Dr. George P. Nicholas

BA (Franklin Pierce College); MA (University of Missouri); PhD (University of Massachusetts - Amherst)
Tel: 778.782.5709 • Fax: 778.782.5666 • Email: nicholas@sfu.ca

General Research Interests

Early postglacial North American archaeology; human ecology; archaeology of wetland landscapes; hunter-gatherer land use; archaeology and Indigenous Peoples; cultural resource management; intellectual property issues in archaeology.

Dr. Nicholas discusses his research here.

Current Research

My interests are broad ranging in terms of research questions, temporal and geographic focus, and theoretical orientation.

One major research theme has been the archaeology and human ecology of wetlands worldwide, particularly the archaeological record of hunter-gatherer societies, often atypical, associated with them. This extends to more general studies of early postglacial land use in both the northeastern United States and the Interior Plateau of western Canada.

At the same time, much of my research and writing focuses on the evolving relationship between archaeology and Indigenous peoples worldwide. as expressed in differential power relations, theoretical discourse, and actual practice. From 1991–2005, I developed and directed SFU’s Indigenous Archaeology Program on the Kamloops Indian Reserve. This community-based archaeology program was directed to  (a) pre-5000 BP archaeological landscape, (b) investigating patterns of long-term land use; (c) the history of plant resource utilization in the Interior Plateau; and (d) Secwepemc heritage management needs.

What links these two research themes has been my concern with (a) landscape, both cultural and archaeological and (b) the quest for representativeness in both the archaeological record and our approach to, and interpretation, of it.

The IPinCH Project

I am currently the director of the major international research initiative "Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage: Theory, Practice, Policy" co-developed with Dr. Julie Hollowell (Indiana University) and Dr. Kelly Bannister (University of Victoria) and funded by SSHRCs MCRI program. Our team of 50 scholars and 25 partnering organizations is working to explore and facilitate fair and equitable exchanges of knowledge relating to archaeology. We are concerned with the theoretical, ethical, and practical implications of commodification, appropriation, and other flows of knowledge about the past, and with how these may affect communities, researchers, and other stakeholders. Please visit our web site to learn more the project and opportunities for student fellowships and training.

IPinCH Project Link: http://www.sfu.ca/IPinCulturalHeritage

Editorial service :

Advisory Board: American Antiquity; Heritage and Society; Journal of the Archaeological Society of South Australia

Series Co-Editor, World Archaeological Congress’ Research Handbooks in Archaeology series.

Past Editor-in-Chief: Canadian Journal of Archaeology (2001-2007)


Selected Publications