Indigenous Men and Masculinities: Legacies, Identities, Regeneration


Excerpt from Authors' Introduction:

"Indigenous men and those who identify with Indigenous masculinities, as this book shows, are faced with distinct gender and racial biases that cause many to struggle. This book of essays explores and seeks to deepen our understanding of the ways in which Indigenous men and those who assert an Indigenous male identity perform their masculine identities, why and how they perform them, and the consequences to them and others because of their attachment to those identities. As the authors in this volume clearly show, the performance of Indigenous masculinities has been profoundly impacted by colonization and the imposition of a white supremacist heteronormative patriarchy that has left a lasting and negative legacy for Indigenous women, children, Elders, men, and their communities as a whole. At the same time, this book details the regeneration of positive masculinities currently taking place in many communities that will assist in the restoration of balanced and harmonious relationships...

The ways in which hegemonic masculinity has acted to subordinate Indigenous men encourages them to similarly assert power and control by subordinating Indigenous women and women of colour, as well as white women (where circumstances allow), other Indigenous men who are considered physically and intellectually weak, and those who do not express a heteronormative identity. The ideals of the current hegemonic masculinity are what all men must strive to achieve and uphold in order to be recipients of male privilege to its fullest extent. As a result, many Indigenous men abide by these ideals, even though doing so contributes to their own subordination as a group. As non-whites, Indigenous men’s privilege is ultimately subordinated by white male privilege, so they are then confined to achieve their privilege through the oppression of those who are perceived from a hegemonic masculine perspective as being weaker and more vulnerable than they are.

The current hegemonic masculinity, then, has affected Indigenous men and their communities in complex ways. Nonetheless, many Indigenous men across the globe have begun to question and challenge how their current identities serve to reinforce the colonial legacy of subordination. they are making strides to regenerate positive ways of expressing the diverse range of Indigenous masculinities that reflect their contemporary realities. They are seeking out identities based on Indigenous understandings and that can contribute to the decolonization of Indigenous peoples. An important step in this process is acknowledging that Indigenous men do benefit from male privilege, as well as recognizing and acknowledging that, at the same time, many experience a level of victimization, violence, and subordination based on their race and gender that is similar, though manifested in different ways, to that of Indigenous women, and that the oppression suffered by both is tied to the colonization and acquisition of Indigenous lands." (4,11).

A digital publication is largely available through Google Books


Publication Information

Innes, Robert Alexander, and Kim Anderson, (Eds.). Indigenous Men And Masculinities: Legacies, Identities, Regeneration.  Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2015.

Innes, Robert Alexander
Anderson, Kim
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