Michael Heine, PhD


  • PhD (Alberta)
  • MA (Western)
  • LA SEK II (Bochum, Germany)

Supervising Graduate Students

  • Sociocultural Studies

Research Interests

  • Indigenous land-based physical activity practices
  • Gwich’in cultural history
  • Documentation of circumpolar indigenous physical activity practices
  • Canadian history of mixed martial arts

Additional Information

Current Projects

  • The Significance of Indigenous Traditional Games as On-the-land Physical Activity Practices for the Recovery of Indigenous Land-based Cultural Identity. Collaboration with the Department of Cultural Heritage, Gwich’in Tribal Council, Inuvik, NT.
  • eSports: Physical Activity Practices of Simulations? An investigation of the International Olympic Committee’s evolving perspectives on eSports as Olympic events.

Recent Publications

  • Heine, M., et al. (2019). Gwichya Gwich’in Googwandak. The History and Stories of the Gwichya Gwich’in. 3rd rev. and expanded edition. Inuvik, NT: Department of Cultural Heritage, Gwich’in Tribal Council.
  • Paraschak, V. & Heine, M. (2019). Co-Transforming through Shared Understandings of Land-based Practices in Sport for Development and Peace. In R. Millington & S. Darnell (eds.), Sport, Development and Environmental Sustainability. London, UK: Routledge. 178-194.
  • Wassong, S., Heine, M. & Hess, R. (eds.) (2019). Sport Development and Olympic Studies. London: Routledge.
  • Heine, M. (2018). “The Olympic Commodification of Civic Spaces at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games: A Political Topology of Contestation.” International Journal of the History of Sport, 35/9. 898-910.
  • Heine, M., Barney, R.K., Misener, L. (eds.) (2018). Global Fault Lines in Olympic and Paralympic Sports. London, ON: ICOS.
  • Forsyth, Janice & Heine, M. (2017). ‘The Only Good Thing that Happened at School’: Colonising Narratives of Sport in the Indian School Bulletin. British Journal of Canadian Studies. 30/2: 205-225.
  • Heine, M. (ed.) (2016). The Future of the Olympic Event in the Age of the Mega-Spectacle. London, ON: ICOS.
  • Heine, M. (2014). The Culture and Practice of Arctic Sports. Whitehorse, YT: Transversant.

Research Affiliations

  • Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute
  • International Centre for Olympic Studies, University of Western Ontario
  • Arctic Winter Games Committee, Historian

Teaching Areas

  • Sociology of Sport and Physical Activity
  • Ethics in Kinesiology and Sport
  • Media Analysis of the Narratives of Sport and Health

In the Media

Between 2015 and 2020, I have fielded over 160 interviews related to Olympic matters. Interview partners ranged from university radio stations and the local press, to national and international news outlet such as the CBC, New York Times, Bloomberg, and the BBC.