your internet resource on facebook on twitter on Google+ on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Dynamic Homes
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Sorry but DNA tests cannot confirm a person's Native ancestry

Filed Under: Education | National | Technology
More on: dna, kim tallbear, nanibaa garrison, race

These vials were used as part of IAIA Blood Quantum Drive, an exhibition of works by students at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico that addressed race and blood quantum issues in Indian Country. Photo from Facebook

DNA tests are great at demonstrating genetic relationships, even some that go back tens of thousands of years, but they can't confirm whether or not someone has Native ancestors, according to experts.

Professor Kim Tallbear, a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, offered a 47-tweet explanation of the issue on Tuesday after a failed Republican candidate claimed otherwise. Companies that offer genetic tests will never be able to pinpoint a person's specific or even general tribal heritage, she wrote.

"It’s unreasonable for scientists to conceive of tribe-specific markers," Tallbear wrote in one of her tweets. "'Tribes' mixed a lot, on their own & due to colonial policy."

But even if the companies refined their methods, a test still might not show whether someone has a Native ancestor, especially one in the distant past. The material that a person inherits from his or her parents boils down to a genetic lottery.

"It's all just by chance, what you inherit from your parents," Dr. Nanibaa' Garrison, a member of the Navajo Nation who studies genetics, told The Washington Post

Get the Story:
A DNA Test Won’t Explain Elizabeth Warren’s Ancestry (Slate 6/29)
Sorry, Scott Brown: A DNA test can’t tell us if Elizabeth Warren has Native American roots (The Washington Post 6/29)

Related Stories:
Trump rehashes 'Pocahontas' slur as Warren hits road for Clinton (6/28)
Northwest tribes seek reburial of ancestor known as Ancient One (06/08)
Study reveals some Native DNA in African American populations (06/01)
DNA studies boost links between Native people and ancestors (05/18)
Northwest tribes inch closer to reburial of Kennewick Man remains (04/28)
Cynthia-Lou Coleman: Media downplays tribal views on NAGPRA (02/15)
DNA from ancient infants linked to present-day Native populations (10/27)
Ruth Hopkins: Western science catches up to Native traditions (10/14)
Sen. Murray introduces bill to repatriate Kennewick Man to tribes (08/10)
Indigenous peoples in South America and Australia linked (07/21)
Washington governor supports repatriation of Kennewick Man (06/30)
Genetic analysis confirms Kennewick Man was Native American (06/18)
Genetic research confirms Alaska homeland for Inupiat people (05/04)
Tanya Lee: Don't let our racist history cloud genetics research (02/05)
The Atlantic: Native people wary of DNA tests and genetic studies (01/27)
Initial DNA tests show Kennewick Man linked to Native peoples (01/19)
DNA study finds distinct population of Native people in Arctic area (08/29)
Scientists publish lengthy book based on study of Kennewick Man (08/25)
WBUR: Tribes rebury one of their ancient relatives in Montana (07/23)
Remains of 12,600-year-old Native toddler reburied in Montana (06/30)
DNA of girl found in Mexico linked to present-day Native people (05/15)
DNA study shows link between ancient baby and Native people (02/14)
Research finds potential relative of Native Americans in Siberia (11/21)
Study links Native people in British Columbia to ancient remains (07/05)
Simon Moya-Smith: DNA research and the Bering Strait Theory (07/31)
Study reconfirms age of ancient remains and artifacts in Oregon (07/13)
DNA study points to at least three major groups of Indian people (07/12)
APRN: DNA study to explore connections among Alaska Natives (06/07)
Alaska Natives participating in DNA and cultural heritage study (06/06)
Study finds a link between Indian families and Jewish ancestor (05/30)
Nature: Puerto Ricans carrying DNA from their Taino ancestors (10/17)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Federal court blocks attempt to condemn lands on Navajo Nation (5/26)
Bill removes blood quantum requirement for Five Civilized Tribes (5/26)
Mark Trahant: Voting is just sooo hard in the era of Donald Trump (5/26)
Ryan Benally: Bears Ears was false promise for Native Americans (5/26)
Adrian Jawort: Should non-Natives ever write about our people? (5/26)
Native turnout fails to sway closely-watched election in Montana (5/26)
Eastern Cherokee council ousts chief for only 2nd time in history (5/26)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe into election season with crowded field (5/26)
Lacrosse documentary 'Pride of a Nation' opens to strong reviews (5/26)
Seminole Tribe working hard to rid new casino of Trump's influence (5/26)
Lawmakers once again seek fixes to 'broken' Indian Health Service (5/25)
Secretary Zinke headed to National Congress of American Indians (5/25)
Bureau of Indian Affairs opens listening sessions on reorganization (5/25)
Kevin Washburn: Indian Country feels the pain with Donald Trump (5/25)
Yakama Nation landowners weigh offers as buy-back winds down (5/25)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe cannabis consultant found not guilty (5/25)
Secretary Zinke plans to work with tribes on drilling push in Alaska (5/25)
Republican candidate to replace Ryan Zinke charged with assault (5/25)
Democrats drop Andrew Jackson from name of event in Arkansas (5/25)
Chickasaw Nation breaks ground on $10M casino by Texas border (5/25)
Washoe Tribe celebrates 1st anniversary of unique gaming facility (5/25)
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community shares update on casino work (5/25)
Trump administration ready to let Cobell program run out of funds (5/24)
Northwest tribes slam Trump's budget for cuts to Indian programs (5/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe finds one bright spot in Trump's budget (5/24)
Pascua Yaqui Tribe reports jury conviction of non-Indian offender (5/24)
YES! Magazine: Native birthing center maintains tribal traditions (5/24)
Peter d'Errico: Founding Fathers conspired to take land from tribes (5/24)
Eastern Cherokee chief questions fairness of impeachment hearing (5/24)
Another guilty plea in theft of gaming funds from Winnebago Tribe (5/24)
Tribes clear legislative hurdle in bid for new casino in Connecticut (5/24)
President Trump confirms Indian Country's worst fears with budget (5/23)
Office of Special Trustee pitches lower budget as 'taxpayer' savings (5/23)
Steven Newcomb: Monuments to white supremacy harm our people (5/23)
Two more spills of oil from Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota (5/23)
Native woman in skirt and sandals wins ultramarathon in Mexico (5/23)
Brothers from Huichol Tribe murdered as drug war rages in Mexico (5/23)
Iowa Tribe misses deadline again to launch internet poker project (5/23)
Mississippi Choctaw citizens request vote on $25M casino project (5/23)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe must wait to restart work on casino (5/23)
Documents show few meetings between Secretary Zinke and tribes (5/22)
Landowners on 2 reservations in Nebraska receive buy-back offers (5/22)
Human Rights Complaint: 'We are only letting the white people in' (5/22)
Mark Trahant: Funds for Indian health in danger under Republicans (5/22)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.