Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has apologized to the Cherokee Nation for taking a DNA test in an attempt to prove her Native American heritage, The Intercept reports.
Warren’s decision to take a DNA test and release the results was criticized by many Native Americans, including Cherokee Nation Secretary Chuck Hoskin Jr., who deny that DNA results can determine tribal affiliation.
“A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America,” Hoskin said in a statement at the end of 2018. “Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong… Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”
“I understand that she [Warren] apologized for causing confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and the harm that has resulted,” Executive Director of Cherokee Nation Communications Julie Hubbard told The New York Times. “The chief and secretary of state appreciate that she has reaffirmed that she is not a Cherokee Nation citizen or a citizen of any tribal nation.”
Hubbard said in a statement to The Hill on Friday: "We are encouraged by this dialogue and understanding that being a Cherokee Nation tribal citizen is rooted in centuries of culture and laws not through DNA tests. We are encouraged by her action and hope that the slurs and mockery of tribal citizens and Indian history and heritage will now come to an end."
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