The Cherokee Nation issued a statement after Senator Elizabeth Warren released a DNA test she says proves her claim that she has Native American ancestry.
According to CBS Boston, Warren says the analysis was done by Stanford University professor Carlos Bustamante. Bustamante said the test shows most of Warren’s ancestry is European, but a Native American relative appears in her family tree 6 to 10 generations ago.
Warren has been mocked by President Trump and other politicians for claiming a Native American descendant. Trump has often referred to her as Pocahontas, claiming she has lied about her heritage.
Warren, a Democrat representing Massachusetts, has said that her great-great-great-grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith, was at least partially Native American. If Smith were fully Native American, Warren would be up to 1/32nd native. But the test results released Monday indicate she's between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American, according to the report.
Critics have accused Senator Warren, who grew up in Oklahoma, of using her claim of Native American heritage to improperly further her career as a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard.
Sen. Warren told the Boston Globe she identified herself as Native American back then to preserve her family stories and history, which she told the paper were disappearing.
Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. issued the following statement Monday in response to Senator Warren’s DNA test:
"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," Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. 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."