Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity

Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity

Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity

Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identitys

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Référence bibliographique [22064]

Leroux, Darryl. 2019. Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity. Winnipeg (Manitoba): University of Manitoba Press.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs

Intentions :
«This book examines the specifics of a social phenomenon that has been in full flight since the turn of the twenty-first century: the shifting of otherwise white, French descendants in Canada (and the United States) into an Indigenous identity.» (p. 1)

2. Méthode

Échantillon/Matériau :
The author has «employed a range of research methods. [First, he analysed] public posts and threads on five prominent French-descendant online genealogy forums […] on topics such as Indigenous ancestry, Indigenous identity, and/or indigeneity. [He] analyzed sixty-eight threads (roughly 750 individual posts) […].» (p. 32-33) The author also constructed his own ancestral family tree using a range of online databases and sources. Finally, the author has «assembled a large archive with hundreds of documents that relate directly to two major court cases in Quebec. [The first is] the Corneau case, [which involves] over twenty members of the Communauté métisse du Domaine-du-Roy et de la Seigneurie de Mingan (CMDRSM) [in] the city of Chicoutimi […].» (p. 35) «The second court case involves the Métis Nation of the Rising Sun (MNRS), located in New Richmond, on the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec.» (p. 36)

Type de traitement des données :
Réflexion critique
Analyse de contenu

3. Résumé

The author starts his analysis «through identifying and explaining the genealogical mechanics underwriting these recent claims to an Indigenous identity on a series of online genealogy forums. [His] observations about the multiple practices of descent—that is, which ancestors are reclaimed and in which ways—on these forums present a rich tapestry through which to observe contemporary identity formation: Indigenous ancestors are invariably sought, though not always found; several French women ancestors from the seventeenth century are reconstructed into Indigenous women, only to return to their previous French identity; and famous Indigenous people are remade as family, absent any direct ancestral relationship. Second, once [he] establish[es] the common genealogical practices facilitating self-indigenization, [he discusses] two of the most prominent self-identified “métis” organizations currently operating in Quebec. Both organizations have their origins in a committed opposition to Indigenous land and territorial negotiations and encourage the use of the genealogical practices that [the author identifies] on the online forums. In this sense, the first part of the book hones in on the specific practices that lead French descendants to claim an Indigenous identity. The second part then explores how these claims are used politically to oppose actual, living Indigenous peoples. The very nature of this study in questions of identity, ancestry, family, kinship, and belonging means that it is taking a path strewn with obstacles.» (p. 2-3)