Cherokee Nation responds to Senator Warren’s DNA test
Chuck Hoskin Jr.
TAHLEQUAH – Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has released the results of a DNA test that shows evidence she had a Native American ancestor in her family six to ten generations ago.
President Donald Trump has continuously mocked the Democratic senator for her claims of Native ancestry. Trump has frequently referred to Warren as “Pocahontas.” He claims she has “pretended to be a Native American in order to advance her career,” and he has offered to pay $1 million to the charity of her choice if she took a DNA test that proved she had Native American heritage.
Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. issued the following statement on Oct. 15 in response to Sen. Warren’s DNA test claiming Native heritage.
“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. “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.”
Questions surrounding Warren’s native ancestry have hounded her for years.
The Washington Post reported in 2012, when Warren was running for the Senate, that said when she was a professor at Harvard Law School in the 1990s, the school cited Warren’s Native American background as an example of its own diversity in hiring.
Warren is currently running for reelection. Polls show she currently has a significant lead over her Republican opponent Geoff Diehl.