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Thread: Elizabeth Warren and Indian heritage, checking off boxes

  1. #11
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    I am not sure that is right about the DNA test--I have documented ancestors, with birth records showing descent, like my 9th great grandfather, Amadohiyi Pigeon of Tellico Moytoy:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moytoy_of_Tellico

    that is authenticated by legal records, as well as family lore--

    but my DNA test did not show this, although it showed the area of the country that was the Cherokee nation as "genetic communities". It also identified cousins that have the same Cherokee ancestors as genetic matches.

    So I am not sure how precise those tests are, so far?

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    I was always told I was part Cherokee, as was Elizabeth Warren, but I didn't use it to benefit from affirmative action. 1) It was not proven, and when I spent several years intensively tracing my roots - travel to genealogical libraries, the national archives, hiring professional genealogists, etc. - I concluded it was a myth. 2) Even if I had found a distant ancestor, for Cherokees that person has to be on the Dawes Roll for you to claim tribal membership. 3) I was not disadvantaged by a heritage that no one associated me with.

    Ian Frazier wrote in "On the Rez" about the appeal of Native American culture, but without trying to appropriate it, whereas Elizabeth Warren has not been particularly responsive to the concerns of others of this supposed heritage of hers, nor as a public figure has she done the work I would have expected to verify her claims.

    Having travelled to several reservations in the West and seen real poverty amongst people who cannot pass, it's ironic that highly assimilated Eastern tribes like the Pequots are the ones cashing in on their ethnic heritage. And it's definitely surprising that Warren listed herself that way when she was a privileged professor. .
    Good points, although there were certainly wealthy Native Americans in the day. I was creeped out to find that some of my Cherokee ancestors were also slaveholders. I think what you say is quite true, that the racism in our society guarantees a hard time for those who "cannot pass." At some point in the mid 19th century, things shifted and whiteness seemed to take on a new force as the primary social organizer in the country.

    I thought that Warren had actually used the designation to try to gain an advantage getting the professorship, will have to look into that.
    Okay, found this wiki, for what it is worth:

    http://elizabethwarrenwiki.org/eliza...e-controversy/

    some interesting stuff, including the material in the Crimson.

  3. #13
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    I am not sure that is right about the DNA test--I have documented ancestors, with birth records showing descent, like my 9th great grandfather, Amadohiyi Pigeon of Tellico Moytoy:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moytoy_of_Tellico

    that is authenticated by legal records, as well as family lore--

    but my DNA test did not show this, although it showed the area of the country that was the Cherokee nation as "genetic communities". It also identified cousins that have the same Cherokee ancestors as genetic matches.

    So I am not sure how precise those tests are, so far?
    There is an internet clickbait article about three young women, genetic clones, who had their ancestry analyzed by one of the standard services.


    Their results were not the same. For instance, one of them had a percentage of something like 22%, another had a percentage of 16%.


    So no it is not entirely scientific, it is only approximate. Keep in mind that again these girls are genetic clones, they have exactly the same DNA.

  4. #14
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Thanks for,posting that web link about Elizabeth Warren and the controversy of her Native American heritage.

    I was ready to wade through an objective article about that.

    From my reading I think her idea that she has Cherokee heritage is sincerely held by her family and her since her siblings also have the same idea. I accept that it was family lore handed down in her immediate family, but yeah it's not real. I give her a pass on that. Besides, back then there was no internet and it wasnt easy to verify things (although I have to wonder just how far back was the Cherokee ancestor on her mother's side, that should have been made clear in her family.)


    I do not give her a pass on using that information multiple times to further her career because that's what she is doing. it is one thing to grab onto an ethnic background and play at sharing in it. It is another thing to use it for professional advancement when there are strict legal definitions.


    I embrace my Scottish heritage but honestly we cannot verify that the original immigrant came from Scotland, it is only family lore. For all we know he might actually be Irish! We know that he got married in Ireland, we have that record. So, I play Scottish but it's just play, it's not official.

  5. #15
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  6. #16
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    If gender is no more than a malleable social construct, why can't race be as well? If Academia is foolish enough to grant preferences to people who check the right ethnic box, let's all sign up for whichever category serves our interest.

  7. #17
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    But this has been going on for a long time, LDAHL, and it's not Academia that is to blame. If you go in and read some of the original files from the Dawes rolls, there were people going to court to defend their rights to tribal citizenship; the Bureau of INdian affairs was saying families had to pick between Choctaw and Cherokee tribal membership in some of the files I was reading; these Dawes rolls were set up to limit people getting what was rightfully theirs in terms of property, and it's not the Cherokee people who were determining who were Cherokees. Race is a malleable social and sometimes legal construct.

    I wonder why were are forced into checking boxes? And it is certainly not limited to academic jobs.

  8. #18
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    If gender is no more than a malleable social construct, why can't race be as well? If Academia is foolish enough to grant preferences to people who check the right ethnic box, let's all sign up for whichever category serves our interest.
    We usually check "Pacific Islander" in this household.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    We usually check "Pacific Islander" in this household.
    If you can write one in, I'll say "mongrel". Otherwise I check "other".

  10. #20
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    When people ask me of my last name (DaSilva), "What kind of name is that?", they often expect me to say Portuguese or Brazilian. But I always say: "American."
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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