TallBear, Kim
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press
Publication year: 2013

Because today’s DNA testing seems so compelling and powerful, increasing numbers of Native Americans have begun to believe their own metaphors: “in our blood” is giving way to “in our DNA.” In Native American DNA, Kim TallBear shows how Native American claims to land, resources, and sovereignty that have taken generations to ratify may be seriously—and permanently—undermined.

Native American DNA is a book of far wider scope than its title, establishing the author as a leading authority on the topic. The politics of tribal DNA is but the starting point of a complex analysis that encompasses the whole framework in which DNA is appropriated in the study of human populations. Molecular geneticists, science studies researchers, legal scholars—and of course Native Americans—will find their horizons considerably broadened and newly engaged.

Troy Duster, New York University

4 Responses to “How identifying Native Americans is vastly more complicated than matching DNA”

  1. DNA testing companies should be clear about what it means to have “Native American DNA”* - 23andMe Blog

    […] you want to dig deeper into this topic, I recommend reading “Native American DNA: Tribal Belongings and the False Promise of Genetic Science” by Kim […]

  2. Paul Klenk

    Great article appearing in 23 and me. It is both scientific and cultural. Your expertise is appreciated. Now what do you do with Elizabeth.Warren, who claimed Native American ancestry repeatedly and used it to further her career. When scientifically tested, Warren had no DNA link! None!

    • TC

      Now what do we do with the the agencies, schools, employer etc , who were are not educated to be aware of cultural and identity appropriation? Warren is not the problem. That old long standing racist view of the “One Drop” rule is. For those who do not know what the “One Drop” rule is have a long way to go if they want to understand why Warren said what she said. So what do we do with that historically ingrained colonizer belief of the “One Drop” rule? Is at the heart of the issue.

  3. Robyn Greer Smith

    If Ancestry.com informed me that I descend from a Pamunkey Indian Chief named Opechancano. and 23 and me says no Native ancestry.Does that mean that because he lived during the 1700’s it’s just not showing up?

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