Lawson Chair of Canadian Archaeology, University of Western Ontario; Director, Sustainable Archaeology Western
Neal has worked in Ontario archaeology for over 35 years. Currently he holds the Lawson Research Chair of Canadian Archaeology at the University of Western Ontario, where he is cross-appointed between the Department of Anthropology and the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. Before coming to Western in 2007 he worked as an Ontario provincial archaeologist for 20 years, regulating commercial archaeological practice and working with the diverse and often contested interests that intersect through the archaeological heritage of that place. He is also the co-PI and Director of Sustainable Archaeology, a CFI funded research facility at Western and McMaster. Sustainable Archaeology seeks to consolidate the accumulated archaeological record of commercial archaeological activity in the province over the last 50 years, convert object data to digital information, and manage that record through the integration of archaeological and descendant cultural values. The ultimate aim of a sustainable archaeology is to shift the practice of archaeology from archaeologist-centric agendas to being in the service of the broader social relevance this heritage has for people in the present.
His research focuses on the ancient and recent Indigenous and non-Indigenous archaeology of Northeastern North America, including before, during and after the rise of colonialism, the various social dimensions and issues that shape contemporary archaeological practice, and the role of digital archaeologies to both shape research, and shape practice and practitioners. Working with George Nicholas, Neal and SA are currently trying to instill a reflexivity into the burgeoning field of 3D modelling, printing and virtual reality in archaeology.
2014 Rethinking Colonial Pasts through Archaeology. Edited by Neal Ferris, Rodney Harrison, and Michael Wilcox. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
2014 Being Iroquoian, Being Iroquois: A Thousand Year Heritage of Becoming. In Rethinking Colonial Pasts through Archaeology, edited by Neal Ferris, Rodney Harrison, and Michael Wilcox, pp. 371-395. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
2014 Introduction: Rethinking Colonial Pasts through the Archaeologies of the Colonized. Neal Ferris, Rodney Harrison, and Matthew Beaudoin. In Rethinking Colonial Pasts through Archaeology, edited by Neal Ferris, Rodney Harrison, and Michael Wilcox, pp. 1-34. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
2014 New Worlds: Ethics in Contemporary North American Archaeological Practice. Neal Ferris and John Welch. In Ethics and Archaeological Praxis, edited by Cristóbal Gnecco and Dorothy Lippert, pp. 69-93. Springer Books, New York.
2014 We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us: Transforming Archaeology through Sustainable Design. John Welch and Neal Ferris. In Transforming Archaeology: Activist Practices and Prospects, edited by Sonja Atalay, Lee Clauss, Randall McGuire and John Welch, pp. 91-114. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, California.
2014 Beyond Archaeological Agendas: In the Service of a Sustainable Archaeology. Neal Ferris and John Welch. In Transforming Archaeology: Activist Practices and Prospects, edited by Sonja Atalay, Lee Rains Claus, Randall McGuire and John R. Welch, pp. 215-238. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, California.
2014 Sustainable Archaeology through Progressive Assembly 3D Digitization. Namir Ahmed, Michael Carter, and Neal Ferris. World Archaeology 46(1):137-154.
2013 Towards a Sustainable Archaeology. Neal Ferris, John Welch, and Aubrey Cannon. In Archaeology and Sustainability, edited by Scarlett Chiu and C. Tsang, pp. 387-410. (????????? ?, pp. 375-386). Center for Archaeological Studies, Research Center of Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
2010 Independent Expert Panel Review of September 15th Inspection Report under the Ontario Heritage Act Related to Licensed Activities Carried out at the Skandatut Ancestral Huron-Wendat Archaeological Site. Gary Warrick, Alicia Hawkins, Holly Martelle and Neal Ferris. Review undertaken on behalf of the Ontario Archaeological Society Inc. and Huron-Wendat of Wendake.
2009 A Consideration of the Location of the Bear Creek Ojibwa Reserve, Sydenham River, Ontario. Report Prepared for The Chippewas of the Thames First Nation. Muncey.
2009 From Crap to Archaeology: The CRM Shaping of Nineteenth-Century Domestic Site Archaeology. Ontario Archaeology, Volume 83/84: 3-29.
2009 The Archaeology of Native-Lived Colonialism: Challenging History in the Great Lakes. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.