Brian D. McInnesLeola R. Culver Professor in Nonprofits and Philanthropy; Associate Professor

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.

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.

Recent press

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


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.

Classes Taught

  • Course number: CSCS 125: Course title: Community and Social Change
  • Course number: CSCS 775: Course title: Building Civil Society


  • Civil Society & Community Studies

Degree Program

  • PhD Human Ecology: Civil Society & Community Research


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


  • 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


Office: 4155 Nancy Nicholas Hall

Phone: 608-265-9169