AOC goes native, speaks of her ‘indigenous heritage’ after previously claiming Jewish ancestry

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was so moved while at a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline that she discovered a newfound connection with her “indigenous heritage.”

She announced her new tribal heritage in a video comment on Instagram where she described how being surrounded by native people “awakened” her to her Taínos heritage.

“One of the things that first started awakening and connecting me in a deep to my indigenous heritage was connecting to the Lakota Sioux at Standing Rock,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“It really just clicked that this is nuts, like, the grace that they extended to say ‘no, you are a relative,’ was really formative for me. While we may not be and come from the same exact lineage, there is a commonality to that ancestry. And it’s important for us to recognize that we were raised and we were told growing up that we were extinct, that Taínos don’t exist, and it’s really important for Puerto Ricans to understand that that narrative is being challenged right now.”

On Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez also explained to her followers some ways that her Taíno culture has impacted America such as the word “Juracán.” She claims that it comes from Taíno mythology but has been suppressed due to colonization.

(Photo Credit: Instagram)

“In fact, Juracáns were brought forth by one of the Taíono Gods Guabancex,” she said, noting that symbols used to depict the gods who “understood the spiral wind patterns of hurricanes” are distinctly similar to modern-day hurricane symbols.

It was a big day for Ocasio-Cortez who also took time to explain her Yoruban culture that she claimed infiltrated Puerto Rico when her African ancestors were brought to the island and enslaved.

Ocasio-Cortez’s family emigrated to New York City by way of Puerto Rico but that hasn’t stopped her from claiming Jewish, European and Black heritage over the years.

“As is the story of Puerto Rico, we are a people that are an amalgamation,” she said in 2018 at a synagogue. “We are no one thing. We are Black; we are indigenous; we are Spanish; we are European.”

“A very, very long time ago, generations and generations ago, my family consisted of Sephardic Jews,” she said later, talking about the “small menorahs” that her ancestors used to have tucked away in a closet.

Many people were incredulous at Ocasio-Cortez’s newfound indigenous roots.

One person claimed that she was the “new Pocahontas” but was quickly corrected by someone noting it was more likely she was the new “fauxahontas.”


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