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Kim Tallbear and Cherokee Nation Rebuke Elizabeth Warren’s Native American DNA Stunt

A report from anthropologist Kim Tallbear indicates Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test to prove she is Native American is a complete sham.

In an interview with the New Scientist in 2014, Kim Tallbear indicates, “There is no DNA test to prove you’re Native American.”

Tallbear goes on to talk about the dangers of DNA testing for Native American tribes:

“Some tribes will go back and test everybody. Of course, in any population where you do that you’re going to find misattributed paternity. And some tribes dis-enrol descendants: say your biological father is not who you think he is, then you can get dis-enrolled. This has happened in some tribes in the US.”

She continues:

“All a parentage test does is say whether your parent is your biological parent or not. I feel that’s dangerous in the long run because there is a conflation going on in people’s minds of parentage testing with genetic-ancestry testing. People think that there’s a DNA test that can prove if somebody is Native American or not. There isn’t.”

She even specifically discusses his fear that DNA testing will lead to discussions about racial purity.

“I worry about the way Native American identity gets represented as this purely racial category by some of the companies marketing these tests. The story is so much more complicated than that.”

In fact she believes a lot of the DNA testing done is to create an immigrant narrative:

“I think there is a suspicion by many Native Americans that scientists, who are largely not Native American, want to turn our history into another immigrant narrative that says “We’re all really immigrants, we’re all equal, you have no special claims to anything.”

There are also traditional people who don’t want to have a molecular narrative of history shoved down their throats. They would prefer to privilege the tribal creation stories that root us in the landscapes we come from.”

Warren’s Claims are Bogus

The piece blunts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s claims of Native American ancestry, a story she used to propel her career, by producing DNA test results Monday morning and citing it as proof of her lineage.

The results, provided to the Boston Globe, claim Warren may have Native American blood in her line somewhere between the 6th and 10th generation in her family. This means she could range anywhere in between 1/64th and 1/1024th Native, the latter amounting to 0.098%.

The average European American, by comparison, is 0.18% native.

The Cherokee Nation concurred. Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. refuted Warren’s DNA stunt as proof of anything stating:

“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. 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 is 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. 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. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”

It didn’t take very long for Warren to walk back her claims a bit.

President Trump Mocks Warren

President Trump mocked Warren’s political stunt, dismissing her by saying “who cares?”

When asked if he thought he owed the Massachusetts Senator an apology, Trump shot back: “She owes the country an apology. What is the percentage? 1/1000th?”

There’s little doubt Warren released these test results as a means to quell the controversy over her fake minority status prior to the 2020 election.

It has backfired in a major way as she now scrambles to fight back against doubters like the Cherokee Nation and columns such as that in the New Scientist.

“I hope she’s running for president because I think she’d be very easy,” Trump said in the wake of the controversy. “I hope that she is running. I do not think she’ll be difficult at all. She’ll destroy the country.”