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Mon Oct 15, 2018, 11:22 AM

"The real question is, does an Indigenous people claim anyone who claims to be one of us?"

"We are the voices of authority, not a lab coat."

Dr. Kim TallBear, author of "Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science," is an excellent source to follow if you want to learn more about the usefulness of "genetic testing" when it comes to NA ancestry, identity and what it means. She put together a thread a couple years ago I found interesting:

https://wakelet.com/wake/57e215e9-3566-4d4e-9fc7-a9d844bb504c

There are a lot of issues and questions here, which I encourage white people especially to sit with. Is it helpful for Democrats to be so invested in a "genetic test" for Elizabeth Warrne? Is it helpful for white people to tout it as a "win"? What does it mean for the tribes in this nation? Is this the best use of our voices right now? Is this gotcha worth it? Does this help center Native Americans and their issues? Does "the science" say what we think it says? Does it say things that mesh with what tribes say?

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Reply "The real question is, does an Indigenous people claim anyone who claims to be one of us?" (Original post)
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2018 OP
Takket Oct 2018 #1
matt819 Oct 2018 #7
former9thward Oct 2018 #26
beachbum bob Oct 2018 #2
elfin Oct 2018 #3
Ms. Toad Oct 2018 #5
elfin Oct 2018 #6
Ms. Toad Oct 2018 #10
elfin Oct 2018 #11
Thomas Hurt Oct 2018 #4
LAS14 Oct 2018 #8
rusty fender Oct 2018 #9
Caliman73 Oct 2018 #12
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2018 #13
kentuck Oct 2018 #14
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2018 #18
rusty fender Oct 2018 #28
NanceGreggs Oct 2018 #33
yardwork Oct 2018 #15
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2018 #16
yardwork Oct 2018 #17
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2018 #19
yardwork Oct 2018 #23
rusty fender Oct 2018 #29
Crunchy Frog Oct 2018 #20
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2018 #21
Crunchy Frog Oct 2018 #22
dsc Oct 2018 #24
renate Oct 2018 #25
lapfog_1 Oct 2018 #27
LexVegas Oct 2018 #30
violetpastille Oct 2018 #31
NanceGreggs Oct 2018 #32

Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 11:25 AM

1. It means she has an ancestor who was Native American

Nothing more. Nothing less.

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Response to Takket (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 12:52 PM

7. Exactly

She's not claiming membership in any particular tribe. That's not possible (I don't think) with a DNA test, and I don't think she has enough family history to even make such a claim.

This is no different from anyone - including Senator Warren - claiming some other ethnicity or heritage via her DNA analysis. It's not different from white supremacists finding that they have African DNA (even if they don't want to claim it or believe it). Sure, some people are "abusing" DNA analysis to claim something. I read a story last week of a white guy claiming minority status - to get government contracts - because there's some African DNA in his history. But this is not the case with Senator Warren.

On a historical level, you can discuss the significance of an obvious white person having Native American DNA. How did this happen? It may be a love story, or it may be a story of violence and oppression.

So, the issues raised regarding tribal membership may very well be valid, depending on the circumstances. But that's not the case here.

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Response to Takket (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 10:17 PM

26. Her percentage is less than the average American.

So by that standard all Americans are Native Americans. That is an insult to Native Americans.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 11:35 AM

2. not the point at all. I could care less if any tribal council makes claims on who can be

 

a member of the tribe as its not what is being discussed.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 11:41 AM

3. No - the customs vary from group to group, tribe to tribe

Sharing a genetic heritage and official membership are two different things. Percentages count among different tribes of indigenous peoples residing in North America. Her percentage does not qualify her for membership but does link her to genetic heritage.

Who knows, some tribe may make her an "honorary member" to continue the headline fun.

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Response to elfin (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 12:01 PM

5. Have you confirmed that percentages don't count in the tribe her grandmother belonged to?

In my sister's nation, it is the relationship that counts - not the percentage. If she can document that she descended from a member of the nation, no mattter how remotely, she is eligible for membership. (Unfortunately, my sister's biological mother is being a royal pain and making acknowledgement of maternity contingent on my sister continuing to send her lots of money . . . but that's another story.)

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #5)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 12:38 PM

6. I don't know at all if genetic data is specific as to nation via female

My very limited bioscience knowledge suggests maternal heritage it is by RNA and don't know if the current test businesses track that. Even if so, Warren's genetic line is very distant and your observation may vary from nation to nation.

She grew up in Oklahoma where so many tribes were pushed due to encroachment from the east via Trail of Tears and other horrific acts by the colonizers.

