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Native American Nations and Their Genetic Trail Around the Arctic Circle

A descendant of Mohawk Nation and trained in anthropology, Patty has researched and reported on indigenous peoples for over four decades.

NOAA Arctic Map

NOAA Arctic Map

A Native American Haplotype Was Discovered in Iceland in 2010

Iceland was the only sector of the Arctic Circle region that had not yet yielded indisputable DNA evidence of Native American genetic markers until 2010.

The American Journal of Physical Anthropology (A Native American lineage in Iceland) recently published an article by Ebenesersdottier et al. dealing with a newly discovered mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineage: A New Subclade of mtDNA Haplogroup C1 Found in Icelanders: Evidence of Pre-Columbian Contact?

SUMMARY: The researchers conclude that genetic material and markers shared by Native North Americans and their counterparts in Northern Europe (Sami or Saami, etc) made their way to Iceland. This negates the insistenc of some that the Vikings were the sole settlers.

In the Altai Mountains

In the Altai Mountains

Recent Altai Evidence

UPDATES DURING 2011

  • Haplotype X2a (North American Indigenous) is more closely related to the Altaian & Siberian Haplogroup X2 than to any European Haplogroup X2. A decided difference exists among the varieties of Haplogroups X2.
  • Further, we have five (5) unique mutations of Haplogroup X2a and only one (1) has been found in the Eastern Hemisphere - in Iran.
  • Are First Nations related to the Iranians?

UPDATES IN NOVEMBER 2007

"We have reasonably clear genetic evidence that the most likely candidate for the source of Native American populations is somewhere in east Asia," -- Noah Rosenberg, a genetic researcher at the University of Michigan Medical School.

  • Native American and Siberian ancestors (Altai) are the only two groups that experience one specific genetic mutation, strengthening the link between these two peoples.
  • Note: I've connected Koreans and Native Americans with the Altai regions to my own satisfaction for many years, and the evidence is coming in to support it. Look for the entire research article is here.


Languages, Migrations and DNA Markers

Bio-Markers for Relatedness

The Inuit and related peoples have been discovered in northeast Siberia, Russia, across the top of North America in Alaska, Canada & Territories, and into Greenland and the Feroa Islands near Denmark. In fact, evidence supports the notion that the Inuit are living or have lived completely around the globe in the Arctic and Subarctic regions.

The Northern European Sami and others have shown bio-markers related to the Inuit. Is appears that human life in the north migrated around the circumpolar regions. It raveled elsewhere as well, since a Sami bloodtype has been found in Pacific Islanders.

Language Markers for Genetic Relations

In 1996 I found linguistic evidence in research at The Ohio State University that certain Iroquois Confederation nations (Mohawk) shared the identical word for "cousin" with the Zulu Nation that was originally in the Congo.

Sources, including legends, state that the Zulu are descended from the son of a Nguni chief in the Congo Basin. Today, the people are largely in KwaZulu-Natal. I was intrigued, because sharing the word for cousin meant that the two nations were probably related genetically. From around 2005 through 2015, the Smithsonian/National Geographic/IBM Genographic Project was logging additional such connections. However, their database has been closed to all but credentialed research scientists.

Early Migration of Zulu Nation

Tracing "Native American" DNA

By 1999, genetic research begun with studies back in 1992 showed Y chromosome links (via the male heritage line; Y is male and X is female) between and among the Native North American Nations.

This article will present additional details from genetic research about these links, along with a list of characteristics that are markers for Native North and South American heritage, including:

  • Alaskan Natives
  • First Nations, Metis, Inuits; Circumpolar Peoples
  • Native Americans
  • Indigenous Peoples of Mexico, Central America, and South America
  • Pacific and Other Islanders on both margins of the Western Hemisphere

Increase in First Nations Populations

The reporting firm Statistics Canada stated in its 2006 Census results on Indigenous Peoples of Canada that there are 1,172,790 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit individuals in Canada. Not all individuals in all native groups completed the questionnaires for the Census, so there are more aboriginals living in Canada than were counted.

This First Nations count is an increase that results from higher birth rates among the indigenous peoples than among non-aboriginal groups. The increase in population also results from an increasing number of people beginning to identify themselves as aboriginals in the late 20th and into the 21st centuries.

The Métis are the mixed-heritage individuals in Canada and the USA that have a portion of indigenous DNA. In Canada, their numbers doubled in the 10 years from 1996 - 2006.

