Tuesday, December 9, 2014

On DNA Testing and Tribal Membership: Facts Don't Matter

I get a lot of comments about DNA testing to prove rights to membership in Tribal Nations.   While it may prove your relations, would it prove you belong?

The American Indian and Alaska Native Genetic Resource Center has this to say:

The use of DNA testing for tribal enrollment raises many issues. Tribal enrollment criteria each represent a different value or set of values that the community holds.  Over time, as the community changes so too might the membership criteria or the value that they represent.  

For example, lineal descendancy demonstrates a value of proven biological relation to a particular historical census record of tribal members.  DNA testing may provide another tool to uphold such a value, but it has limits and is not the only tool that may be useful.  When considering tribal membership requirements and whether DNA testing should become one, tribal leaders and community members might consider the values of the current criteria, the added (or not) value of DNA testing, the potential challenges associated with using a particular kind of DNA test, and particularly how it compares to other DNA testing. 

While genetic tests cannot determine whether an individual is AI/AN or not, they can determine whether people are likely related to one another.  This limitation means that genetic testing will not be helpful in many enrollment cases, but it can be helpful for some areas with less documentation of family relationships or the need to confirm direct biological relationships.

See the page here:AI-AN Genetics Resource Center  

We are reminded that the Redding Rancheria forced the Foreman family to exhume their ancester for a DNA test which was 99.6% positive and they were still denied re-instatement.   Like you hear from many politicians now....they don't CARE about evidence...


Anonymous said...

I agree with this post..... The entire rational behind proving your citizenship of a tribe stems from Per Capita and receiving Tribal government funds. Before Tribal disbursements members in the tribes would just trash talk other people, saying things like "shes adopted" or "her mother is from another tribe". Not until recently members decided to try to prove those hearsays. And they can have whomever they like in the tribe and hide behind sovereignty. So many tribes are dealing with these issues and I believe GREED is a main factor. DNA doesn't secure anything. We have seen this time and time again. How many members are not members that had over 95% blood relation?? A LOT!! If a tribe wants you out, you're out. Until congress steps in and restructures these treaties nothing will change. Its only going to get worse, especially when you have the younger generations pushing themselves in. They will eventually push others out.

Anonymous said...

DNA Tests do not work for Native American's. I know this because I spoke to a Tech that works in a Lab for one of the biggest DNA Companies in the US. They even say that they can do DNA Testing for Tribes. The DNA Tech told me you have to be at least 1 generation from the ones you are testing against. Bottom line they rake in millions from Tribes, and people all over, and cannot prove anything. Maybe you are related to your cousin? Wow, and you have to pay $400.00 a test to find this out. What a rip off. They cannot tell you your so called white man's BLOOD QUANTUM. DNA Tests are all fraud, and I say this because my sister paid hundred's of dollars years ago to a company. They put on her so called "native markers" on her profile, and then about 6 months later erased them, and till this day will not say why? My cousin decided to spend a lot of his own money to buy DNA Tests from all of the major Companies that state Native American DNA Tests in their adds.....9 tests, and they all of them came out different! FRAUD!....I don't need to know anything about our DNA, my grandparents grew up on a Reservation in Oklahoma as did my mother, and we know who we are! Don't waste your money!