Brian McInnes headshot

Brian D. McInnes

Associate Professor, Leola R. Culver Professor in Nonprofits and Philanthropy; Faculty Fellow Center for Nonprofits
Civil Society and Community Studies Department; Community and Nonprofit Leadership Major
Office 4155
“Go beyond where you might have otherwise stopped.”

–Benjamin Zander

I principally work in community-based language revitalization, oral history, and educational anthropology. My current research is focused on culture and language revitalization initiatives in northern Wisconsin, holistic program evaluation for Indigenous language immersion schools, and environmental change education (Great Lakes Water Walk movement). My 2017 book, Sounding Thunder: The Stories of Francis Pegahmagabow, won both an American Book Award and Fred Landon Award for its portrayal of North America’s most decorated Indigenous soldier from the First World War era. As an enrolled member of the Ojibwe nation and direct descendant of the Wisconsin Potawatomi tribe, I am committed to building opportunities for increased intercultural understanding, collaboration, and critical change.

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EdD, Teaching and Learning, University of Minnesota
MES, Environmental Studies, York University
BEd, Primary/Junior Education, Lakehead University
BA, Indigenous Studies/Cultural Anthropology, Trent University


Graduate Program Chair, Civil Society and Community Studies
Faculty Fellow, Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies (CommNS)
Faculty Affiliate, American Indian Studies Program


Professional Educator, K–12, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Charter School Instruction and Administration, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Recent press

UW departments expand Native programming around touring Our Shared Future maker, Cap Times, February 24, 2020
New faculty focus: SoHE’s Brian McInnes and Mariaelena Huambachano, UW News, February 4, 2020
Why is there a ‘Wau’ in so many Wisconsin place names?, Wisconsin Public Radio, May 25, 2020

CSCS 125 – Community and Social Change

CSCS 775 – Building Civil Society

Corlis, T., Ruffo A. & B. D. McInnes. (forthcoming). Biidwedamo: The Song of Francis Pegahmagabow. Montreal, QB: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

McInnes, B. D. (forthcoming). Respect, reciprocity, and reconciliation in Indigenous research In E. S. Huaman & N. Martin, Indigenous communities and research: With, by, and for Indigenous peoples. Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholars’ Press.

McInnes, B. D. (2017). Sounding thunder: The stories of Francis Pegahmagabow. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press.