Published: Sat, October 20, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Cherokee Official Says Trump-Warren DNA Debate Not Helping Tribe

Cherokee Official Says Trump-Warren DNA Debate Not Helping Tribe

"Elizabeth Warren releases DNA results indicating she has Native American heritage", announced NBC News.

Warren, a Democrat from MA, released the test results on Monday, showing that she had as little as 1/1,024th Native American ancestry.

Warren (D-Mass.) released a campaign video featuring a genealogy expert explaining that she has an estimated one Native ancestor.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, President Trump renewed his attacks on Warren on Twitter.

'You know the one good thing about her test is that there was so little - there was less than the average American, ' Trump said on Thursday at a midterm campaign rally in Missoula, Montana. Warren's 1/1054th, or whatever it is today, would certainly not allow her on the Cherokee Nation tribal rolls, which she has acknowledged.

"Argue the substance all you want, but why 22 days before a crucial election where we MUST win house and senate to save America, why did @SenWarren have to do her announcement now?"

Trump has continued to attack the MA senator and potential 2020 rival on Twitter, charging Tuesday morning "that her claims of being of Indian heritage have turned out to be a scam and a lie" and saying she "should apologize for perpetrating this fraud against the American Public".

"Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage", Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. The announcement responded directly to President Trump, who has frequently attacked Senator Warren by calling her "Pocahontas". She is more impactful and useful if she acknowledges the privilege that comes from being White and advocates to dismantle the systems that sustain the oppression of some over others.

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Leadership of the Cherokee Nation have nonetheless criticized Warren for her move.

Warren's test showed her native ancestor appeared in her lineage six to 10 generations back, making her less than 2 percent Native American. Ms. Warren first denied listing herself as a "minority professor", or ever saying that she was Cherokee. "She listed herself as a minority in the American Association of Law Schools", said McCain, despite the fact that Warren "may be less Native American to the average USA white person".

Then, a Stanford University genetics professor and adviser for Ancestry.com and 23andMe analyzes her test. But "i$3 f O.C. Sarah Smith were fully Native American, that would make Warren up to 1/32nd native".

"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".

Warren tweeted that Trump is a "cowardly elitist" and that she "won't sit quietly for Trump's racism" so she took the test. That would have made her anywhere from 1/64 to 1/1,024 Native American.

And so it was, back to the misery of square one, Warren checkmated, Trump bullishly ecstatic, and political conversation dumbed into oblivion.

Pressed again if she made a mistake decades ago in listing herself in directories of minorities in academia, Warren emphasized she was thinking about her Native American ancestry, not any sort of claims to tribal citizenship, when she made those decisions.

Though Warren consulted an expert geneticist, there simply isn't enough Native American genetic data to draw from to conclusively show a person as descendent from a specific tribe. "I understand that distinction".

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