October 16, 2018

Warren’s DNA Test Rollout Flops

Warren’s DNA Test Rollout Flops

Well, that didn’t go as planned.

Senator Warren’s rollout of her DNA test yesterday was met with immediate and strong rebuke from the Native American community.

The Cherokee Nation issued a statement in which they asserted that using a DNA test to claim Native American heritage is inappropriate and wrong.” Secretary of State of Cherokee Nation, Chuck Hoskin Jr, explained on CNN that the DNA test is “irrelevant to what it means to be a Native American in this country…It’s wholly unhelpful for any national leader to cling to DNA to establish they are Native American in” the United States.

Simon Moya-Smith, a Oglala Lakota and Chicano journalist, penned an op-ed for CNN that raised a number of questions for the 2020 hopeful including: “Elizabeth Warren, where the hell have you been?”

Then, Kim Tallbear, a professor of native studies at the University of Alberta, said that Warren’s DNA test is “yet another strike — even if unintended — against tribal sovereignty.”

In addition to the swift blowback from the community she claims as her own, the question still remains – why did she change her heritage from white to Native American when she was a professor?

New York Times: “And liberals, as well as conservatives, said Ms. Warren had still not adequately addressed why she changed her ethnic identity from white to Native American as a law professor in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Warren’s gotta say she shouldn’t have listed herself as Native American 30 years ago and apologize profusely and sit down with community leaders that agree to meet with her,” said Josie Duffy Rice, a progressive writer. (Ms. Warren has said she began identifying as Native American to honor her heritage because many of her older relatives were dying in that period).