- The Washington Times - Monday, October 15, 2018

An American Indian professor from the University of Alberta says Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test released Monday is an example of the “privileges of whiteness.”

The Massachusetts lawmaker’s latest attempt to convince the world of her family’s Indian heritage was pilloried across the political spectrum for a wide assortment or reasons.

Kim TallBear, an associate professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, slammed her from the left Monday for adopting “settler-colonial definitions of who is indigenous” by taking the DNA test.

The results suggested an Indian ancestor between six and 10 generations before her — a definition that no tribe accepts as making one a member.



“As scholars of race have shown, it is one of the privileges of whiteness to define and control everyone else’s identity,” she said in a statement released on Twitter. “Tribal governments establish regulations that do not use genetic ancestry tests, but other forms of biological and political relationships to define our citizenries.”

The Cherokee Nation, the tribe from which Ms. Warren claimed ancestry, put out a similar statement condemning Ms. Warren’s actions as “inappropriate.”

This behavior by Ms. Warren “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,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a statement.

Ms. Warren has been mocked for years by critics as “Pocahontas” and “Fauxcahontas” for claiming minority status at her universities and for backing up those claims by recounting her family’s “high cheekbones” and saying her racist grandparents disapproved of her parents’ marriage because of her mother’s Cherokee heritage.

She denies accusations that she misrepresented her ancestry to increase the probability of landing jobs at Harvard Law School and and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. 

The lawmaker’s DNA results show her Native American ancestry (0.09 percent to 1.5 percent) is essentially on par with the average white American.

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