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Dwanna McKay

Dwanna McKay

Assistant Professor

Dwanna L. McKay (formerly Robertson) is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and joined the Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies program in 2016. Professor McKay centers her teaching, research, service, and activism on an overall commitment to social justice. Raised within the boundaries of her tribal nation in Oklahoma, McKay understands the definitive disadvantage of growing up in a rural area steeped in discrimination and how that manifests in constrained access to basic needs like housing, healthcare, employment opportunities, and equitable education. McKay fuses active research and teaching agendas in social inequality, intersectionality, critical race theory, and indigenous identity with broad interdisciplinary knowledge. 

Focus Areas

social inequality; indigenous studies; critical race theory; legitimized racism; social institutions of work and occupations, crime, health, and education; quantitative and qualitative research methods; indigenous epistemology.


Dwanna L. McKay. “Real Indians: Policing or Protecting Authentic Indigenous Identity?” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity (forthcoming).

Dwanna L. McKay.“Confronting the Normalcy of Legitimized Racism Against Indigenous Peoples.” Racism in America: A Reference Handbook, edited by Stephen Foy. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO (forthcoming).

Dwanna L. McKay. 2019. “Masking Legitimized Racism: Indigeneity, Colorblindness, and the Sociology of Race.” Seeing Race Again: Countering Colorblindness across the Disciplines, edited by Kimberlé Crenshaw, Luke Harris, Daniel Martinez HoSang, and George Lipsitz. Oakland: University of California Press.

Dwanna L. Robertson. 2017. “The Very Best Justice.” Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and Healing 3(3):87-88. 

Dwanna L. Robertson. 2016. “Decolonizing the Academy with Subversive Acts of Indigenous Research: A Review of Yakima Rising and Bad Indians.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 2(2):248-252.

Dwanna L. Robertson. 2015. “Invisibility in the Color-Blind Era: Examining Legitimized Racism Against Indigenous Peoples.” American Indian Quarterly 39(2):113-152.

 Dwanna L. Robertson. 2013. “A Necessary Evil: Framing an American Indian Legal Identity.” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 37(4):115-139. 

 Dwanna L. Robertson. 2013. “Economic Aspects of U.S. Relations with Native Americans.” Pp. 16-18 in The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Business, Labor, and Economic History, vol. 2, edited by Melvyn Dubofsky. New York: Oxford University Press.

Regular Classes

RM185: Introduction to the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity
RM215: Research Design: Method and Theory
RM218: Critical Analysis of Quantitative Data
RM200: Introduction to Indigenous Studies
RM300: Gender, Race, and Crime


    Ph.D., Sociology, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
    Graduate Certificate, Indigenous Studies, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
    M.S., Sociology, Oklahoma State University-Stillwater
    M.B.A., Management Science, East Tennessee State University
    B.A., Political Science, University of Central Oklahoma