Native Americans go back longer than we thought.

Nature examines a DNA test on a “Clovis boy,” whose DNA proves that 12,000 years ago, the ancestors of today’s Native Americans were already here:

…[T]he boy’s genome sequence shows that today’s indi­genous groups spanning North and South America are all descended from a single population that trekked across the Bering land bridge from Asia (M. Rasmussen et al. Nature 506, 225–229; 2014). The analysis also points to an early split between the ancestors of the Clovis people and a second group, whose DNA lives on in populations in Canada and Greenland.

Eske Willerslev, a palaeobiologist at the University of Copenhagen who led the latest study, attempted to involve Native American communities. And so he embarked on a tour of Montana’s Indian reservations last year, talking to community members to explain his work and seek their support. “I didn’t want a situation where the first time they heard about this study was when it’s published,” he says.