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Testing Native Roots

Putting family lore to the DNA test



 



Last Mother’s Day, my daughter gave me a 23andMe DNA test kit, with the intention of having me send in a saliva sample and unlocking the mysteries of our shared genetic ancestry.
 

She had already received the results of her own DNA profile, which revealed that she was 99.8 percent European.

This, of course, had to be a mistake. She comes from a long line of Apaches on my dad’s side. On my mom’s are her Irish-meets-Cherokee ancestors.

Someone once told me that, for people like us who are born in Oklahoma, it’s nearly impossible not to have an American Indian lineage of some kind.

Turning a blind eye to the blonde hair and fair complexion I share with my daughter and sons, I’ve always accepted this theory without hesitation; my mom’s Irish heritage had obviously diluted the gene pool that included my dad’s Native influence of black hair and the kind of skin that could appear to change ethnicities in a matter of a few sunny days.

My sister has been tracing the genealogy of both sides of our family for years, turning up one fascinating detail after another. Not only are we direct descendants of some kind of princess from somewhere or another who was kicked out of her country (that sounds about right), we’re also closely related to Daniel Boone. Or Davy Crockett. Or someone with a coonskin hat.

Year after year, as she pored over the details of each fresh leaf from our ancestry.com family tree, my sister contacted newly discovered, distant relatives to introduce us as their extended family and to compare notes about our lineage.

At holiday gatherings, she’d show us U.S. Census reports that included the names of our European ancestors as they landed upon our country’s teeming shores and forged their way farther west. We’d listen to tales of the plights of our Native ancestors, stories my sister had painstakingly pieced together through many exchanges with distant cousins, aunts and uncles.

Since the day my sister informed us that we hailed from a glorious line of Apache ancestry, I was a proud and vocal ambassador – loosely meaning that, over the past 25 years, I’ve enjoyed inserting my background into any discussion about ethnicity. “I’m part Apache, you know,” I’d boast, scoffing at the pitiful, unenlightened people who frequently challenged me by asking how many Apaches have blonde hair and green eyes.

“Are you on the roll?” they’d ask intrusively. “No,” I’d snap back. “Rolls are the product of government meddling,” I’d insist, knowing absolutely nothing on the subject, but standing firm in my conviction, nonetheless.

The suggestion that my daughter’s spit didn’t reveal even a sliver of a Native chromosome came as an insult to me.

“They sent you the wrong results,” I told her flatly. “How could I be part Apache and you’re not?” “All I know is that I need SPF 5,000,” she said, reminding me that her Italian friends refer to the color of her skin as “mozzarella.”

In light of the decades of information my sister has amassed about our family’s genealogy, I gladly accepted the 23andMe kit to put an end to this nonsense on my daughter’s report. Intent on setting the DNA record straight, I spat with increasing zeal and hand-delivered my sample to the post office.

Six weeks later, I received an email announcing that the details of my DNA report were now available.

My heart and mind were racing. Would the Apache heritage outweigh the Cherokee? What other surprises would emerge from my DNA in this melting pot we call America?

I clicked through to discover what the mirror has told me every day of my life: “Lauren, your DNA results are in! You are 100 percent European.”

Whiter than my mozzarella daughter! Whiter than Ivory soap! SPF 5,001.

Now, I don’t even know who I am. And what’s more troubling – thanks to my sister’s sketchy genealogy detective work, I’ve got a few huddled masses in my family tree who need to pack up their coonskin hats and go find their real relatives.

 

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Calendar

December 2017

Ted Moore Auto Group has signed up six of its automotive dealership stores to collect food for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma this holiday season. The food drives will be held in the stores at...

Cost: Free

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Ted Moore Auto Group
Telephone: 405.609.3455
Contact Name: Michelle Gray
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland returns to Bass Pro Shops, and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this magical Christmas village, offering free photos with Santa and free family holiday...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »

More information

The spectacular Oklahoma holiday tradition returns with a stunning set and sparkling costumes in Lyric's production of Charles Dickens' classic, A Christmas Carol. Go on a magical journey...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

Rockin' vibes with Oklahoma's Adam Miller. NOIR serves craft cocktails, delish food, and BRUNCH after 10:30p! No Cover! Smoke- and Vape-Free

Cost: Free

Where:
NOIR Bistro & Bar
701 W Sheridan Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: NOIR Bistro & Bar
Telephone: 405.208.4233
Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Our working ceramics studio boasts six working instructors, several studio volunteers and countless students. The ceramics program offers classes for students of all skill levels and runs open...

Cost: Free to browse

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. The ~25 artists featured in the exhibit also attend the ArtNow event so that guests can learn about...

Cost: Free to view

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Ted Moore Auto Group has signed up six of its automotive dealership stores to collect food for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma this holiday season. The food drives will be held in the stores at...

Cost: Free

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Ted Moore Auto Group
Telephone: 405.609.3455
Contact Name: Michelle Gray
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland returns to Bass Pro Shops, and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this magical Christmas village, offering free photos with Santa and free family holiday...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Our working ceramics studio boasts six working instructors, several studio volunteers and countless students. The ceramics program offers classes for students of all skill levels and runs open...

Cost: Free to browse

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. The ~25 artists featured in the exhibit also attend the ArtNow event so that guests can learn about...

Cost: Free to view

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Ted Moore Auto Group has signed up six of its automotive dealership stores to collect food for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma this holiday season. The food drives will be held in the stores at...

