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Ethnicity, identity and family ancestry: Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test and its fraught implications




 Elizabeth Warren speaks during day two of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 5, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Elizabeth Warren speaks during day two of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 5, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

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Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has long been mocked by President Trump over her claims to Native American ancestry.

So last week, Warren released a DNA test to back her claims — a move that potentially misfired for the Senator, plunging her into a debate around who gets to identify as Native American, for what purposes and why.

The test Warren took showed that she had a Native American ancestor 6-10 generations ago. Trump dismissed the move. Meanwhile, there was backlash from the Cherokee Nation and other tribes who felt that Warren’s ancestral claims were disrespectful to indigenous people, and that scant ancestral ties aren’t enough to claim Native American identity.

What do you think of Senator Warren’s DNA test? Who gets to claim Native American identity, on what grounds and for what reasons? If you are Native American, what are your reactions to Warren’s claims?



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