media release

Discover new directions in protecting Indigenous heritage

March 24, 2014

Janet Webber, SFU Public Square, 778.782.9479,
Kamilah Charters-Gabanek, SFU Vancouver, 778.782.5151,

What happens when Indigenous communities control heritage research? In an SFU Public Square lecture on April 2, SFU archaeology professor George Nicholas will discuss international case studies that shed new light on the political and ethical debate over “ownership” of Indigenous heritage.

In his lecture, Culture, Community and Collaboration: New Directions for Protecting Indigenous Heritage, Nicholas will give examples, and results, of current efforts to decolonize research practices and foster more equitable relationships between researchers and Indigenous peoples.

As director of the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCH) project, Nicholas can share lessons learned from the 15 Indigenous communities that have worked to strengthen protection of their heritage with assistance from IPinCH.

IPinCH is a seven-year international initiative based at SFU that focuses on the rights, values and responsibilities of heritage research. Comprised of more than 50 scholars and 25 partnering organizations, IPinCH explores and facilitates the fair and equitable exchange of knowledge relating to archaeology. It also serves as a resource and network for those engaged in cultural heritage work.

IPinCH is the first recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Award.

Nicholas, an award-winning teacher, has worked for more than 20 years with Indigenous peoples in British Columbia and elsewhere. From 1991 to 2005, he developed and directed SFU’s Indigenous Archaeology Program on the Kamloops Indian Reserve.

The SFU President’s Office is sponsoring Nicholas’ lecture in recognition of the IPinCH SSHRC award. The lecture takes place Wednesday, April 2 at 7 p.m. in room 1400-1430 at SFU Vancouver’s Harbour Centre Campus, 515 West Hastings Street. The event is free but requires registration.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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