I do know that with the arrival of money from casinos and other sources of tribal income (ex Yurok cap and trade) verifiable membership becomes even more important among various recognized nations.

Warren's connection is distant but real IMO for her sense of her family's history and her own identity derived from her family telling her so is legitimate.

She gets 1 million from Trump! Too bad he lies and skips out on promises and debts. Hope she sues just for the fun of it.

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Response to elfin (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 03:01 PM

10. You seemed to be saying percentage matters -

and that hers was too small. I was pointing out that that varies from nation to nation.

Trump didn't actually promise. He was weaving a hypothetical about what he would do if she ran for president. (I'm intimately familiar wtih that form of speech, since my spouse uses it all the time - and it drives me nuts because I have to work very hard to distinguish a recitation of historical facts from her hypothesizing about what she would do (or in some cases hypotheses she did do) in the situation.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #10)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 03:56 PM

11. I agree - it varies. Perhaps I wasn't clear

May be too small for official membership to some nations, but not so small that she can't claim it is in her heritage.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 11:59 AM

4. Not sure what the point of this exercise is...

Trump is a pathological liar and braggart. He wasn't going to part with his money, never had any intention of doing so. It was a cheap shot at Warren.

Calling him on it, is not going to accomplish anything other that to add more evidence to the heap of acts and words that show he is dishonest.

I suppose at some point these exercises might change the minds of some people.

That is the only value that comes with calling Trump on his bee ess. Chip away at his credibility with who can be persuaded.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 12:55 PM

8. I don't think Warren's DNA test says one thing or another...

... about Indigenous People. She was demonstrating that a story told in her family was based on fact. That's all.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 02:29 PM

9. Millions of us have Native American ancestry

According to ancestry.com Iím 16% NA an 4% Andean. This info is very interesting to me and I donít see how my knowledge of this affects those who are enrolled in a federally recognized tribe.

Some people canít handle the truth

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 04:15 PM

12. DNA tells us where our ancestors were from.

The groups we choose to belong to and who claim us as members are different. I had a Korean friend in high school who used to come over and LOVED my grand mother's cooking. She named him an honorary Mexican and always asked about him and how he was and would tell me to bring him over. She liked and accepted him more than she did some of my Mexican friends.

Warren never claimed affiliation and never used any claimed affiliation to create an advantage. She said that there were family stories about the heritage and how one side of her family did not like the fact that there might be native heritage on the other.

I have been told stories about my heritage as well. I am Mexican-American born in the US to naturalized American citizens from Durango, Mexico. My family has told me about my ancestors some of which were Tarahumara and Tepehuan indigenous people. I am also supposedly related to some famous leaders in Pancho Villa's Dorados, the Army of Northern Mexico, during the Revolution.

I have never asked for documentation of those claims either.


Yes, of course it matters and it is the right of Native bands to verify membership. However, that is not the issue. Democrats are not running around saying that Warren is officially Native American. We are basically saying that Donald Trump needs to shut the hell up because unlike his lying ass, Warren's stories may have some validity.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 04:43 PM

13. "Trump needs to shut the hell up because unlike his lying ass, Warren's stories may have some

validity."

This means nothing to him, and a white person conflating ethnicity, ancestry and DNA to confirm a nice family story does greater harm to Native Americans as a whole. It's an extremely white and colonizing perspective that just isn't helpful in a wider perspective and certainly won't change Trump's mind, or his supporters'. I feel like it's simply an "own the Repubs" flag that Democrats can wave, which centers political outcomes over humanitarian ones.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 06:19 PM

14. I have always been interested in the "Roanoke Colony" that was left behind by...

Sir Walter Raleigh.

With the promise of returning to pick them up. Reportedly, they were never able to locate the colony.

They became the "Lost Colony of Roanoke".

There is a group of people still living today in the mountains of SE Kentucky and NW Tennessee, probably within a radius of less than a hundred miles, that many believe to be the descendants of that "Lost Colony of Roanoke". They are called the "Melungeons". They were not permitted to vote and were denied many rights of citizenship.

I would agree with Dr. TallBear.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #14)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 06:27 PM

18. The latest from Dr. TallBear:

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #18)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 10:29 PM

28. Kim TallBear doesn't own all native american

dna.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #18)

Tue Oct 16, 2018, 12:50 AM

33. What absolute bullshit.

Warren did not make any "claims" to anything Indigenous, nor did she "appropriate" anything.

She had a DNA test. It revealed Native American ancestry.

Under what law - tribal or otherwise - is she, or anyone else, prohibited from stating that fact?


