Join us as we welcome Darryl Leroux for his talk “Race Shifting, DNA Ancestry Testing, and Kinship Aspirations: The “Eastern métis” Movement.
Date: Thursday, March 7, 10:00-11:15 am
Location: 306 Tier Building, University of Manitoba (Winnipeg)
Building on the work of Kim TallBear and Alondra Nelson, Leroux demonstrates how white, French-descendants integrate new knowledge about their ancestral past—including DNA-based evidence—in a manner that confirms their kinship aspirations. Working at the nexus of family history, genetic genealogy, and identity, he explains how “aspirational descent” leads amateur genealogists and researchers to indigenize European (French) women ancestors from the seventeenth century. Two specific cases will be considered to demonstrate how this practice of descent has led white settlers in the eastern provinces to expand the boundaries of present-day forms of whiteness.
Darryl Leroux is a descendant of some of the first French settlers on Turtle Island who’s committed to explaining and intervening in ongoing forms of (French) settler colonialism. He’s an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Justice and Community Studies at Saint Mary’s University in Kjipuktuk in Mi’kma’ki (Mi’kmaw territory). He’s published his research on race shifting among French-descendants in Critical Ethnic Studies (with Adam Gaudry), Social Studies of Science and Maisonneuve magazine. His book, Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity will be available in September 2019.
This event is being hosted as part of Indigenous Awareness Month, taking place throughout March.