Elizabeth Warren may be less Native American than average U.S. white person

By Valerie Richardson

Photo by: J. Scott Applewhite In a Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 file photo, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., greets womens' rights activists in the Hart Senate Office Building as the Senate Judiciary Committee hears from Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, his accuser, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Warren, along with Ayanna Pressley, fresh off her primary victory over 10-term U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano in Massachusetts, were in Jonesboro on Tuesday, Oct. 9. 2018 with Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s newly released DNA results show that the Democrat’s Native American ancestry is roughly the same as that of the average white American, and may be less.

A 2014 study by Harvard University and 23andMe found that European Americans tested overall for 0.18 percent Native American ancestry, while Ms. Warren’s results show she has anywhere from 0.09 percent to 1.5 percent.

“This means that the DNA test shows that Warren is actually LESS NATIVE AMERICAN than the average American of European ancestry,” said Cornell Law School professor William A. Jacobson on his right-tilting Legal Insurrection blog.

The 2014 study was tweeted by the Republican National Committee’s Michael Ahrens shortly after the Boston Globe ran an exclusive story Monday revealing Ms. Warren’s DNA results.


Ms. Warren released her DNA results and an analysis by Stanford geneticist Carlos Bustamante, who told the Boston Globe that “the results strongly support he evidence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor” dating back six to 10 generations.

At the same time, the article noted that genetic data from Native Americans is sparse, and that Mr. Bustamante filled in with samples from Mexico, Peru and Colombia.

The 2014 report, which appeared in the American Journal of Human Genetics, involved DNA testing of 160,000 people and was billed as “the largest study of its kind so far.”  


The European American genome was found to be “much different” than that of African Americans and Latinos, with “European American genomes being 98.6 percent European, 0.19 percent African and 0.18 percent Native American,” according to a 2015 article by the Genetic Literacy Project.

“In general, the numbers seem to agree with what one would expect given the history of American colonization by Europeans and their interactions with African and Native Americans,” said the article.

Ms. Warren’s unproven claims of Cherokee ancestry while teaching law at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania have dogged her potential 2020 presidential bid, with President Trump mocking her as “Pocahontas.”

The Washington TimesUpdated: 6:06 p.m. on Monday, October 15, 2018

The percentages in this story have been updated to reflect corrections in the Boston Globe report.

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