Some of Canada's largest cities are home to substantial numbers of indigenous people. including Winnipeg (10% of the total population), Regina (9%) and Saskatoon (9%). These are large numbers compared to those of 1996.

First Nations people are significantly younger overall than non-native people in Canada. The median ages of the two groups fall at 27 years for First Nations and 40 years for others, respectively. This First Nations have more younger adults, compared to early middle age among whites and others.

Half of all First Nations members are under 25 years of age. They are in a position to take over some of the jobs left vacant by retiring Baby Boomers in Canada in order to solve the 21st century labor shortage created by this retirement. With various education and training programs available from the Canadian federal and provincial governments to First Nation peoples, this is a good possibility.

Are You Native American?

DNA testing along one's father's ancestry and mother's ancestry is becoming more popular and available in the 21st century.

In order to help you decide whether to undergo DNA testing or not, here is a list of characteristics reportedly associated with Native Americans/First Nations in Yahoo Groups and Facebook groups, many of which characteristics are not widely known:

1) Wider feet than the general population. This means that you cannot wear an "A" , "AA" or "AAA" width, which are all narrow and in high demand even from people with wider feet, as a fashion statement. Medical science found the widths unhealthy for wider feet, just as it found that using too-small a shoe can be a problem to the structure of any foot.

In some large department stores, the concept of "width" has disappeared from the current manufacture and distribution of shoes, so they are all just a little too narrow (These same shoes are also too wide for people with narrower feet, so they sometimes shop online at specialty shoemakers.) There may be a difference, also, in the structure of the arch of the foot among the Indigenous people in question. NIKE produces wider shoes for the Native American foot. Thus, there is truth to this characteristic being brought forward.

2) Lack of hair on the abdomen - not even a light fuzz, usually, according to Native American comment posters online.

3) High cheekbones that, if you wear glasses, the lenses are consistently smeared at the bottom or below the center of the lenses. (I have this and it is annoying.)

4) Tooth structure. There are two characteristics to look for:

The first is a type of "shoveling" - almost like a scoop or the flatter side of a spade - on the inside of the top 4 front and bottom 4 front teeth, with an extra ridge before you get to the root. Sometimes this involves additional frontward teeth. (I have these characteristics, while my friends from Scandinavia do not.).

The second hallmark characteristic is the lack of a fifth cusp on certain molars - European descendants most often have that extra cusp (a point) to make a total of 5 cusps. The exception is found in a single Eastern European culture.

5) Are you a descendant of Europeans or African-Americans that may have intermarried with Native Americans? Although some of these individuals do not look like Native Americans, they may possess the indigenous DNA as part of the larger intermixed group of Metis, Metiza or similar designations. It is particularly interesting that it appears as though a portion of Mohawk people, historic and current, have looked more like Europeans than do other Native Nations.

Sources

  • Hammer, M. and Karafet, T. Arctic Studies Center. DNA and the Peopling of Siberia. naturalhistory.si.edu/arctic/html/peopling_siberia.html Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  • Native American Nations, The People of the North, and 360 Migration Around the Arctic Circle
  • Raghavan, M. The genetic prehistory of the New World Arctic. Science Magazine. science.sciencemag.org/content/345/6200/1255832 Retrieved August 29,2014. All Paleo-"Eskimos" arrived in a single (one) migration of people from Siberia into North America. They are different from the ancestors of today's Neo-"Eskimo" Thule lineage.
  • Sámi-Ainu Cultural Exchange in Hokkaido, Japan | Arctic anthropology: Sami bloodtype A2 is related to peoples in Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean.
  • Sutherland, I.L.G. Ainu - A People of the North (Japan). Spirit of a Northern People. The Journal of the Polynesian Society Vol. 57, No. 3 (September, 1948), pp. 203-226.
  • Trimboli, G., et.al. The Sami People.
  • Vahtre, L.; Viikberg, J. The Chukchis: Chukchi of Northeast Siberia - The Coastal or Reindeer People The Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire.
  • Wang, S. et.al. Genetic Variation and Population Structure in Native Americans. PLOS.genetics. journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.0030185 Retrieved November 23, 2007.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS

Comments, Additions, and News

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 05, 2014:

North Carolinian - You have presented us with wonderful information that is fascinating in your personal story. I did not know about my heritage until my 30s, when a new acquaintance and I discovered links between us and to Native American lineage. DNA tests are becoming cheaper and more accessible, so best of luck with that experience!

