There are currently no DNA tests that can accurately label someone a descendant of a particular Indian tribe in eastern North America. The people, calling themselves full-blooded Native Americans, from the eastern United States, are not the same people, genetically, who greeted early European explorers. A few reputable laboratories are now attempting to create reliable DNA markers for individual tribes, but the obstacles are monumental.
Perceiving a vast potential market from the millions of Americans, who proudly claim that their great-grandmother was a Cherokee Princess, DNA Consultants, Inc. initiated comprehensive DNA testing of the Cherokees living on the Qualla Reservation in western North Carolina. The North Carolina Cherokees were chosen because after 180 years in the west, Oklahoma Cherokees are so thoroughly mixed with other ethnic groups, that any DNA test marker obtained would be meaningless.
The laboratory immediately stumbled into a scientific hornet’s nest. That Cherokee princess in someone’s genealogy was most likely a Jewish or North African princess. Its scientists have labeled the Cherokees not as Native Americans, but as a Middle Eastern-North African population.Cherokees have high levels of test markers associated with the Berbers, native Egyptians, Turks, Lebanese, Hebrews and Mesopotamians. Genetically, they are more Jewish than the typical American Jew of European ancestry. So-called “full-blooded” Cherokees have high levels of European DNA and a trace of Asiatic (Native American) DNA. Their skin color and facial features are primarily Semitic in origin, not Native American.
There is a major inaccuracy in most articles about this controversy. Both DNA Consultants and journalists are stating that the research results from the Qualla Reservation apply to all Cherokees. Genetic research associated with the filming of the History Channel’s “America Unearthed” found separate populations of Cherokees outside the reservation with very different genetic profiles. In several counties, the “Cherokees” had profiles identical to Georgia Creeks, and often carried Maya DNA like the Georgia Creeks. In one county, the “Cherokees” were predominantly Quechua from South America, or else mixed Quechua, Maya and Creek.
At present, the researchers at DNA Consultants seem unaware that throughout the 1600s Iberian Sephardic Jews and Moorish Conversos colonized the North Carolina and Georgia Mountains, where they mined and worked gold and silver. All European maps show western North Carolina occupied by Apalache, Creek, Shawnee and Yuchi Indians until 1718. Most of these indigenous tribal groups were forced out in the early 1700s. Anglo-American settlers moving into northeastern Tennessee and extreme southwestern Virginia mentioned seeing Jewish speaking villages in that region until around 1800.How the occupants of the North Carolina Mountains became a mixed Semitic, North African, European and Native American population, known as the Cherokees, remains a mystery.