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Ryan McMahon

Comedian & Community Activator

Ryan McMahon is an Anishinaabe comedian, writer, media maker & community activator based out of Treaty #1 territory (Winnipeg, MB). One of the most decorated Indigenous comedians/writers/media makers working today, Ryan’s voice has become vital to both Indigenous & non-Indigenous communities – his comedic storytelling style is fast-paced, loose & irreverent as he explores the good, the bad & the ugly between Indigenous Country & the mainstream.

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


Two Moccassins, Two Worlds
“You have two moccasins on our feet, walk in both worlds, Grandson. Learn what they learn, always remember where home is though.” A highly personal keynote, Ryan shares his story of failure & triumph and charts his path from a kid that grew up “in the bush” to becoming the first Indigenous comedian to ever a record a full mainstream comedy special with CBC TV. At times, heartbreaking, at times hilarious, Ryan’s honest take on the intergenerational effects of residential school on him and his family, his (re)connection to culture & ceremony and the balance it takes to live in today’s contemporary context is all covered in the this forward looking & challenging keynote presentation.

iPhones, Bush Tea & Dibajimowinan
Dibajimowinan (deh-bazh-im-oh-we-non) is the word for “storytelling” in the Ojibway language. In this keynote, Ryan explores how Indigenous storytelling is the key to moving reconciliation forward in Canada. The only way Canada (as a country) and Canadians can begin to wrestle with reconciliation is to hear, understand & accept the stories and experiences of Indigenous Peoples. Canada must come to grips with its last 150 years as a country. In this presentation, Ryan delivers a poignant reflection on why storytelling, community, and the internet are integral to moving forward under the project of reconciliation.

Red Man Laughing – Reflections on Reconciliation
This multimedia keynote shares the discoveries, stories and challenges of Ryan’s groundbreaking 5th season of his podcast Red Man Laughing. Ryan brings audiences behind the scenes and into the world of the show in a critical, with an in-depth and challenging analysis of the reconciliation movement in Canada today. The shows 5th season has set the bar high in terms of ways independent or mainstream media can/should respond to the calls for reconciliation.

Seeking Mino-Bimadiziwin
Mino-Bimadiziwin (mee-no bim-ah-dizz-ee-win) translates to, “the good life,” in the Ojibway language. This powerful presentation addresses Ryan’s philosophy on how we may approach the good life we all seek – through balance within ourselves, our families, our communities and our Nations. He deconstructs how we can apply indigenous natural law concepts to our own lives & communities to return back to health & happiness.

Platform Plus

Film Screening & Discussion | Colonization Road

This 90 minute presentation starts off with a screening of the critically acclaimed documentary, Colonization Road and is followed by a talk & question and answer period with the films star,
Ryan McMahon. The film unpacks the suite of policies & legislation that expedited the creation of Canada and examines how these policies were put in place at the cost of Indigenous Peoples. The film is not so much an indictment on Canada, as it is a look at Canadian history through an Indigenous lens. The film was made as an effort to create a common place to start, a common language to speak, when we look at the possibility of reconciliation and a pathway forward in Canada.


  • Mr. McMahon's show was exceptionally well designed to put the audience at ease, first nations and others alike. His material walked the delicate line between good-natured satire and ridicule...Mr. McMahon controlled the audience with the deft hand of a maestro directing a symphony. He brought us all up to the point of ruckus laughter and then eased us back into sober reflection...Fantastic experience. I would recommend Ryan McMahon to anyone who appreciates comedy. I would equally recommend Ryan McMahon to anyone who appreciates honest social commentary and political participation. 

    - Attendee, Mi'kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre Faculty of Education Lecture

Summary Profile

Ryan has blended the best practices of life skills, leadership programming, cultural teachings and Indigenous world views to create presentations grounded in fun, challenging & practical pedagogies that engage & activate communities. He tailors each presentation to the goals of the host community.

When not on stage and when not in a studio, Ryan can be found helping Indigenous Youth communities in the area of Leadership & Empowerment. Ryan is the CEO of the Makoons Media Group – a digital media company that focuses on telling Indigenous stories to worldwide audiences. In October 2013, Ryan founded Indian & Cowboy, the world’s only listener-supported Indigenous podcast media network.

Creatively, he has grown the Red Man Laughing & Stories From The Land podcasts into major players in the Canadian digital media space. Ryan became the 1st Indigenous comedian to ever record a full mainstream comedy special with CBC TV titled UnReserved, and later that year made his debut at the prestigious Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, QC, where he was named to the New Faces list at the festival.  His full-length CBC comedy special, Red Man Laughing, aired nationally on CBC Radio 1 in 2015. He has a serious side too, as evidenced in his 2016 documentary, Colonization Road featuring Canada’s colonial past told through interviews, comedy & rantings, with its world premiere at the 2016 ImagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival in October 2016. Ryan has written for the Globe & Mail, VICE, CBC, CBC Aboriginal, APTN among others, and has earned his degree in Theatre & and is a graduate of the prestigious Second City.


Water is life. Prayers to #StandingRock. #MniWiconi #NoDAPL (2017-02-22 02:51:10)
RT @dmedialab: Thinking as an entrepreneurial journalist https://t.co/hrounLpXeN via @medium https://t.co/gw4AMz2RBy (2017-02-22 04:43:55)
Clemson Doctoral Student Produces Rap Album For His Dissertation And It Goes Viral https://t.co/pT2kgF09Vn (2017-02-22 04:41:05)