Hi Roly (et al.),
I've been reading this thread, and I thought that I would add my comments. As a prefatory note, I want to make a few things clear. First is that I am unbiased. I have no particular interest in Metis origins, and don't think it is likely that I have this heritage. So I am happy to let the chips fall where they may. Second is that I am Ph.D. in biochemistry (since Roly expressed concern in his prior message that no academic qualification is given). I don't think any qualification is necessary in this case - either you know what you are talking about, or you don't - but for those who think it is important, you can read about mine here:http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gbonner/mt...
Third is that I am the RootsWeb List Administrator for the mtDNA list. Fourth is that my wife has a similar situation, in that she has Native American ancestry, but her mtDNA is European.
So, with that introduction, let me make a few brief remarks:
1. A European mtDNA profile demonstrates that a person is not full, 100% Native American. But that is not proof that the person is ZERO percent Native American.
But it is important to realize that if you go back the necessary generations such that you consider 256 ancestors, even if 255 of them are Native American, that ONE that is the purely female line must STILL be European. And it must be a female.
So, in this context, who could the female European ancestor have been.
2. There are DNA tests that show input from all lines. It is called an autosomal test. FTDNA sells one called the Family Finder. 23andMe sells one called the Relative Finder. And Ancestry sells one too.
I suggest that if multiple people can be found with common descent among this group that they take the autosomal test, identify which DNA segments came from this population, and then compare those segments to other populations to see their origins.
3. It is important to realize terms of art. In the case of DNA the word "recessive" has a specific meaning. It has to do with phenotypic expression, and doesn't have ANYTHING to do with ancestral origins being hidden. For example, in humans there are the alleles regarding blood groups. Type O is recessive. But there isn't anything hidden about it. In fact it is the most predominant type. And whether it is hidden in any sense depends on the other allele(s) present.
So I suggest you stop using the word "recessive" (or hidden) when you are talking about DNA, lest people think you mean the term-of-art recessive that others will understand you to be meaning when you are talking about DNA. Instead, just use the word unknown.
In this case, the one line is European. The others are unknown. But the European lineage isn't hiding the others.
4. You didn't contact FTDNA. You contacted the volunteer admin for the project.
5. The Viking input could be tested by the autosomal test I mentioned.
6. So far, from the claims made about the DNA that I have seen, there is no evidence that the origin is Native American. All the evidence suggests European ancestry. However, Roly rightly points out that this evidence only applies to ONE line out of...however many lines you want to consider. The person could be 255/256ths Native American. But so far there is no DNA evidence (that I have seen) to support that contention. There is only evidence that the person must be at least 1/256ths European, at the 256 ancestors level.
7. The burden of proof is on the person making the assertion. There is no burden of proof on the other side. One need not support with evidence their contention that is GREATER THAN that in support of the original contention. So if the contention is that "She's Native American", then a complete, logical refutation of that is "No she isn't", as long as the origin assertion does not provide evidence that she is Native American. The idea the she MAY be Native American, and that proof is "hidden" is essentially equal to "the dog ate my homework"-level of proof. However, if the contention is "she is NOT Native American", then the burden is to prove it, else the counter side can equally just say "yes she is". Here the proof is on a negative however, and is not expected to be proved any more than one could prove the Loch Ness Monster does NOT exist. Even if you drained Loch Ness and found no monster, one could still argue that the monster flopped his way into the woods somewhere "hidden" where she will remain until the water comes back, etc. So in this case, the only logical burden remains on the person suggesting Native American ancestry, and I have seen no evidence of that. But I have seen evidence, though not incontrovertible, that she is not Native American.