Native American DNA Projects

Native DNA in Feathers

I’m often asked about projects that are for or include Native American DNA results.  Please note that different project administrators have different criteria for admission to a project.  Some require definitive proof of descent, some require no documentation at all.  This is entirely left to the discretion of the project administrators.  Therefore, you should NEVER assume that because you match someone in one of these projects that you have Native heritage.  There are various ways to prove Native heritage using DNA which I’ve discussed in the article, “Proving Native American Ancestry Using DNA.”

Furthermore, some of these projects aren’t exclusively for Native American descendants, but you may find Native descendants or families among the project members because of the topic or where the project is focused.

Regarding haplogroup projects.  Some haplogroups include both people who are and who are not Native.  Check with the particular project to understand the nuances.  In many cases, research through the projects is ongoing.

If you know of additional projects which should be added to this list, please let me know.

Native American, First Nations or Aboriginal DNA Projects

Acadia Metis Mothers

Algonquian East DNA Project

American Indian DNA Project

AmerIndian Ancestry out of Acadia Project

AmerIndian Mexico (Southwest US and Mexico)

Cherokee DNA Project

Mitochondrial American Indian Founder Project

Mothers of Acadian mtDNA Project
Some Native results

Native People of Southwest Virginia

Piqua/Shawnee – no public website – contact admins below,,

Robeson Co., NC American Indian (formerly Lumbee)


Waccamaw DNA Project


Wiccocomico Native American DNA Project

Mitochondrial DNA Haplogroup Projects

Haplogroup A Mitochondrial DNA
Note – Native American DNA is a subgroup of haplogroup A.  See this link for specifics.

A2 Mitochondrial DNA Project
A2 is known to be Native.

A4 Mitochondrial DNA Project
Haplogroup A4 is known to be Native.

B2 Mitochondrial DNA Project
B2 is known to be Native.

Haplogroup C Mitochondrial DNA Project
Subgroups of haplogroup C are known to be Native.

Haplogroup D Mitochondrial DNA Project
Subgroups of haplogroup D are known to be Native.

Haplogroup X Mitochondrial DNA Project
Subgroups of haplogroup X are known to be Native.

Haplogroup X2b4 Mitochondrial DNA Project
X2b4 is currently being studied to determine if it is Native or has a Native component.

Y Haplogroup Projects

Y Haplogroup C
Subgroups of haplogroup C are known to be Native.

Haplogroup C-P39
This SNP defined Native Americans within haplogroup C.

American Indian Haplogroup Q1a3a1 – QM3

Related Topics

You may find Native families listed in these projects.

Caribbean DNA Project

Cumberland Gap Mitochondrial DNA Project

Cumberland Gap Y DNA Project

Early Chesapeake

East Carolina Roots


Click to access MelungeonsMulti-EthnicPeopleFinal.pdf

Mitochondrial DNA of the Middle Appalachians

New Mexico DNA Project

North Carolina Early 1700s

Puerto Rico DNA Project

Southwestern Virginia Roots

Virginia 1600s

Voices in Time



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17 thoughts on “Native American DNA Projects

  1. Another most important book to read is “Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science” by author Kim Tallbear. Who is a Native American? And who gets to decide? From genealogists searching online for their ancestors to fortune hunters hoping for a slice of casino profits from wealthy tribes, the answers to these seemingly straightforward questions have profound ramifications. The rise of DNA testing has further complicated the issues and raised the stakes.
    In Native American DNA, Kim TallBear shows how DNA testing is a powerful—and problematic—scientific process that is useful in determining close biological relatives. But tribal membership is a legal category that has developed in dependence on certain social understandings and historical contexts, a set of concepts that entangles genetic information in a web of family relations, reservation histories, tribal rules, and government regulations. At a larger level, TallBear asserts, the “markers” that are identified and applied to specific groups such as Native American tribes bear the imprints of the cultural, racial, ethnic, national, and even tribal misinterpretations of the humans who study them.
    TallBear notes that ideas about racial science, which informed white definitions of tribes in the nineteenth century, are unfortunately being revived in twenty-first-century laboratories. Because today’s science seems so compelling, increasing numbers of Native Americans have begun to believe their own metaphors: “in our blood” is giving way to “in our DNA.” This rhetorical drift, she argues, has significant consequences, and ultimately she shows how Native American claims to land, resources, and sovereignty that have taken generations to ratify may be seriously—and permanently—undermined.

