New Scientist: 'There is no DNA test to prove you're Native American'
Has DNA testing changed things more recently?
I think the root cause of recent changes isn't DNA testing, but gaming. Because Native American reservations don't necessarily have to adhere to all of the laws of the states in which they're located – namely gambling laws – during the 1970s and 80s some tribes started building bingo halls and casinos on their land. In some of the more successful gaming tribes, individual members receive dividends on a monthly basis. In a very few tribes, I've heard of payments in excess of $1 million a year. With that kind of money, you are going to get very rigorous DNA testing.
Also, people tend to think any tribe with a casino gives out huge per capita payments, so tribal enrollment directors all over the country are bombarded with applications.