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Forum Home - Go Back > General > Ancestry and Genealogy Does Native DNA make you Indigenous? Does Native DNA make you Indigenous?

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Old 11-07-2016, 01:38 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Does Native DNA make you Indigenous?

This question is answered by educated Natives.

Sorry, that DNA test doesn't make you indigenous - Home | The 180 with Jim Brown | CBC Radio
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Old 11-07-2016, 02:20 PM   #2
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Have you read Dr Tallbear's book on the subject?
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Old 11-10-2016, 12:08 AM   #3
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without reading the link....

short answer: YES

long answer: you need a whole lot more than a bit of DNA to be considered a native

not anyone with some native DNA can be considered a native by mindset, culture, acceptance

BUT everyone that's native must have the DNA
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Old 11-10-2016, 01:48 AM   #4
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What if an indigenous person from this land went to another land, say China, Europe or Africa, conjugated and a child was born. Would that make the Native-blooded child indigenous?
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milehighsalute View Post
short answer: YES

long answer: you need a whole lot more than a bit of DNA to be considered a native

not anyone with some native DNA can be considered a native by mindset, culture, acceptance

BUT everyone that's native must have the DNA
This goes to the heart of why I have problems with genetic ancestry DNA testing (not to be confused with DNA fingerprinting). I think there are some implications which can be very dangerous for us as political entities.

First, let's be very clear about what is measured. These tests look for certain single base variations in base pair patterns at particular points on either the y-chromosome or mitochondrical DNA (mtDNA). These are called Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs). Some of these have been statistically correlated to isolated populations. This does not mean they don't occur in individuals outside these groups. It doesn't mean all individuals in the group have them. Of the halotypes -- in this context groups of these SNP's that occur together -- which are used to "identify" Native American ancestry, none are unique to populations indigenous to the Americas.

During meiosis -- the process that forms sex cells -- genetic recombination occurs. DNA sequences are shuffled between maternal and paternal inherited genes so that the chromosomes in the sperm or egg are different from those of the father or mother. This is all before sperm and egg combine. There is no guaranty that the halotypes in question will get to the baby.

It is common parlance to use DNA as a gloss for having consanguineous kinship ties within a tribe. However, popular understanding is that DNA divides like Indian blood on a BIA chart and a child gets half the "Indian" markers. I fear what these misconceptions could do in the hands of law makers.

Further, I question whether an understanding of Native identity based on western science, or more likely misapprehensions about western science, is compatible with my people's ethos. We formed highly inclusive kinship networks in order to survive, thrive and be "civilized". In pre-contact society, we incorporated outsiders into families and enculturated them into our people. Our body politic was the alliance of extended families and the structures they built to "..establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare..." After contact, the conditions created by colonization forced us to limit our kinship networks.

MHS's "considered a native by mindset, culture, acceptance" is more in line with at least my people's pre-contact understanding of belonging.

Quote:
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What if an indigenous person from this land went to another land, say China, Europe or Africa, conjugated and a child was born. Would that make the Native-blooded child indigenous?
Then there is the definition of indigenous. But, I've talked enough for one morning.
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