Room 522 Tier Building
173 Dafoe Rd
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada
Michael Yellow Bird, MSW, PhD, is Dean and Professor of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba. He is an enrolled member of the MHA Nation (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara) in North Dakota, USA. He has held faculty and administrative appointments at the University of British Columbia, University of Kansas, Arizona State University, Humboldt State University, and North Dakota State University. His research focuses on the effects of colonization and methods of decolonization, ancestral health, intermittent fasting, Indigenous mindfulness, neurodecolonization, mindful decolonization, and the cultural significance of Rez dogs. He is the founder, director, and principal investigator of The Centre for Mindful Decolonization and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba. He serves as a consultant, trainer, and senior advisor to several BIPOC mindfulness groups and organizations who are seeking to incorporate mindfulness practices, philosophies, and activities to Indigenize and decolonize western mindfulness approaches in order to address systemic racism and engage in structural change.
He is the author of numerous scholarly articles, book chapters, research reports, and the co-editor of four books: For Indigenous Eyes Only: The Decolonization Handbook, 2005; For Indigenous Minds Only: A Decolonization Handbook, 2012; Indigenous Social Work around the World: towards Culturally Relevant Education and Practice, 2008; and Decolonizing Social Work, 2013. Choice Magazine, selected Decolonizing Social Work as a 2014 Choice Outstanding Academic Title. Choice Outstanding Titles are given extraordinary recognition by the academic community and are designated to be “the best of the best.” He is the co-author of two recent books,: A Sahnish (Arikara) Ethnobotany (2020), and Decolonizing Holistic Pathways Towards Integrative Healing in Social Work (2021). His most recent co-authored mindfulness article, Defunding Mindfulness: While We Sit on Our Cushions, Systemic Racism Runs Rampant (October, 2020), can be found at: https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/3715-perspectives-defunding-mindfulness-while-we-sit-on-our-cushions-systemic-racism-runs-rampant
Some of Dr. Yellow Birds’s research projects include:
2020-2021 - Co-Principal Investigator. Online Training for Foster Parents That Will Promote Reconciliation Through Mindful Decolonization and Cultural Safety. General Child and Family Services Authority and Metis Child and Family Services Authority. Winnipeg, Canada.
2016-2018 - Principal Investigator/Research Consultant. Mending the Circle of Life – Indigenous Empowerment Program: Instituting Mindfulness in the Circle of Life Academy. White Earth Ojibwe Reservation.
2017-2018 - Evaluator. “Thriving Women’s Initiative,” Alaska Grantees. Using an Appreciative Inquiry Approach to examine the progress of eight Native Women’s Violence Prevention programs. Seventh. Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples. Arcata, California.
2016 - Project Director. “The Revenant: Indigenous Voice in a Hollywood Film.” North Dakota Humanities Council.
2015 - Co-Principal Investigator. “Cultural restoration, humane education and addressing free roaming dog populations on Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota.” Three Affiliated Tribes and the Institute for Human Animal Connection and the University of Denver, School of Social Work.
2015 - Co-Project Director, Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson (BBAJ). This research focuses on the development a musical that looks critically at the life and actions of the former president, particularly the atrocities that he brought upon the tribal people in the United States with the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears. Dean’s Challenge Grant, North Dakota State University, 2015.
2015 - Project Director (Dr. Kelly Sassi); Expert/Scholar (Dr. Michael Yellow Bird, “Understanding Settler Colonialism in North Dakota.” North Dakota Humanities Council.
2013-2015 - Evaluator, “Building Power and Optimizing Impact: Reservation-based Small Grants & Capacity Building Pilot Initiative. Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples.
Clarke, K., and Yellow Bird, M. (2021). Decolonizing Pathways to Integrative Healing in Social Work. Routledge.
Kindscher, K., Yellow Bird, L., Yellow Bird, M., and Sutton, L. (2020). Sahnish (Arikara) Ethnobotany. Society of Ethnobiology’s Contributions in Ethnobiology series.
Gray, M., Coates, J., Yellow Bird, M., and Hetherington, T. (Eds.) (2013). Decolonizing Social Work. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing. (2014) Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine).
Waziyatawin and Yellow Bird, M. (Eds.) (2012). For Indigenous Minds Only: A Decolonization Handbook. School of American Research. Santa Fe, NM: SAR Press.
Gray, M., Coates, J., and Yellow Bird, M. (Eds.) (2008). Indigenous Social work around the world: Towards Culturally Relevant Education and Practice. Ashgate Publishing.
Wilson, A.W., and Yellow Bird, M. (2005). (Eds.). For Indigenous Eyes Only: The Decolonization Handbook. School of American Research. Santa Fe, NM: SAR Press. (Finalist for the New Mexico best book on Native American subject, (October 2007).
Redvers N, Yellow Bird M, Quinn D, Yunkaporta T, Arabena K. Molecular Decolonization: An Indigenous Microcosm Perspective of Planetary Health. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(12):4586.
Yellow Bird, M. (2009). What is the Highest Form of Patriotism? I Say Acknowledging our Addiction to War. Canadian Review of American Studies, Volume 39, Number 3, 2009, pp. 343-360
Yellow Bird, M. (2008). The Future of American Indian Studies in the time of Global Warming. Wicazo Sa Review, 23, (2) 91-101.