Native Carolinian on August 05, 2014:

I keep reading these pages not really looking to find information that pertains to my situation, but I find it continually. I might just go for a genetic test. The descriptors in this page cover things about me which I could not really explain. I am mixed background European and Native as far as I can accurately describe it. Cultural clues from the U.S. South come from possessions in house and foods grown in garden which white people did not eat at this point, but show up in my family's cooking with regularity. The more I read about the physical descriptions of Native people the more I seem to find myself. I have always had wider feet, shoulders broader than what they should be for my height, sparse hair covering where described (except the nice full thick dark hair on my scalp!!! :)). It's funny that the feet and the smudged glasses are mentioned here. I find my sunglasses and regular glasses smudged there on a regular basis and always found it confusing. I have feet that need the wide souls and I have extremely high arches on my feet, and high cheek bones. I had an extra tooth and I think my teeth are fairly scoopy in the front and not flat. I always wondered about those things too. Couple that with hushed conversations about "passing for white" and no matter how I alter my appearance, I fail to pass for white, especially in the U.S. South, I think I finally find out why. Now if only the family could get over the fear of the 1800's and Jim Crow and link up with people who have said they are able to help us prove things. I think the shame and fear are what keep us back the most. If we could lose those that would be great. I just want to be myself and accepted for who I am. I am not out to hit people over the head with things, just wanting to be able to hold my head high.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 03, 2014:

Hi Bree -

That is good information to have and it makes sense in terms of genetics and migration.

If your mom is willing, DNA kits are available through National Geographic. Check out their website.

genographicDOTnationalgeographicDOTcom/

(put in periods for the DOT)

Bree on August 03, 2014:

Wonderful article! I have all of those traits. My father is mostly of Finnish decent with some Swedish. I'm not sure of my mothers heritage because she was adopted, and does not know anything about her biological family.

Finnish people who immigrated to the U.S during the late 19th to mid 20th were racially discriminated against. The Finnish were considered by Americans to be of Asian decent, & were not considered white. Some Finnish Americans married Native Americans. Their children were called Finndians. The Native Americans, & Finns have many similarities in mannerism, and tradition. They are both stereotypically, storytellers, clannish, stoic, weary of outsiders & hold on to tradition. The original religion/spiritual practices of Finland were based on nature, and animals just like Native American spiritual practices. The Native Americans have their sweat lodges, & Finns have their saunas. Another thing I've noticed is the traditional Finnish yoiking folk songs sounds very similar to Native American spiritual singing.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on June 15, 2012:

Yes, and DNA types of testing is becoming less expensive over time. I think that it is the Smithsonian and National Geographic partnership that provides testing kits.

wba108@yahoo.com from upstate, NY on June 15, 2012:

It's entirely possible that many people have native American blood and are not aware of it! I have a friend who is over 50% Mohawk Indian and another who has alot of Apache indian blood and they both look more caucasian than not. No doubt that historians have injected a good deal of their own biases into their theories and some culture leave little to no archeological evidence behind. Perhaps genetic testing can provide a more accurate picture of the links between the poeples of the earth and the migration history of the world.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on April 08, 2011:

Thanks for posting your experience - it's good to hear from others about these phenomena. And it's fun to find out more.

teresa8go from Michigan, USA on April 08, 2011:

Excellent info! I know that I am part Native American via my mother. I was excited to read that Native Americans have a tendancy toward a wider foot. I wear a WW or EEE width shoe. Now I know where it comes from! A Dr. told me once that the dark circle under my eyes indicated an Asian ancestry. I always figured it had to do with the Native American blood.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 20, 2011:

Thanks for sharing your stories here, Little Kim. Several companies are doing a range of DNA testing and the coasts are lowering, so perhaps you will find out all your heritage for certain in the future. I'll bwe reading your Hubs!

Little Kim from Any town U.S.A. on January 20, 2011:

I enjoyed your article and can relate. Almost daily I am asked if I am Native American. My mother is South Korean and my dad white. I have high cheek bones and can't wear large frame sun glasses. My co-workers for months thought I was and they were kind of disappointed when I told them no. My husband has Native blood and I look more Native than him. I am drawn to the rythym of a drum cirlce and have to fight the urge to participate. It is a spiritual experience for me and tears well up as if i have found my home. I would love to have my D.N.A checked also because I may have African American blood in my veins also. This I discovered by seeing a photo of a woman on my father's side. I would be honored to have Native American and African American blood flowing through my veins.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 14, 2010:

Thanks for adding all the linkages and experiences, everyone.

firstdiem on May 27, 2010:

Very informative and detailed. I enjoyed reading this hub and will look for more from you.

