Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Native Americans React to Elizabeth Warren’s DNA Test: Stop Making Native People “Political Fodder”

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Native Americans across the country are criticizing Senator Elizabeth Warren’s decision to use a DNA test to assert her Native American heritage. Chuck Hoskin Jr., secretary of state of the Cherokee Nation, 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.” We host a roundtable discussion of Native American activists and journalists to respond to Warren’s DNA test and the subsequent media coverage. In Fargo, North Dakota, we speak with Tara Houska, national campaign director for Honor the Earth and an Ojibwe lawyer. In Anchorage, Alaska, we speak with Mark Trahant, editor of Indian Country Today. He’s a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. In Seattle, Washington, we speak with Gyasi Ross, a member of the Blackfeet Nation and host of the podcast Breakdances With Wolves.