Posted on June 7, 2022

AOC Recalls Being Awakened to Her ‘Indigenous Heritage’

Thomas Phippen, Fox News, June 4, 2022

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Saturday her connection to her “indigenous heritage” was awakened while protesting the Dakota Access pipeline with Native American tribes at Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

Responding to a comment on Instagram, Ocasio-Cortez said she wanted to connect more with the ancestral roots of the Taíno, an indigenous people group of the Caribbean, and that American Indian tribes welcomed her as family.


“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. {snip} And it’s important for us to recognize that we were raised and we were told growing up that we were extinct, that Tainos don’t exist, and it’s really important for Puerto Ricans to understand that that narrative is being challenged right now.”

In addition to indigenous and Hispanic roots, Ocasio-Cortez, whose family emigrated to New York City from Puerto Rico, has over the years claimed to have Jewish, European and Black ancestry.


In her Instagram stories Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez explained that Taíno culture has influenced modern American culture and language without being credited, an issue she claimed is linked to colonization. As an example, she pointed to the word “Juracan,” the name of a Taíno deity of chaos and disorder, which formed the root of the word “hurricane.”