While learning about your family heritage can be an eye-opening and positive experience, it’s not always something that is embraced or encouraged by everyone.
Redditor Sad_Personality_7881 is a nineteen-year-old woman who became excited after recently discovering the truth about her ancestry.
But when she went to share the news with her parents about the results from an ancestry test, her joy deflated after showing the data to her mother.
Bothered by her mother’s negative reaction, she visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA For arguing about the fact we have no Native American ancestry to my mom but she keeps insisting that we do?”
The Original Poster (OP) wrote:
“I’m a 19-year-old female and recently I’ve done a huge deep dive into my family history through 23andme, Ancestry, and TrueAncestry.”
“It revealed that myself and both my parents are literally 99.9% European with Celtic, Danish Viking, and Ukrainian roots.”
“I was super excited and went to show these results to both my parents. We’ve all been genetically tested and none of our results show any Native American ancestry.”
“My mom got super defensive when I showed her the data, saying that her great-grandmother was 1/2 Cherokee, and that myself and the company was lying through these results. “
“I told her there was no way that I could be, and I even had documents from said grandmother, who had CLAIMED to have 1/32 Native ancestry/blood for benefits, but had been rejected by the government for any such benefits because all supporting evidence showed that her ancestry traced back to Ireland/Scotland.”
“She told me that the tests and digging I did didn’t matter and that she knew what she knew to be right.”
“What frustrates me, is the fact that she goes around telling people our family IS partially Native American if the topic is brought up, and it’s frankly embarrassing to go along with this blatant lie that is completely untrue, especially when Native culture has been appropriated and misused for centuries by people like my mother.”
“AITA for continuing to argue about it with her? Or should I just let it go on?”
Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Many Redditors agreed the OP was not the a**hole here.
“NTA. You’re not gonna change your mom or her habits. Refuse to participate in her claims and tell the truth when asked.”
“Just tell people she believes it to be true and won’t change her mind but you did the research and it’s not.” – muffiewrites
“NTA. Here’s the thing with having Indigenous ancestry: it doesn’t matter. Either you’re part of the tribe, or you’re not.”
“If you aren’t part of the tribe, or trying to reconnect, then it’s completely and utterly meaningless.”
“If she thinks she’s 1/2 Cherokee (Why is it ALWAYS Cherokee? I never hear anyone claiming false Choctaw ancestry), then point her to how she can reconnect with her tribe.” – fakemonalisa
“NTA. Gently, these ancestry DNA tests cannot show what they haven’t tested for. Native American results on 23andme are based on a small sample of Peruvian or Chilean native populations.”
“Therefore, probably doesn’t translate well for North American native samples. Btw, N. American recognized tribes refuse to allow such testing (and good for them).”
“Do you have any photos of this grand? It will have clues as to if they are native by physical features. Please don’t be hard on your Mom.” – Accomplished_Twist_3
“White people claiming false native ancestry (which happens a lot) is cultural appropriation. It’s insulting to actual Native Americans and for that reason, it’s understandable the OP gets embarrassed by her mom doing this.”
“But at the same time, the ‘proof’ that there is no native heritage is not necessarily as conclusive as the OP thinks it is. There’s really no proof either way, so while her mom shouldn’t be going around claiming to be part native, it’s still probably best to just let it go.” – minicooperlove
“NTA, but from a Native guy, really, thank you for trying. There was apparently an epidemic of guilty Europeans that thought if they adopted a percentage of Native (and it’s always Navajo or Cherokee) they’d feel better about their grandparents’ crimes.”
“It gives me a tiny smile to see someone be confronted with the fact that they’re not.” – ThatKaylesGuy
“She may be in denial since she’s lived her entire life believing she had Native American ancestry. Doesn’t matter… NTA but arguing over it isn’t really worth it. You know the truth.” – Saraqael_Rising
“NTA, while there’s a margin of error with the test results, it sounds like your mom is trying to cover something or is in denial about something in your family’s past.” – swantoes
“NTA but for your own information, those sites aren’t highly accurate. If you just went on there and followed some family tree it is probably wrong.”
“I made this mistake in the past. I am no genealogy expert but I do know (now) that you have to follow records and the further back you go the harder it is to prove.”
“Plus you have to think of how many people are really in your family tree the further you go back. You can’t call her a liar anymore than she can claim she is part Native American unless either if you have documented proof of this that isn’t some ancestry website.” — fluffy_boy_cheddar
“NTA but maybe not informed…”
“DNA doesn’t lie but it’s not the whole story. There are documented situations where Native Americans adopted women and children into their tribes for various reasons.
“Adoptions, relationships skews family history.”
“Many African American’s don’t have a history of Caucasian people in their families. But through DNA, it’s proven most are at least 25%+ European DNA.”
“What this means is that slave owners regularly abused slaves in the most horrific ways and then literally and knowingly sold their own sons and daughters down the river.”
“DNA can only tell us what we’re made of…it cannot tell us our history or folklore. Talk to your mom about the family folklore. Talk to any of your older family members and get details.”
“Good luck and enjoy the learning process.” – OhioGirl22
While many Redditors said the DNA tests don’t always exhibit 100% accuracy, they sided with the OP but suggested there was no point in continuing to argue with her mother about what she maintains to be true.