Conversations about Indigenous Manhood
Between October 2010 and May 2013, Sam McKegney conducted interviews with leading Indigenous artists, critics, activists, and elders on the subject of Indigenous manhood. In offices, kitchens, and coffee shops, and once in a car driving down the 401, McKegney and his participants tackled crucial questions about masculine self-worth and how to foster balanced and empowered gender relations.
Masculindians captures twenty of these conversations in a volume that is intensely personal, yet speaks across generations, geography, and gender boundaries. As varied as their speakers, the discussions range from culture, history, and world view to gender theory, artistic representations, and activist interventions. They speak of possibility and strength, of beauty and vulnerability. They speak of sensuality, eroticism, and warriorhood, and of the corrosive influence of shame, racism, and violence. Firmly grounding Indigenous continuance in sacred landscapes, interpersonal reciprocity, and relations with other-than-human kin, these conversations honour and embolden the generative potential of healthy Indigenous masculinities.
Read Excerpts From:
A Liberation through Claiming – A Conversation with Gregory Scofield
Reimagining Warriorhood – A Conversation with Taiaiake Alfred
Fighting Shame through Love – A Conversation with Daniel Heath Justice
“A rich, complex series of discussions of one of the most pressing subjects of Indigenous decolonization today… McKegney’s twenty-two in-depth conversations with Indigenous artists, activists, and intellectuals both inside the academy and in community are each tremendously useful in helping readers understand what is at stake in the ways we define Indigenous masculinities, celebrate them, critique them, construct them within our families and in our communities, and live them as men.”
– Christopher B. Teuton, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“McKegney interviews male and female educators, artists (including writers such Joseph Boyden, Lee Maracle and Tomson Highway), scholars, social workers, elders, and others who attest to the myriad conceptions of indigenous manhood that range from the affirmingly spiritual to the purposefully vulnerable. […] Many a fascinating discussion about modern indigenous identities.”
– Publishers Weekly (Link)
“Though the book’s central goal is the discussion of masculinity, McKegney’s work thankfully avoids the trap of a reductive ‘What about the men?’ viewpoint, allowing the participants’ conversations to delve into wider issues of gender roles and binarism in order to examine how healthier models of masculinity can benefit not just indigenous men but their communities as a whole. A valuable resource on a little-discussed subject, and a worthwhile read for anyone interested in a critical look at the overall issue of gender in indigenous societies.”
– Kathleen McCallister, Univ. of South Carolina, Social Sciences
“As the first of its kind, this collection of conversations about Indigenous masculinity offers an invaluable contribution to the fields of Indigenous Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, Indigenous Literature and Cultural Studies, Settler Colonial Studies, and beyond.”
– Allison Hargreaves, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, Okanagan Campus
“Masculindians is not a book about tragic masculinities. Rather, the contributors share compelling stories of beautiful and healthy masculinities disrupted by colonization. Their stories speak of resilience and resistance and resurgence.”
– P. Kelly Mitton, University of British Columbia, The Goose (Link)
“A valuable contribution to Indigenous masculinity studies. Very few texts focus on Indigenous manhood and masculinities, and this book provides an opportunity to expand this area of study and to engage in conversations on Indigenous community and Native nation building.”
– Lloyd L. Lee , Wicazo Sa Review
“Masculindians is a collection of twenty-three conversations with Indigenous women and men from throughout North America and Oceania, Two-Spirit and straight people, as well as artists and scholars who talked about, among other things, Indigenous masculinity. The chapters are more than conversations. They are artifacts from which we can later draw meaning in order to reimagine Indigenous masculinity’s pluralisms, possibilities, and potentials.”
– Kyle T. Mays, Native American and Indigenous Studies
About the Author
Sam McKegney is the author of Magic Weapons: Aboriginal Writers Remaking Community After Residential School and numerous articles on Indigenous and Canadian literatures. He is an associate professor of English and Cultural Studies at Queen’s University.
Other contributors: Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Taiaiake Alfred, Kim Anderson, Joanne Arnott, Joseph Boyden, Alison Calder, Warren Cariou, Jessica Danforth, Louise Bernice Halfe, Tomson Highway, Brendan Hokowhitu, Terrance Houle, Basil H. Johnson, Daniel Heath Justice, Janice C. Hill Kanonhsyonni, Lee Maracle, Neal McLeod, Daniel David Moses, Gregory Scofield, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Adrian Stimson, Ty P. Kawika Tengan, Thomas Kimeksum Thrasher, Richard Van Camp