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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 06:20 PM

15. Warren didn't make this an issue. Trump did. She fought back. Good for her.

I applaud Democrats fighting back.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #15)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 06:22 PM

16. The problem is, due to the nature of the claim, resolving it becomes an issue that affects a lot

of people who don't find DNA tests helpful to defining who they are.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #16)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 06:24 PM

17. I think you're making too much of this.

Trump was bullying Warren. She fought back. End of story.

Warren has never used her American Indian heritage to gain any advantage.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #17)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 06:30 PM

19. To what end? Is he convinced? Will he drop it? Will his supporters believe her?

Nope, nope and nope. Now there are all sorts of crap scientific ideas floating around conflating ancestry, race and DNA, as well as the continued narrative of white people making claims about race. It's a mess and many are frustrated that she's done this.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #19)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 08:54 PM

23. Warren stood up to the bully. Period.

Nobody believes anything more about DNA tests than they did before.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #19)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 10:35 PM

29. WTF!

So you believe people shouldnít have dna tests that discover their genetic ancestry? So many of us are various mixtures of different races. You want us to deny who we are because we also have ďwhiteĒ dna?

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #16)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 06:31 PM

20. I honestly don't understand how it affects other people.

She's not claiming membership in any group, just confirming the validity of family stories concerning some distant ancestry.

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Response to Crunchy Frog (Reply #20)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 06:44 PM

21. I defer to Dr. Kim TallBear, who specializes in racial politics in science.

https://wakelet.com/wake/57e215e9-3566-4d4e-9fc7-a9d844bb504c

Dr. TallBear and Rick W.A. Smith spoke on KUOW today and also had some good insights, summarized here:


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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #21)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 07:19 PM

22. I'll defer to actual genetic scientists.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 09:42 PM

24. She says two things one which I agree with and one which I don't

I hope no scientists are saying that they might find Cherokee specific markers as I think that is highly unlikely no matter how many people they get in the data base, on that she is almost certainly correct. But I do think more broadly there are markers for native Americans and if you have a really good test run, as Warren did, then those markers can be definitively found or not found. in her case they were.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 10:13 PM

25. She specifically said she did not claim to be a member of any tribe

If I recall correctly, she specifically said she did not claim to be a member of any tribe. I only watched the video once, so I donít want to put words in her mouth, but the impression I got was that she was careful not to claim membership in any Native American tribe, or to say there was anything special about her ancestry... only to challenge Trump.

I think we as Democrats should be very careful about getting distracted and divided by straw-man arguments about what she is and is not claiming or focusing on.

Having said that, I sympathize with the Native Americans who were upset by this. I can see how it could easily be interpreted as her trying to take ownership of something that she is not in fact claiming. I think itís very important to clarify what the ad was actually about so that any divisions that this may have caused do not grow deeper.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 10:22 PM

27. I have a grandfather who is 100% Cherokee

which makes me 1/4 Cherokee... but I do not claim tribal membership. I have never claimed to be anything other than "white" on any form where the question is asked. I have never used my ethnic mixture for anything. Since I was not raised as a Cherokee... and never really knew any of my grandfather's people (he died before I was born)... why would I?

However, I dispute anyone from claiming I have no Native American blood. Of course I do.

My aunt (1/2 Cherokee) married a Sandia Pueblo Native American and lived at the reservation for most of her life. Her children live there (and there children) and I have visited her many many times.

We are all Americans. Born in Hawaii or Kansas or Maine... it doesn't matter. Immigrated from other countries... doesn't matter ( except for that pesky "can't be President" rule ).

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 10:51 PM

30. Warren is a white person. nt

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2018, 10:57 PM

31. I will never take one of those tests willingly.

Call me paranoid but I sense a trap. This information is going somewhere where it isn't any of it's business.

Whenever anyone asks me "What is your Natiionality?" And we are in America, I tell them I'm an American. "What race, though?" Human. "No, I mean.." You want to know, like. what kind of food I eat? My ethnicity? I'm Californian.


I actually hate those Ancestry commericials.

"Oh, I thought I was German, I went to German Dance School, and spoke German my whole life was centered around my German heritage and now it turns out I'm Scottish. Whoops! Now I'm learning the bagpipes and I made all new Scottish friends!"

I'm like "You aren't Scottish. Scottish people are Scottish. Be an American and just make the best of it."

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2018, 12:45 AM

32. Who said Democrats ...

... are "so vested in Warren's genetic test"?

Who are the "white people" who are "touting" it as a "win"?

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