Darryl Leroux’s Distorted Descent provides a fascinating glimpse into the broader colonial structural issues at play in what he calls the “race-shifting” or “self-Indigenization” phenomenon that has taken hold over the last decade or so in the United States and Canada. Leroux spends the majority of the book focused on white settlers of French descent in various communities across eastern Canada and the United States, breaking down the methods and justifications they use to craft a contemporary Indigenous identity. For the most part, Leroux’s focus is on white people who either claim Métis identity using genealogical methods that connect them to an Indigenous (usually First Nations) relative as far back as twelve generations or claim Indigeneity for a distant non-Indigenous relative. It is important that Leroux distinguishes between white settlers claiming Indigenous heritage when there is none to be found and Indigenous people struggling to reconnect to communities after US...
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Book Review| January 01 2022
Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity
Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity. By Leroux, Darryl. (
University of Manitoba Press,
296pp. $27.95 paperback.).
Ethnohistory (2022) 69 (1): 129–130.
Mercedes Peters; Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity. Ethnohistory 1 January 2022; 69 (1): 129–130. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00141801-9404337
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