Darryl Leroux at Acadia University

Thursday, January 16th 2020

Please join us for the Acadia University launch of Darryl Leroux’s Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity.

Featuring Francine Blyan (Métis), Zabrina Whitman (Mi’kmaq), and Dylan Letendre (Métis), who will speak about the impacts of the “Acadian-métis” movement in Mi’kma’ki (Mi’kmaw territory).

Date: Thursday, January 16, 7:00 pm
Location: Irving Centre Auditorium, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS
Cost: FREE

Sponsored by the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Professional Studies, School of Education, Department of Politics, and the Department of Sociology.

About the book
Distorted Descent examines a social phenomenon that has taken off in the twenty-first century: otherwise white, French descendant settlers in Canada shifting into a self-defined “Indigenous” identity. This study is not about individuals who have been dispossessed by colonial policies, or the multi-generational efforts to reconnect that occur in response. Rather, it is about white, French-descendant people discovering an Indigenous ancestor born 300 to 375 years ago through genealogy and using that ancestor as the sole basis for an eventual shift into an “Indigenous” identity today.

After setting out the most common genealogical practices that facilitate race shifting, Leroux examines two of the most prominent self-identified “Indigenous” organizations currently operating in Quebec. Both organizations have their origins in committed opposition to Indigenous land and territorial negotiations, and both encourage the use of suspect genealogical practices. Distorted Descent brings to light to how these claims to an “Indigenous” identity are then used politically to oppose actual, living Indigenous peoples, exposing along the way the shifting politics of whiteness, white settler colonialism, and white supremacy.

Darryl Leroux is associate professor in the Department of Social Justice and Community Studies at Saint Mary’s University in Kjipuktuk (Halifax, Nova Scotia). He has been working on the dynamics of racism and colonialism among fellow French descendants for nearly two decades.

You can visit for example of some of the data from the book.

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