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Public book launch and lecture at UPEI on March 10

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by ahnationtalk on February 12, 202028 Views

Dr. Darryl Leroux explores race shifting in his recent book

The UPEI Diversity and Social Justice Studies program, the Dean of Arts, and the Dean of Education will host a launch of Dr. Darryl Leroux’s book, Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity, on Tuesday, March 10, at 4 pm in Lecture Theatre A, Atlantic Veterinary College, UPEI.

Leroux, an associate professor at Saint Mary’s University, will give a lecture at this free public event.

In the book, Leroux explores a social phenomenon called race shifting, which has taken off in the twenty-first century. In race shifting, otherwise white, French-descendant settlers in Canada discover an Indigenous ancestor born 300 to 375 years ago through genealogy and use 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 shows 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.

Leroux is an associate professor in the Department of Social Justice and Community Studies at Saint Mary’s University, where he teaches courses in social theory, critical race theory, studies of colonialism, multiculturalism, and the politics of social memory. He taught previously at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. He has been working on the dynamics of racism and colonialism among fellow French descendants for nearly two decades. He has a bachelor of arts degree from Trent University; a master of arts from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto; and a PhD from Carleton University. Distorted Descent was published by the University of Manitoba Press in September 2019.

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