    • These issues do need to be addressed. Unfortunately, discouraging or trying to discredit testing is only to delay the inevitable – having to face, and maybe redefine, what Native means.

    • The dispute by Mr. Douglas Buchholz leaves out the fact that the Native Americans of the east were still in the colonies as the colones were being established being banished to the Canada’s. Well is it the fault of those people that were unaware of their Native Ancestry until DNA testing? And/or there’s no willingness by our Native American tribes/tribunal the willingness to share our ancestral facts. But the tribes aren’t willing to listen! Our/my family comes from direct descendant of famous chief! Why can’t we work together? We’ve done our research…and need some help from our Canadian Native American relatives/tribunal. We have proof that our lineage came before that of a tribe in Maine. I respectfully welcome a reply to

  2. Agreed, yet “in the redefining” of who is “Native American” it is the dynamic that there is a ‘loss’ of community connection(s), loss of native language expression, loss of native heritage; etc. As has been the reality for some time now since ca. 1974, many “Americans” etc will and have ignored the reality, that in seeking that possible Native ancestor/ancestry, and confining their genealogical vision to that singular and or quite distant ancestry, they ignore the millions of other ethnic ancestry that they have in their DNA. If a person’s identity can be determined simply by doing a DNA test for a possible native ancestry, how far back did that ancestor live, and does DNA testing give the descendant, native language, culture, heritage, and community, in which connects that ancestor to that descendant, and vis versa? Does an alleged conclusive DNA test for a “Native American” haplo or marker then make the descendant an “instant” Native American? If I found out suddenly that an ancestor was Mikmaq in the 1600’s, and I do a DNA test, does that make me a Mikmaq Indian now? It is the “redefining” that is becoming so liberal, and so assaultive towards legitimate Native Community, Culture, and Language across this land, that pretty soon, those that have retained the languages, the communities, the cultures and heritage, will be inundated (buried) under the “noise” of all these newly minted genetic “Instant Indians”, that have had no community, no language, no culture, and a heritage that has been very likely lost to their ancestors 5 to 12 generations back in time. But now, these contemporary descendants will want to be redefined as being thee “Native Americans” … and that is a mockery and a discredit to those that are. We are already witnessing it today, when State Sanctioned and contemporaneous post-1975 Incorporations were created and thereafter are created into State-Created “Tribes.” DNA testing is a tool, it is not an absolute, in some realities. Genocide is not inevitable, it is a choice and a decision being made by each of us.

  3. When are any Native Americans in the United States and Canada ever going to contribute to autosomal testing so the companies can have more references and samples for Native American than just a small number of Human Genome Diversity Project samples from a small handful of indigenous groups from Central America and South America in the Amazon rainforest?

    • I have spoken to two friends and both state some, not all are afraid of the admixture and how much NA they will have. I do not have any proof of that, but my NA shows up is different groupings. Second, the Bureau of Indian Affairs is does not use DNA, it is left up to each already federally recognized tribe. I posted an article the other day on my FB that stated some tribes are now using DNA to throw people out. Go figure. I am proud of every drop of my DNA. I am a part of all my ancestors and that is great, but for their fight and struggle to live I would not be here.

      • You talked of NA tribes using DNA for enrollment. It would be great if some United States and Canada Native Americans would not only use DNA to include and exclude people, but also contribute their DNA to companies like 23andme and so the companies would have vastly improved references for Native American than just a tiny number of samples from a tiny handful of Central and South American Amazon Indigenous groups from the HGDP that are being used as a proxy for Native American.

      • there are no Federal tribes tribes using DNA to disenroll anyone. Some tribes used paternal/maternal DNA testing to verify parentage.

        • My question was not tribes using DNA to determine membership, my question was Native Americans in the United States and Canada submitting DNA samples to companies so there can be a much more improved Native American database for the autosomal tests. Right now, 23andme for example, only has 108 “Native American” samples from just five groups from the Human Genome Diversity Project. These five are all Central and South American Indigenous groups (Maya , Pima, Karitiana, Surui, and Colombian, each having less than 30 samples) used as a proxy for “Native American”. I know that there never ever will be a Native American database anywhere near half as large as that for Europeans (23andme has 6842 European samples), but there would be at least some improvement if only a small handful of Native Americans in the U.S. and Canada would just contribute their spit.

