Blood Quantum? Native DNA? Indigenous Lineage? The Complexities of Native Authenticity and Identity
Unlike any other ethnic minority in the US, Native Americans are required to authenticate their Indianness, or their relation to Native peoples, in order to qualify for tribal citizenship and justify their identity as Indigenous peoples. In order to become citizens of a Native nation, or to even be considered Indigenous in the eyes of the United States government, Native peoples are often required to prove their Indigeneity, or Nativeness, through blood, DNA, and other seemingly quantifiable measurements. No other minority group is forced to prove their legitimacy to be a citizen of their community in the United States, yet Indigenous peoples are regularly required to authenticate themselves on both a social and governmental level. In this thesis, I will be discussing human biases in science and politics as it relates to Native policy and treaty making. When I bring up the inadequacies and human biases in science that often goes ignored, I am not calling for the cancelation of science, instead, I am shedding light on situations where science undermines human experiences, in hope that there will be change, and that the general public might understand why Indigenous identity cannot solely rely on genetics.
Dr. Joyce Rain Anderson, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Allyson Ferrante, Committee Member
Dr. Benjamin D. Carson, Committee Member
Thayer, Grace. (2022). Blood Quantum? Native DNA? Indigenous Lineage? The Complexities of Native Authenticity and Identity. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 567. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/567
Copyright © 2022 Grace Thayer
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