Debbie White Dove Porreco is a member of the Mattaponi tribe who says she is a descendant of Pocahontas. Last night she appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show and said Elizabeth Warren, who President Trump has repeatedly referred to as “Pocahontas,” should take a DNA test and settle the question of her heritage.
“I respect Sen. Warren as a U.S. senator, but I just wish she’d take the DNA test,” Porreco said, adding, “that would end a lot of this controversy.” She continued, “If she was American Indian, I would be the first one to welcome her into our heritage.”
Asked why she thinks Warren has refused to take a DNA test, Porreco said, “Maybe she’s afraid she’s not.”
It’s worth noting that Porreco does have an agenda here. She lives in Florida and is a member of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. She is also part of a group of women, the Trumpettes, who openly support Trump. Last year the Palm Beach Daily News wrote a story noting she’s even had a conversation with Trump about the issue at his club:
“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…
Porreco is a seasonal Palm Beach resident and a Trumpette who joined Mar-a-Lago along with her late husband Lou Porreco nearly 20 years ago. The Trumpettes are a group of women formed to support Trump when he was running for president. The group was founded by Toni Holt Kramer, a former Hollywood journalist who lives in Palm Beach.
Warren has devoted time and energy to rallying Native Americans to her side, despite her unwillingness to settle the issue of her heritage with a DNA test. Given that fact, and the fact that she’s probably gearing up for a run for president in 2020, Trump could do a lot worse than a descendant of Pocahontas to back him up.
So is Debbie White Dove Porreco actually a descendant of Pocahontas. Given that legitimate Native American connections are at issue here, that seems like a fair question to ask. What I found on that isn’t definitive but it does seem to back up her story. In 2003, Indian Country Today published an obituary of Porreco’s father, Daniel Webster Little Eagle Custalow, which mentioned the connection:
Described as “the strongest connection” between the remaining Powhatan Indian tribes, Daniel Webster Little Eagle Custalow, chief of the Mattaponi Indians, died March 21 in his home.
Custalow, 90, a descendant of Pocahontas and known by both Indian and non-Indian people for his spirituality, served as the tribe’s chief for the past 25 years. During this time, Custalow continued the “Mattaponi Treaty of Tribute to the Commonwealth of Virginia,” an annual tribute since the treaty’s 1646 signing and 1677 ratification…
Chief Custalow is survived by nine children: five daughters, Eleanor Pocahontas Cannada and husband, Alton; Edith White Feather Kuhns and husband, Raymond; Dolores Little White Dove Salmons and husband, Ralph; Shirley Little Dove McGowan and husband, Olsson; Debra White Dove Perreco and husband, Louis…
So her father was a chief and, according to this story originally published in 2013, Porreco grew up on the reservation. Does that prove her connection to Pocahontas? The full story seems a bit more complicated but, unlike Senator Warren, there’s no doubt Porreco is Native American and part of a tribe connected to Pocahontas.