      • The 23andme database works well for people in the United States from what I’ve seen. It has no problem picking up Native American in North American U.S. Indians or Canadians

  4. i thought the lumbees were black/white mixed people who lied about being native american in order to hide the fact they were part sub-saharan african

    • As one who is identified as Lumbee on her government issued birth certificate, as are my parents, I take issue with the blanket statement that Lumbees ‘lied about being native american in order to hide the fact that they were part sub-saharan african’. I have never lied about my ethnic identification. I, and I’m sure many more like me, simply referred to what our birth certificates said and what we knew of our own ancestry in referring to our ethnicity. The story of the Lumbee is a complicated one, as evidenced by any cursory examination of the internet information out there, which, I might add, is constantly changing and updating. There is information available to me now as a 52 year old female that was not readily available to myself or my family until recent years, being that few people have, or take the time, to do geneological research. Most of us are too involved in the daily issues of life for this. Indeed, I am much more concerned with my own character and that of my family than what a DNA study may or may not provide concerning my ethnic background. For the record, I, nor any member of my immediate family to my knowledge, have ever sought, nor wish to seek, any monetary reimbursement for what a study may or may not conclude. For most people reading this column, Native American, caucasion, African-American, Asian, whatever, we are fortunate to live in a nation where we have been afforded more privileges than most of the world enjoys either now or in the past and I believe that if we would focus more on being thankful for our freedoms than griping about what we don’t have or feel someone else owes us, we, our families and our communities would be much better off. I am not saying these things (testing, etc.) are of no value, but in an increasingly racially tense atmosphere, I wish more emphasis were placed upon the character of our citizens rather than our pigmentation.

      • Anyone can imply ANYTHING on a Birth, Marriage or Death Record as to ethnicity. That is a FACT. That is NOT always the TRUTH. There are distortions, NPE’s that were hidden, and there are those mothers and fathers who, one or the other was mis-identified as the biological contributor, and or altogether omitted from the record of Birth, Marriage or Death.
        Many people surmise they are “Native Americans” or “Indians” etc void of any language, community or any valid evidence to support such claims, assertions or ‘Grandma Said So Stories’ etc. So, like with genetic testing and studies, what’s on a piece of paper isn’t necessarily accurate nor truthful.

      • I’ve been looking at the autosomal results of a few core descendants like Oxendine, Locklear, and Hunt. They have VERY high percentage of African compared to Native DNA. Two of the Oxendine came back at 2% and 1.6% Native American with 20% and 23% SSAfrican. These tests are pretty accurate at 23andme because results have been pretty much what is expected in ALL populations. Some Cherokee come back 99.9% White and NO Native blood whatsoever while Mexicans come back with VERY high Native blood, especially compared to Dominicans who are coming back with low Native and HIGH African. African Americans tend to nearly ALL have similar Native American results as those Lumbee that I mentioned. The same goes for many of the Haliwa Saponi, and probably many other tribes in the southeast. I’ve seen Choctaw come back with HIGH Native(85%) and up to 10% Black with very little White. It varies, but the Lums and Tuscarora mixed somewhat, and Tuscarora have SOME Black blood themselves. Its not that important as you say, but the fact that so many have been vehemently racist against Blacks draws attention to such details.

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  6. Seems to me that, as was stated previously in this thread, until more of us submit DNA samples, the algorithms used to complete the matching analysis will continue to be sub-optimal. The best way to improve the accuracy would be for those families with extensive knowledge of their family tree (derived without DNA testing) to submit their DNA to a sit elike 23andMe as a de-identified sample, using a pseudonym in place of their name. In this way, those family members benefit from the health info obtained while also providing a benefit to Indian Country by improving the database sample.

    With respect to tribal enrollment, my feeling is that if one is involved in the community AND has some known ancestors from the nation, what point is there to disenrollment? A case can be made by those who have no ancestry but are active and important members of the community. But it is a tough sell for folks with no community involvement who show up with a DNA test or a great-great-grandparent who was alleged to be indian–best to let the clan mothers work that out!

  7. Both of my haplogroups are Native American. QM3 & B2.
    Most of the native women are with Whitemen bearing their offspring and most of the native men are dying.
    Is Haplogroup QM3 becoming extinct?

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