Inside Elizabeth Warren's courtship of Native American leaders

A senior Warren aide told CNN that as it relates to the ancestry dispute, they could only describe the campaign’s next steps as focusing on issues that are important to Indian Country through outreach and policy work. (The aide declined to elaborate on any other strategic thinking, including how the campaign plans to beat back future attacks from critics, including President Donald Trump.)

One person in contact with the campaign described her advisers as being sensitive to the heritage issue, and careful about any deliberations related to Indian Country. The decision to attend Monday’s conference would have fallen in that category, that person said: “She has to go to it. You’re sort of damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”

OJ Seamans, a co-executive director of the Four Directions group, told CNN that he spoke with PaaWee Rivera, a Warren aide who was previously the Democratic National Committee’s director of Native American and Rural Engagement, more than a half-dozen times over the past few weeks. The two chatted about a wide range of issues, including the upcoming conference, and Rivera was “cautious” about how the event would be handled, according to Seaman. Seaman offered reassurances that the purpose of the forum was to educate the public and discuss the unique needs of Native peoples.