Current research projects

Gulu WaKulu: Dancing Healthy Masculinities into Being

P.I. Dr. Devi Mucina


Indigenous feminist research demonstrates linkages between Indigenous men’s poor health and the health disparities that Indigenous women and children experience.

In this presentation, I will look to ceremony as an under-valued but vital way to promote Indigenous men’s participation in community health and governance.

A case example of this is in the Gule Wamukulu (performative spiritual mask dance) as an Indigenous community response from Malawi that centers men’s roles to relational, political, spiritual health through traditional methods of public education. The performative spiritual mask dance highlights the importance of healthy gender relations and community actions for addressing disease prevention and colonial toxic masculinities.

This research will start in Malawi and will explore the work accomplished through Gule Wamkulu with the intent of engaging Indigenous performative spiritual mask dancers of some Coasts Salish Nations.

The objectives of this research are twofold:

  1. To center how local Indigenous men through Gule Wamukulu engage in actions of regenerated political, gender, spiritual, mental and relational wellness through an Indigenous decolonial framework of disease prevention.
  2. To determine how Nyau dancers of Gula Wamakulu and Indigenous performative spiritual mask dancers of the Coasts Salish Nations could engage in an Indigenous cross-cultural exchange around gender and governance through ceremony.
  3. This dialogue would explore how performative spiritual mask dancing engages Indigenous men to think about how they can contribute to the health of their communities using Indigenous observational ethnography.

Recent publications

Student research

Theses from graduates of the Indigenous Governance program are available for download through the UVic Library.

UVic Office of Research Services

Indigenous research is a priority for the University of Victoria. UVic promotes research reflecting the aspirations and calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including research grounded in traditional knowledge, the use of culturally appropriate methodology and a focus on addressing issues most relevant to Indigenous peoples.