Cherokee Nation Leader Criticizes Sen. Warren For DNA Test

Amber Athey | Media and Breaking News Editor

Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a CNN interview Monday that Sen. Elizabeth Warrens DNA test is “wholly unhelpful” to Native Americans.


Warren, the Democratic Senator from Massachusetts, released the results of a DNA test over the weekend that showed she is between 0.09- and 1.5-percent Native American.

The Cherokee Nation released a statement Monday saying Warrens use of a DNA test to establish Native American heritage is “inappropriate.” (RELATED: Cherokee Nation: Elizabeth Warrens Claim To Native Ancestry Is Inappropriate)

Hoskin Jr. explained to CNNs Jake Tapper in an on-air interview why the DNA results are “irrelevant” in the tribes eyes.

“The problem with the DNA test is that it proves nothing of relevance as to whether a person is a citizen of an Indian Nation and a member of an Indian Nation,” Hoskin Jr. said. “DNA at best can give you some indicators of some markers that indicate youre related to somebody who lived long ago that might have lived North or South America.”

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 19: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee hearing in the Capitol building on July 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

“Its irrelevant to what it means to be a Native American in this country — thats based on a legal definition,” he added. “Just wholly unhelpful for any national leader to cling to DNA to determine or to establish that theyre Native American in this country.”

Tapper noted that Warren released a statement denying that she was trying to claim tribal citizenship, but Hoskin Jr. still objected to her DNA results. (RELATED: Trump Thanks Cherokee Nation For Calling Out Elizabeth Warren)

“It really doesnt drill down to whether a person has Cherokee ancestry or ancestry of any particular tribe … it doesnt narrow down the scope to who your ancestors were to any identifiable tribe,” Hoskin Jr. explained.

Hoskin Jr. concluded the interview by encouraging President Donald Trump and Warren to stop their spat about Warrens ancestry and instead focus on issues that actually affect Native Americans.

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