Warren's DNA Test Perpetuates Stereotypes, Native Communities Say

Oct 16, 2018

In a video released this week, Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren backed up her long contested claim that she has Native American ancestry, with results from a DNA test and a telling of her family’s story.

President Trump has long taunted Warren’s claims of native ancestry and nicknamed her Pocahontas. At a July rally in Montana, Trump challenged Warren to use genetic testing to prove her claim.

But, the accusations surrounding Warren’s ancestry date back to 2012, when her Republican challenger for the Senate Scott Brown accused Warren of using her Native American heritage to advance her career.

Until this week, Warren had refused to participate in any such testing. And many native communities see her decision to do so as offensive and one that plays to stereotypes.

Graham Lee Brewer is a contributing editor for tribal affairs at High Country News and a member of the Cherokee Nation.