Picayune Rancheria to vote on DNA tests for new members

The Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians in California is stirring controversy for a proposal to use DNA tests to help determine who does and who doesn't belong to the tribe.

In the 1980s, only about 30 people were enrolled in the tribe, New Scientist reported. But after Indian gaming came along, the numbers swelled to over 1,000.

The tribe has since removed about 500 people from the rolls and has frozen its membership. A vote this month will determine whether DNA tests can be used for future applicants.

"We know that at first there will be an emotional issue between families," Secretary Jennifer Stanley told New Scientist, "but in the end what we're hoping through DNA is a unified tribe that actually knows who they are."

Get the Story:
Tribal war as Indian council wants DNA testing to find out if potential members are entitled to casino profits (The Daily Mail 6/17)
Tribal Wars: DNA Testing Divides American Indians (New Scientist 6/15)
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