White People Keep Posing As People of Color for Clout

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White People Keep Posing As People of Color for Clout

Meanwhile, eastern Canadian provinces and U.S. states have seen seen an explosion in people identifying as Métis and Cherokee on census records. According to the Canadian author and associate professor Darryl Leroux, who wrote the book Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity, the “race shifting” trend is a result of white French descendants who “self-indigenize,” or make a claim to Indigenous ancestry, on the basis of having an Indigenous ancestor hundreds of years ago. To that end, some of the most high-profile examples of this racial grift pertain to white people posing as Indigenous, including Grey Owl, one of Canada’s first conservationists, who lied about his origin story after arriving in Canada in 1906, and the celebrated author Joseph Boyden. During her presidential campaign Elizabeth Warren apologized for identifying herself as Native American for decades and later using a DNA test rather than tribal citizenship to justify those claims. At the time, Kim TallBear, an associate professor of Native studies at the University of Alberta, explained that tribal governments “do not use genetic ancestry tests, but other forms of biological and political relationships to define our citizenries.”

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