Darryl Leroux at UPEI

Tuesday, March 10th 2020

Join Darryl Leroux for a public book launch and lecture from his book Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity.

Date: Tuesday, March 10, 4:00 pm
Location: Lecture Theatre A, Atlantic Veterinary College (550 University Ave), UPEI, Charlottetown.
Cost: FREE

Sponsored by the UPEI Diversity and Social Justice Studies program, the Dean of Arts, and the Dean of Education.

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.

About the Author

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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