Joey on March 02, 2010:

Hey I am Berber and they have traced Berber mitochondrial DNA to the Sami People of Scandanavia. We Berbers are the Indigenous people of North Africa ,Morocco,Libya,Algeria,Tunisia,Mauritania,Mali,Niger,

Sudan and Egypt. So Yea I guess that might be interesting for Some people to know!

Michael Shane from Gadsden, Alabama on February 15, 2010:

Great Hub! I am part Cherokee & Creek along with other cultural heritage....

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on May 25, 2009:

What a wonderful name is Salamanca! Thanks for reading and commenting, Kimber777. It's probably a subject that will never be finished, so it's fun.

Kimber777 from PA on May 24, 2009:

Love your article...I'm from Salamanca, New York:)

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on July 22, 2008:

JULY 2008 NEWS:

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=the-migration-...

The Migration History of Humans: DNA Study Traces Human Origins Across the Continents

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 31, 2008:

I've been reading materials on the9 subject for over 20 years, so it does not take long to put together a hub about it.

With all the small groups coming forweard to be recignized, it's nearly impossible to track all of the indigenous peoples in this hemisphere. A thorough book would take a couople of years to put together with all the references. But there may be a good youth study text in it to start with. The elementaty and middle schools could use one.

Thank Z!

Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on January 30, 2008:

Patty! I saved it for this morning so I would have time to read your hub in peace. It is very impressive. How many hours research does this series represent? I'm still of a mind that you should put it together into book form.

Absolutely perfect HUB.

regards Zsuzsy

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 29, 2008:

djtphn1 - Commendations to you and bless you for your public health nursing career. It is very important and you do much good in the world! I would love to participate in a sweat lodge. One group in southern Ohio opens one to the public for a month or so in the summer. I will plan to go. The culture of the Ho Chunk and others is just incredible. I'm 3/8 mohawk and plan to try to visit the reservation that straddles new york and canada.

Panic 39 - thank fors for the encouragement! Please add anything else you would like others to know, as you read the series.

Panic 39 on January 29, 2008:

This is a very good hub. I am part Native myself. I am looking forward to reading the next one. Thank You!

yeea on January 29, 2008:

thanks

djtphn1 from Riverside County, California on January 28, 2008:

Interesting....i was actually a public health nurse in Los Angeles county and San Bernardino counties and my job was to educate the Native population on wellness and prevention of disease...I actually even dated a full blooded Ho Chunk Native man for some time....and participated in the sweat lodges with them. It is a beautiful culture....nice hub, think I will have to digg it.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 28, 2008:

Iouun, I will attempt to find that film. Different batches of humans is a good point. Maybe true. :)

Writerlady - keep writing and let yourself fall into a flow - a rythym of words that flow with the pictures that you may choose. Soon, it seems to happen aalmost on its own. I look forward to more writerlady hubs. :)

writerlady from South on January 28, 2008:

You're such a good writer. I can only hope to be as good as you one day!!

Iðunn on January 28, 2008:

Patty I think you are right that there might be different, well, let's call them "batches" of human beings over time with significant differences although I'm not sure what that implies and I'll be honest enough to admit I partially think that from fictional reading - the jean auel series. :p

I don't know if you have seen the movie "Rapa Nui" but if you haven't it's fascinating on many levels and worst case, magnificent entertainment. I suspect you'd enjoy it. I know I did.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 28, 2008:

Iouun - Thanks for reading! I read an old book about how the stones at Stonehange were dug up in Wales and transported to their site by Africans that had migrated to Ireland. I found this hard to believe, to hard to have been accomplished. So there are many questions about people and migration aren't there? I think there are some groups of people on Earth that may not be related to others humans,

Francis - Thanks for the comments - I know little about the Philipines and need to read more about them. Perhaps islanders did come from elsewhere in Asia originally. Thanks for the idea.

Francis Moran from Paramount, CA on January 28, 2008:

your research is akin to the ancient peoples who travelled the land bridges of Asia during the great Ice Age. these were the same ones who eventually inhabited such places as the Philippines and other Asian countries.

again another very informative hub!

Iðunn on January 28, 2008:

the migration theories are indeed fascinating.  sharing words, or types of Gods etc.  I remember watching a movie about the Birdmen of Easter Island and later a doco showing how difficult it would be for the related group to have arrived there by trying to do it themselves in a boat built by the standards of the times.  They had to abandon the quest, if I remember correctly.

I had some interest once in the etymology of language which was semi-related.

As usual, great hub.

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