When the first Europeans arrived in America after 1492 they encountered the rich and diverse indigenous culture. As these first Europeans were mostly men, in the way of things, they fathered children with Native American women. Many of today's Americans are descended from these unions and the DNA on the maternal side has retained its indigenous identity through the intervening generations. There are four main clans of Native American mitochondria. Three of them - Aiyana, Chochmingwu and Djigonase - originated in Siberia and crossed to Alaska via the Bering land bridge some 15,000 years ago. The fourth, the clan of Ina, came by sea skirting the Pacific coast but not settling until they reached Central America. The clan of Ina is predominant in South America. It is straightforward to distinguish Native American from European matrilineal DNA and a Matriline analysis will reveal if you have DNA from indigenous ancestors. This is quite common among the descendants of European settlers.