreds of Lakota Indians were killed in 1890 attack

A White House contender who has faced considerable criticism over her claims of Native American ancestry wants to revoke 20 medals of honor given to soldiers who participated in an 1890 attack on a Lakota Indian tribe.

On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduced the Remove the Stain Act, a bill cosponsored by two other Democratic presidential candidates, U.S. sens. Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders. Several other senators also signed the bill, a companion to a similar bill in the U.S. House.

11/21/2019 -- Atlanta, Georgia -- U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks during her campaign stop at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Thursday, November 21, 2019. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Caption
11/21/2019 -- Atlanta, Georgia -- U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks during her campaign stop at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Thursday, November 21, 2019. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

On Dec. 29, 1890, the U.S. Army's 7th cavalry surrounded a band of Lakota Indians led by the ailing Chief Big Foot near Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. Army soldiers demanded the tribe surrender their weapons. A shot was fired, sparking a brutal battle in which more than 150 Indians, including women and children, were killed.

The Army lost 25 men.

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“The horrifying acts of violence against hundreds of Lakota men, women, and children at Wounded Knee should be condemned, not celebrated with Medals of Honor,” Warren said in a statement. “The Remove the Stain Act acknowledges a profoundly shameful event in U.S. history, and that’s why I’m joining my House colleagues in this effort to advance justice and take a step toward righting wrongs against Native peoples.”

11/21/2019 -- Atlanta, Georgia -- U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks during her campaign stop at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Thursday, November 21, 2019. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Caption
11/21/2019 -- Atlanta, Georgia -- U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks during her campaign stop at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Thursday, November 21, 2019. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

The Medal of Honor is awarded for “gallantry beyond the call of duty.”

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Warren has faced criticism that she used a claim of Native American ancestry to advance her career. During the time Warren was a law professor at Harvard, she changed her ethnicity on personnel forms from “white” to “Native American.”

»RELATED: Elizabeth Warren courts black women at Clark Atlanta University rally

After being roundly ridiculed for her claims, including President Donald Trump dubbing her “Pocahontas,” Warren submitted to a DNA test that shows a distant native American ancestor dating back between six and 10 generations.

»Photos: Presidential candidates make their pitch in Atlanta