The Cherokee nation had a strongly-worded response to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test, used to determine whether her ancestry was part of that tribe.
As IJR previously reported, Warren released her DNA test results regarding her controversial claim that she was Native American, something she indicated in legal directories before applying to Harvard.
While Warren did have some ancestry, it was fairly remote. “The generational range based on the ancestor that the report identified suggests she’s between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American,” the Boston Globe reported.
When the Cherokee nation responded, it seemed insulted:
Cherokee Nation statement: "Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage." pic.twitter.com/qkMOAJZpsc
— Eric Bradner (@ericbradner) October 15, 2018
“Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage,” the group said.
It suggested that the DNA test made a “mockery” out of legitimate uses of DNA testing and was an ineffective way to determine Cherokee tribe membership.
“A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship,” the nation’s Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin JR. said. “Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America.”
“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.”
Amid the DNA test, some also questioned whether Trump would pay $1 million to her favorite charity, something he previously indicated he would do.
“I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian,” he said.
When he responded on Monday, he denied pledging to give her money.
This video of Trump saying that he never said he'd pay $1 million if Warren took a DNA test followed by him saying it on video is so unquestionably brutal, yet it won't make an ounce of difference. Because that's what we've come to expect from Trump. pic.twitter.com/0czwsqKl5v
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) October 15, 2018
On Twitter, some ridiculed the incident:
Warren: My mom was so Native American my dad's family was racist against her.
Warren: Here's a study saying MAYBE 10 generations ago I had a Native American ancestor.
Media: SEE? TRUMP WAS WRONG.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) October 15, 2018
Elizabeth Warren owes Trump a million dollars
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) October 15, 2018
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro suggested it was ridiculous to make such a big deal out of the DNA test given that Warren’s ancestry was so remote.
Correction [9/16/18, 10:50 a.m. ET]: Previously, this story inaccurately stated Senator Warren had listed her Native American heritage on her application to Harvard University; however, there is no proof she did, according to the Washington Post. We have corrected the error.