Does A DNA Test Make You Indigenous?

Nov 3, 2017

With the advent of modern DNA tests, people can now find out their genetic makeup within days. For many the tests can help strengthen a sense of heritage and ancestry. But according to indigenous scholar Kim TallBear, a specialist in racial politics in science, the results of a DNA test do not give people a license to adopt or claim membership to a Native American community.


TallBear speaks with host Frank Stasio about the wave of North Americans who take DNA tests in hopes of proving and claiming native heritage. TallBear discusses how claiming indigenous identity may be a remnant of colonialism and how a DNA test does not mean membership for most Native American tribes.