In a statement released Monday, the Cherokee Nation blasted Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren for trotting out the results of a DNA test she claims prove she is part Cherokee.
“A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a statement. “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.”
On Monday Morning, the Boston Globe published a story outlining the results of Warren’s DNA test, which revealed that she may or may not have had an ancestor of Native American descent 6 to 10 generations ago, making her at most 1/64 Native American. The results contradicted anecdotes Warren has shared in the past about being part Cherokee, and claims she made while pursuing a job in academia.
The results of the DNA test aren’t the only thing undercutting her story. The Cherokee Nation also blasted her use of a DNA test to prove her tribal affiliation, calling it “inappropriate and wrong.”
“Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong,” Hoskin continued in his statement. “It makes a mockery 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.”