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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Box Checking

Snipits from article below - click link for all the details
May 6, 2012
Warren's claim as Native American opens debate over ethnic ties
LAWRENCE — Questions about her Native American heritage continued to dog the campaign of Democratic Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren late last week, even as she made a stop at the Everett Mills to celebrate labor unions and the Bread and Roses strike of 1912.

Experts in genealogy and Native American culture said this week that such a claim, if used to further an academic or professional career, would certainly be unethical, although not illegal.
Others say the issue has brought up many questions about racial and ethnic identity, both in terms of the DNA makeup of people and their cultural connections.

She added, "there is a difference between having Cherokee ancestors and being a citizen of the Cherokee Nation (or any tribe, for that matter). There were Cherokees who for one reason or another were not on the Dawes Rolls, which means their descendants, while legitimately Cherokee, are not eligible for tribal citizenship. It is not a perfect system by any stretch of the imagination, but at this point, it is all we have to go by to determine eligibility for citizenship."

Jorge Estevez, of the National Museum of the American Indian/The Smithsonian, said that for generations, school children in the Dominican Republic had been taught that the Taino Indians were completely wiped out by the early to mid-1600s following the Spanish invasion.
In fact, he said, Taino bloodlines, and many Taino customs, remain active today throughout the region.
Several different tests have been done, he said, showing that anywhere from 10 to 40 percent of the population of the Dominican Republic had Taino DNA markers. In Puerto Rico, the results were even higher, with one test showing that 61 percent of the population had Indian blood, he said.

"What it showed," he said, "is that the genocide of the Taino people is ludicrous."

He added, "Elizabeth Warren now has a connection and a tradition. What she does with that is her doing. Some will become registered members of a tribe, others will just go on with their life."