Cherokee Nation has slammed Senator Elizabeth Warren's announcement that she had undergone a DNA test that provides "strong evidence’" she has a Native American ancestor, calling the move "inappropriate and wrong."
In a statement released Monday by the Cherokee Nation, Chuck Hoskin Jr., the tribe's secretary of state, noted that such a test in no way determines tribal citizenship.
"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 the statement, via NewsOK. "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," 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."
On Monday, Warren revealed that she had had the testing done and that it indicates she had a Native American in her family tree dating back 6 to 10 generations. The test was performed by Stanford University professor Carlos D. Bustamante, who concluded that “the vast majority” of Warren’s ancestry is European, but that “the results strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor,” the Boston Globe reports.
Warren has repeatedly been mocked by Donald Trump over her claims of Native American heritage, with the President often referring to her as "Pocahontas."
After sharing her results, Warren tweeted at Trump, writing, "I took this test and released the results for anyone who cares to see because I’ve got nothing to hide. What are YOU hiding, @realDonaldTrump? Release your tax returns – or the Democratic-led House will do it for you soon enough. Tick-tock, Mr President."
I took this test and released the results for anyone who cares to see because I’ve got nothing to hide. What are YOU hiding, @realDonaldTrump? Release your tax returns – or the Democratic-led House will do it for you soon enough. Tick-tock, Mr President.— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) October 15, 2018
She also requested that Trump pay $1 million to her chosen charity, the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center, as he had previously offered to do so if she took a DNA test.
Photo Credit: Getty / Boston Globe