George Nicholas - Activism, Education, and the Protection of Indigenous Heritage

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Salomon Center, Room 001

Funded by the Shepard Krech III Lecture fund.

When descendant groups are denied direct and meaningful engagement in decision making, heritage management policies are ineffective at best and harmful at worst. Access to and control over one’s own heritage is a basic human right essential to identity, wellbeing and worldview. The historic separation of Indigenous peoples from their heritage not only results in considerable economic and cultural harms, but is a form of violence. Community-based heritage initiatives are capable of challenging colonial structures in the research process without compromising the integrity of archaeology. In this talk, George Nicholas discusses opportunities to move heritage research and management in more satisfying ways through a discussion of local and international collaborations developed by the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCH) Project.

George Nicholas is Professor of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada. From 1991 to 2005, he developed and directed SFU’s internationally known Indigenous Archaeology Program in Kamloops, BC. He has worked closely with the Secwepemc and other First Nations in Canada, the United States, Australia, and elsewhere. His research focuses on intellectual property rights and archaeology, Indigenous archaeology, the archaeology and human ecology of wetlands, hunter-gatherers past and present, and archaeological theory. 

Nicholas was the director of the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCHP project (2008–2016), an international collaboration of archaeologists, Indigenous organizations, lawyers, anthropologists, ethicists, policy makers, and others, working to explore and facilitate fair and equitable exchanges of knowledge relating to heritage. 
He is past editor of the Canadian Journal of Archaeology (2000–2007) and past co-editor (with Julie Hollowell) of the World Archaeological Congress’ Research Handbooks in Archaeology series (Left Coast Press). Nicholas is also an adjunct faculty member at Flinders University in South Australia. 

In 2013, Nicholas and the IPinCH team were the first recipients of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (of Canada) Partnership Impact Award.