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UBC Press Fall 2015 Trade

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Race, Recognition, and the Struggle for Indigenous Peoplehood
By (author): Chris Andersen
9780774827225 Paperback, Trade English Professional/Scholarly : Grade (US) from 17 SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / American / Native American Studies Jan 15, 2015
$32.95 CAD
Active 6 x 9 x 0.72 in | 440 gr 284 pages UBC Press
NAISA Best Subsequent Book Prize, NAISA 2015, Winner
This provocative book makes the case that by defining Métis people as racially mixed, Canada is undermining the ability of the Métis nation to make political claims as a people.

Ask any Canadian what “Métis” means, and they will likely say “mixed race.” Canadians consider Métis mixed in ways that other Indigenous people are not, and the census and courts have premised their recognition of Métis status on this race-based understanding. Andersen argues that Canada got it wrong. From its roots deep in the colonial past, the idea of Métis as mixed has slowly pervaded the Canadian consciousness until it settled in the realm of common sense. In the process, “Métis” has become a racial category rather than the identity of an Indigenous people with a shared sense of history and culture.

Chris Andersen is an associate professor, the associate dean (research), and the director of the Rupertsland Centre for Métis Research in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta. He is also the current editor of aboriginal policy studies, an online, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing on Métis, non-Status Indian, and urban Aboriginal issues in Canada and abroad. He is co-editor of Indigenous in the City: Contemporary Identities and Cultural Innovation (UBC Press, 2013).

This provocative book argues against Métis-as-mixed and unapologetically goes against the grain of scholarship in this field. It will sharpen your views about M/métis rights and representation in Canada, and Indigeneity more generally. - John Borrows, author of Recovering Canada: The Resurgence of Indigenous Law

As a scholar who has worked for a long time in this field, I learned much from this book. Like many other Canadians, I did not have a clear answer to the question, who are the Métis? Chris Andersen offers the tools for understanding this puzzling question and makes clear what is at stake in contesting Métis identity. - Peter H. Russell, author of Recognizing Aboriginal Title: The Mabo Case and Indigenous Resistance to English-Settler Colonialism

Chris Andersen challenges the very core of Canadian racial mythology in this provocative, detailed, well-articulated argument about what it means to be Métis in Canada. For readers who seek to understand how courts, census offices, and Canadians in general have seen and misunderstood one of the nation’s most intricate issues of identity and belonging, this book will help them move along a path toward deeper and more respectful ways of acknowledging and appreciating the Métis people. - Lawrence Hill, author of The Book of Negroes

“Métis” is, without a doubt, essential reading for everyone who studies the Métis, Indigeneity, and/or race and racialization as it provides a powerful critique of Métis racialization and an example of the impact of racialization on Indigenous nations.

- Monique Giroux, Acadiensis

Andersen does a superb job of engaging with the scholarship of the field, allowing the reader to gain a clear understanding of its historical trajectory and where Andersen’s work stands in comparison ... Métis is an important contribution and I expect that it will spur lively discussions, productive critiques, and shift the scholarship in the field. - Jill Doerfler (White Earth Anishinaabe), NAIS (Native American and Indigenous Studies) Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2015

Andersen's book is thorough and deep, insightful and provocative. Some will find it unsettling. But, for anyone interested in questions of Métis identity, or more generally Indigenous rights in Canada, it is an essential read.

- Dwight Newman, Review of Constitutional Studies

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