Cost: Free

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Ted Moore Auto Group
Telephone: 405.609.3455
Contact Name: Michelle Gray
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland returns to Bass Pro Shops, and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this magical Christmas village, offering free photos with Santa and free family holiday...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. The ~25 artists featured in the exhibit also attend the ArtNow event so that guests can learn about...

Cost: Free to view

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Our working ceramics studio boasts six working instructors, several studio volunteers and countless students. The ceramics program offers classes for students of all skill levels and runs open...

Cost: Free to browse

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Ted Moore Auto Group has signed up six of its automotive dealership stores to collect food for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma this holiday season. The food drives will be held in the stores at...

Cost: Free

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Ted Moore Auto Group
Telephone: 405.609.3455
Contact Name: Michelle Gray
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland returns to Bass Pro Shops, and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this magical Christmas village, offering free photos with Santa and free family holiday...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »

More information

Oklahoma City native Ginna Dowling will install a visual storytelling called Hieroglyphics 2017: The Spirit of Our People, based on what Dowling calls “contemporary community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
1146 N. Broadway Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The spectacular Oklahoma holiday tradition returns with a stunning set and sparkling costumes in Lyric's production of Charles Dickens' classic, A Christmas Carol. Go on a magical journey...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Our working ceramics studio boasts six working instructors, several studio volunteers and countless students. The ceramics program offers classes for students of all skill levels and runs open...

Cost: Free to browse

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. The ~25 artists featured in the exhibit also attend the ArtNow event so that guests can learn about...

Cost: Free to view

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Ted Moore Auto Group has signed up six of its automotive dealership stores to collect food for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma this holiday season. The food drives will be held in the stores at...

Cost: Free

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Ted Moore Auto Group
Telephone: 405.609.3455
Contact Name: Michelle Gray
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland returns to Bass Pro Shops, and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this magical Christmas village, offering free photos with Santa and free family holiday...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »

More information

Oklahoma City native Ginna Dowling will install a visual storytelling called Hieroglyphics 2017: The Spirit of Our People, based on what Dowling calls “contemporary community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
1146 N. Broadway Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The spectacular Oklahoma holiday tradition returns with a stunning set and sparkling costumes in Lyric's production of Charles Dickens' classic, A Christmas Carol. Go on a magical journey...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

The City Cabaret OKC returns this December with their sure-to-sell-out holiday sensation, "Retro Wonderland," at the Paramount Theatre between Main & Sheridan in Oklahoma City's...

Cost: $25

Where:
The Paramount Theatre OKC
11 North Lee Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This year, we’re proud to present a series of Christmas cult classics and holiday hidden gems designed to combat shopping fatigue, winter blues, and Mannheim Steamroller-induced insanity....

Cost: $9 adults, $7 seniors

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. The ~25 artists featured in the exhibit also attend the ArtNow event so that guests can learn about...

Cost: Free to view

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland returns to Bass Pro Shops, and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this magical Christmas village, offering free photos with Santa and free family holiday...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »

More information

Oklahoma City native Ginna Dowling will install a visual storytelling called Hieroglyphics 2017: The Spirit of Our People, based on what Dowling calls “contemporary community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
1146 N. Broadway Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The spectacular Oklahoma holiday tradition returns with a stunning set and sparkling costumes in Lyric's production of Charles Dickens' classic, A Christmas Carol. Go on a magical journey...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

The City Cabaret OKC returns this December with their sure-to-sell-out holiday sensation, "Retro Wonderland," at the Paramount Theatre between Main & Sheridan in Oklahoma City's...

Cost: $25

Where:
The Paramount Theatre OKC
11 North Lee Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »

More information

What do you get when you mix the twisted mind of Brian Hamilton, the morally askew producers who brought you “Screw the Eggnog, Pass the Rum” and the musical stylings of Michael Todd...

Cost: $10

Where:
The Paramount Theatre OKC
11 North Lee Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This year, we’re proud to present a series of Christmas cult classics and holiday hidden gems designed to combat shopping fatigue, winter blues, and Mannheim Steamroller-induced insanity....

Cost: $9 adults, $7 seniors

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. The ~25 artists featured in the exhibit also attend the ArtNow event so that guests can learn about...

Cost: Free to view

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland returns to Bass Pro Shops, and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this magical Christmas village, offering free photos with Santa and free family holiday...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »

More information

Oklahoma City native Ginna Dowling will install a visual storytelling called Hieroglyphics 2017: The Spirit of Our People, based on what Dowling calls “contemporary community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
1146 N. Broadway Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The City Cabaret OKC returns this December with their sure-to-sell-out holiday sensation, "Retro Wonderland," at the Paramount Theatre between Main & Sheridan in Oklahoma City's...

Cost: $25

Where:
The Paramount Theatre OKC
11 North Lee Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »

More information

The spectacular Oklahoma holiday tradition returns with a stunning set and sparkling costumes in Lyric's production of Charles Dickens' classic, A Christmas Carol. Go on a magical journey...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

What do you get when you mix the twisted mind of Brian Hamilton, the morally askew producers who brought you “Screw the Eggnog, Pass the Rum” and the musical stylings of Michael Todd...

Cost: $10

Where:
The Paramount Theatre OKC
11 North Lee Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

This year, we’re proud to present a series of Christmas cult classics and holiday hidden gems designed to combat shopping fatigue, winter blues, and Mannheim Steamroller-induced insanity....

Cost: $9 adults, $7 seniors

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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