Senator Elizabeth Warren has Native American ancestry. According to a DNA test, the Massachusetts senator has a Native American ancestor in her family tree between 6 and 10 generations back. This disproves claims made by some Republicans that Warren deliberately lied about her ancestry.
The test was carried out by Carlos D. Bustamante, a Stanford professor who has received a MacArthur genius grant. He is also an expert in tracking migration through DNA analysis.
While the majority of Warren’s ancestors were white European, there is strong evidence for Native American ancestry. “The results strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor,” Bustamante said.
Moreover, the results fit with the Warren family’s claims that an 18th century ancestor was partially Native American. This ancestor was the senator’s great-great-great-grandmother. The DNA analysis therefore appears to prove Warren’s story.
This type of DNA analysis is not perfect, however. At most it shows that Warren has some Native American ancestry, but it is difficult to know how much Native American DNA she shares. She may be 1/32nd Native American. It’s possible that she is just 1/512th Native American, but this would still prove that her claims were not based on a lie or a misunderstanding.
Making the results of a DNA test public is an unprecedented step for an American politician, but in Warren’s case, it may have been inevitable. President Donald Trump has mocked Warren for her claims and called her Pocahontas, a nickname many have seen as mockery of Native American history as well as Warren herself.
Warren is considered a serious contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. The controversy over her ancestry has been used as a line of attack by some Republicans and has proliferated on the right in popular online memes. However, there is no guarantee that this DNA test will put the issue to rest.