Yellow Bird, M. (Spring, 2007). On the Justice of Charging Buffalo: Who Stole American Studies? Redux. Wicazo Sa Review, 22, (1) 91-99.
Yellow Bird, M. (Fall, 2004). Cowboys and Indians: Toys of Genocide, Icons of American Colonialism. Wicazo Sa Review, 19, no 2.
Porter, R., & Yellow Bird, M. (Spring, 2000). Why Indigenous Nations Studies? Indigenous Nations Studies Journal. Vol 1 (1), pp. 71-82.
Yellow Bird, M. J. (1999). What We Want To Be Called: Indigenous Perspectives On Racial and Ethnic Identity Labels. American Indian Quarterly. 23 (2).
Yellow Bird, Michael. (1999). Radical, Skewed, Benign, and Calculated: Reflections on Teaching Diversity. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping. A Journal for the Helping Professions. 4 (2), 13-22.
Westerfelt, A., & Yellow Bird, M. J. (1999). Homeless and Indigenous in Minneapolis. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment. 2 (I/2), 145-162.
Yellow Bird, M. J., (1995). Spirituality in First Nations Story Telling: A Sahnish-Hidatsa Approach to Narrative. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping. A Journal for the Helping Professions. I (4) 65-72.
Invited Book Chapters:
Yellow Bird, M. (2013). Preface. United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples through Indigenous eyes. In Mel Gray, John Coates, Michael Yellow Bird, and Tiani Hetherington (Eds), Decolonizing Social Work. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing.
Yellow Bird, M. (2013). Neurodecolonization: Applying Mindfulness Research to Decolonizing Social Work. In Mel Gray, John Coates, Michael Yellow Bird, and Tiani Hetherington (Eds.). Decolonizing Social Work. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing.
Gray, M., Coates, J., Yellow Bird, M., & Hetherington, T. (2013). Indigenization, Indigenous Social Work and Decolonization: Mapping the Terrain of Decolonization. In Mel Gray, John Coates, Michael Yellow Bird, and Tiani Hetherington (Eds). Decolonizing Social Work. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing.
Gray, M., Coates, J., Yellow Bird, M., & Hetherington, T. (2013). Conclusion: Continuing the Decolonization Agenda. In Mel Gray, John Coates, Michael Yellow Bird, & Tiani Hetherington (Eds). Decolonizing Social Work. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing.
Waziyatawin and Yellow Bird, M. (2012). Introduction: Decolonizing Our Minds and Actions. In Waziyatawin and Michael Yellow Bird (Eds.). For Indigenous Minds Only: A Decolonization Handbook. School of American Research. Santa Fe, MN: SAR Press.
Yellow Bird, M. (2012). A BROWN PAPER on the Iraq War and the Resurrection of Traditional Principles of Just War. In Waziyatawin and Michael Yellow Bird (Eds.). For Indigenous Minds Only: A Decolonization Handbook. School of American Research. Santa Fe, MN: SAR Press.
Yellow Bird, M. (2012). Johnson, J., & Yellow Bird. (2011). Indigenous Peoples and Cultural Survival. In Lynne M. Healy and Rosemary Link (Eds.), Handbook of International Social Work. New York, NY: Oxford Press.
Other Publications Invited:
Yellow Bird, M., Wikel, J., Costantino, L., Madrigal, R.D., Potiguara, E. (2021). An Open Letter by Indigenous Peoples to Indigenous Peoples in Brazil on Surviving COVID-19. Cultural Survival. https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/open-letter-indigenous-peoples-indigenous-peoples-brazil-surviving-covid-19.
Yellow Bird, M., Gehl, M., Hatton-Bowers, Hicks, L.M., Reno-Smith, V. (October 30, 2020). Perspecives – Defunding Mindfulness: While we sit on our cushions, systemic racism runs rampant. Zero to Three. Professional Resource. https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/3715-perspectives-defunding-mindfulness-while-we-sit-on-our-cushions-systemic-racism-runs-rampant#chapter-3055.
Yellow Bird, M. (2020). Decolonizing Coronavirus: Returning to Traditional Indigenous Prevention Strategies in the Time of COVID-19. The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition: https://boardingschoolhealing.org/decolonizing-coronavirus-returning-to-traditional-indigenous-prevention-strategies-in-the-time-of-covid-19/
Yellow Bird, M. (June, 2020). Decolonizing Fasting to Improve Indigenous Wellness. Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine. The Future of Indigenous Health. CSQ Issue: 44-2: https://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/decolonizing-fasting-improve-indigenous-wellness
Research Reports, Proposals, and Program Evaluation:
Tedeschi, P., Bexell, S.M., Morris, K., & Yellow Bird, M. (2015 - 2017). Cultural restoration, humane education, and addressing free roaming dogs populations on Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota.
Yellow Bird, M. (March, 2014 – 2015). Building Power and Optimizing Impacts: Reservation Based Nonprofit Capacity Building Grant Pilot Initiative. Using an Appreciation Inquiry Approach to Evaluate ten Native-led Emerging Community-Based Non-Profit Groups (CBOs) on and Directly Serving Reservation Communities in Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples. (Final Evaluation Report).