This review examines the emerging concept of “Native American DNA” utilized by genetic scientists and anthropologists to denote a connection via nucleotide bases between ancient and contemporary peoples of the Americas. This concept is problematic on conceptual and practical levels; this review highlights its use in various disciplines, focusing on ongoing disputes about its meaning and applicability and concluding with a call to attention for all who utilize such concepts. The ethical, legal, and social implications of Native American DNA have to be taken into account because the label itself is still under construction: Contemporary Native American peoples should not be confounded with the past or ancestral remains, but instead must actively be brought into research conversations at all stages.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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