Woman Claims to Be Member of Lost Tribe
But geneticists say that's impossible to prove in regard to the Beothuk
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2017 3:30 PM CST
Updated Jan 29, 2017 12:01 AM CST
A Beothuk woman.   (Library and Archives Canada)

(Newser) – The Beothuk, an Indigenous tribe that lived in Canada, came to an end in 1829 with the death of its last member. Or did it? CBC reports a 55-year-old woman from North Carolina says she and her family are long-lost members of the Beothuk tribe, and she has the DNA test to prove it. Carol Reynolds Boyce says her mom told her when she was young, "You got Indian in you." She tells the Telegram her family is originally from Newfoundland and hid their Beothuk ancestry. Last year, she paid for a DNA test by Accu-Metrics to prove her heritage. "It's a bad feeling when people say you are extinct," says Reynolds Boyce, who says people claiming the Beothuk are gone are committing "political genocide."

The Accu-Metrics test did indeed state Reynolds Boyce was Beothuk. The company believes it's the first time a Beothuk match has ever happened. But geneticists say that's impossible, arguing there isn't enough Beothuk DNA on file to confirm a match, and if Accu-Metrics told Boyce Reynolds otherwise, she was "being lied to." After originally standing by its results, Accu-Metrics told CBC it was removing Beothuk from its database. But a followup from the Telegram found it was still there. In the meantime, Reynolds Boyce says her family has voted her chief of Beothuk First Nation. She's sent her DNA test to the Canadian government, is demanding federal land, and is soliciting donations on Facebook to relocate her family to Newfoundland. (Suspected serial killer doomed by genealogy-curious relative.)

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