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Cherokee Nation calls Elizabeth Warren's DNA test 'useless' in scathing statement

The Cherokee Nation issued a statement dismissing the idea that a DNA test could confirm Warren's membership in the tribe. (JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images)

After Sen. Elizabeth Warren released DNA test results showing a distant Native American heritage, the Cherokee Nation dismissed the idea that such a test could determine her tribal affiliation, The Oklahoman reported.

Warren has claimed connection to the Cherokee and Delaware tribes, but the Cherokee Nation says Warren's claims are "undermining tribal interests."

"Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong," the statement from Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. read.

"Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage," the statement also said.

What's the story?

In response to President Donald Trump's mockery of her claims of Native American heritage, Warren was enlisted Stanford genetics professor Carlos Bustamante to give her a DNA test.

The result was that a "great majority of [Warren's] identifiable ancestry is European" but the test "also identified five genetic segments as Native American in origin at high confidence."

"The facts suggest that you absolutely have a Native American ancestor in your pedigree," Bustamante told Warren in a video.

The Cherokee Nation, however, was not convinced or approving of this test.

Here's the full statement:

"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. 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."

Warren responded on Twitter, saying she never tried to claim tribal affiliation or citizenship.

(H/T Justin Wingerter)

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