Although warfare was not uncommon among American Indians in the days before Columbus set sail, DNA testing is one form of combat Tribal Leaders are now using to fight a growing threat from within. The Chukchansi tribe is voting this month on whether or not they should DNA test members in order to determine genetics and prove their bloodline. The reason for this proposal is the flood of applications which arrived the moment a Sierra Nevada casino started operating on their reserve.
The gambling hub entitles members of the tribe a share of their operating profits and equates to around several thousand a month for each person. In order to be eligible, leaders want all members to undergo a paternity test which many are claiming will cause chaos and descent within tribal families.
The leaders suspended new memberships in 2003 since their population exploded from 30 in the 1980s to over 1,000. Determined these results are the only way to weed out free-loading members, leaders are close to approving the tests which will cost anywhere between $200-400 to perform.
Around 595 tribes have already used DNA testing to confirm genetics on members and represent 1.9 million U.S. Citizens which occupy Indian reserves.
With over 500 people already expelled from the Chuckchansi tribe through non-genetic methods, many members are worried about the dysfunction the testing would bring since many children who were raised in the tribe would be affected by negative results.
What are your opinions about this ruling? Do you think it promotes separation among the tribe, or is it necessary to prevent people from abusing a system designed to help members?