Tags: DNA | Warren | Cherokee | undermines | tribe

Cherokee Leader Rebukes Warren's Claim of Native American Ancestry

sen. elizabeth warren
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks at the National Press Club August 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. . (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 15 October 2018 08:04 PM

The Cherokee Nation on Monday dismissed as “inappropriate and wrong” Democratic Mass. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s claim that a DNA test proves her Native American heritage.

The test, conducted by a Stanford University Professor Carlos Bustamante, showed Warren has a Native American ancestor going back six to 10 generations ago.

But in a sharp rebuke, Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. blasted Warren for “undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”

“Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America,” Hoskin said in a statement tweeted by The Oklahoman’s politics reporter.

“Sovereign tribal nations set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it not evidence for tribal affiliation.

“Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong,” the statement continued. “It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven.”

Another Cherokee activist also lashed out, The Hill reported.

“No native tribe acknowledges DNA testing as a source for citizenship or even claim to native heritage,” said Rebecca Nagle, an indigenous writer, organizer and citizen of the Cherokee Nation. 

“She comes from a well-documented line of white people and so there is ample evidence that all of her ancestors are documented white people on the census rolls, by their marriage and birth and death certificates since going back before the Trail of Tears,” said Nagle.

She also criticized the family stories from other non-Native people about American Indian heritage, charging the “overwhelming” number of those stories “are false and not based in identity but rather are based in a white entitlement to appropriate native land, native culture and native identity.” 

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The Cherokee Nation on Monday dismissed as "inappropriate and wrong" Democratic Mass. Sen. Elizabeth Warren's claim that a DNA test proves her Native American heritage.
DNA, Warren, Cherokee, undermines, tribe
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2018-04-15
Monday, 15 October 2018 08:04 PM
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