Orchid Cellmark launches new DNA testing service to confirm native american tribal membership


Orchid Cellmark Inc. announced the launch of a new service that allows Native American tribes to confirm the genetic lineage of individuals seeking tribal enrollment. This new service can confirm the familial relationship of specific individuals to existing tribal members, in addition to determining their percentage of Native American-associated DNA. This new service is the first in Orchid Cellmark's Heritage ID(TM) product line of identity DNA services designed primarily for individuals.

In recent years, an increasing number of Americans have expressed interest in legally establishing their right to be enrolled as tribal members. In the U.S., tribal applicants must be able to trace their lineage to ancestors on the Dawes Rolls, which is the official list of a tribe's members compiled at the time that the tribe was first recognized by the federal government. Each tribe has its own criterion with respect to the degree of relatedness a person must establish to be eligible for enrollment. Because DNA testing can establish genetic relatedness with exceptional accuracy, it is a powerful tool to confirm the biological relationships of prospective tribal members. Orchid Cellmark's DNA analysis service helps tribes determine whether the applicant has a relationship to the specific tribe, and not just to Native Americans in general.

In addition to the launch of this new service, Orchid Cellmark announced it is providing DNA testing services for the Enoch Cree Nation based in Alberta, Canada. "Orchid Cellmark's DNA testing service has been very successful in enabling the Enoch Cree to ascertain who should be allowed to enroll as a member," said Lisa Ground, enrollment officer for the Enoch Cree.

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