Rick Budhwa

PhD Student, George Nicholas and John Welch

Areas of interest

I am interested in heritage resource management (HRM) in British Columbia (BC), including how politics, economics, ethics, power dynamics and conflict influence current and future policy and practice.


  • 2001 MASTERS OF ARTS DEGREE Simon Fraser University Anthropology/Archaeology/First Nations Studies
  • 1998 POST BACCALAUREATE DIPLOMA Simon Fraser University Archaeology/Anthropology
  • 1996 BACHELORS OF ARTS DEGREE (HONOURS) University of Western Ontario Anthropology

Research Interests

Today, Indigenous nations increasingly assert their desire to retake ownership and management of their heritage resources, including how heritage itself is defined. This has resulted in a series of different heritage management systems have evolved and are now in competition: including international, federal, provincial, municipal, and Indigenous-led systems. While these competing systems offer new perspectives towards conservation in HRM, they can often conflict. The result is a complex interplay between different levels of governments, stakeholders, and Indigenous groups crossing over political and economic boundaries, producing confusion and tension.  The best interests of the heritage resource (and associated values) are not prioritized, and the current heritage management context is not equipped to manage for the broad range of heritage resources. My research will shed light on these issues, bring clarity to the definition and management of heritage in British Columbia and provide some direction for HRM in BC to move forward in a manner that respects all stakeholder interests, including that of the heritage resource.


2001   Correlations Between Catastrophic Paleoenvironmental Events and Indigenous Oral Traditions of the Pacific Northwest.


2021   Budhwa, Rick
Witnessing Catastrophe: Correlations between Catastrophic Paleoenvironmental Events and First Nations Oral Traditions in the Pacific Northwest. In Decolonizing “Prehistory”: Deep Time and Topological Knowledge in the Americas - The Archaeology of Indigenous-Colonial Interactions in the Americas. University of Arizona Press.

2013   Budhwa, Rick and Tyler McCreary
Reconciling Cultural Resource Management with Indigenous Geographies: The Importance of Connecting Research with People and Place. In A Deeper Sense of Place: Stories and Journeys of Collaboration in Indigenous Research.

2009   Klassen, Michael, Rick Budhwa and Rudy Reimer
First Nations, Forestry, and the Transformation of Archaeological Practice in British Columbia, Canada. In Heritage Management. Volume 2, Issue 2, Fall 2009, pp. 119-238.    

2005   Budhwa, Rick
An Alternate Model for First Nations Involvement in Resource Management Archaeology.  Canadian Journal of Archaeology.  Volume 29, Issue 1, pp. 20-45.

2002   Budhwa, Rick
Correlations Between Catastrophic Paleoenvironmental Events and First Nations Oral Traditions in North America’s Pacific Northwest. Unpublished Master’s Thesis, Simon Fraser University.


2022   Wet’suwet’en Governance and the CGL Pipeline Conflict: Pedagogy and Collaborative Practice(s). Presentation with Columbia University (Dept of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution). International Association of Conflict Management Annual Conference. Ottawa, Canada.

2019   Unceded Territory: Takeaways from a Pipeline Protest in an Anthropologists Backyard. Canadian Association of Anthropology-American Anthropology Association Annual Conference. Vancouver, BC.

2019   The Role of Archaeology When Interpreting the Heritage Landscape. Session Chair and Panel Participant. Heritage BC. Nanaimo, BC.

2018   Witnessing Catastrophe: Correlations Between Catastrophic Paleoenvironmental Events and Native Oral Traditions of the Pacific Northwest. ‘Decolonizing ‘Prehistory’: Deep Time and Topological Knowledge in the Americas’. Rostock University, Schwerin, Germany.

2018   Sacred Ground: In Honour and In Memory of Our Ancestors. Film Festival, Society for Applied Anthropology. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

2017   Green Lake Burial Grounds: An Unprecedented Collaboration in Shuswap Territory. General Sessions: Indigenous Archaeologies. Session Chair. Society for American Archaeology. Vancouver, BC. 


I currently work as an applied anthropologist and archaeologist at Crossroads Cultural Resource Management (CrossroadsCRM.com), a company I founded in 2004 which ensures projects go beyond typical archaeology to reflect the complexities and intangible aspects of culture. We provide services to a variety of sectors throughout British Columbia and abroad, from First Nations to industry, NGOs, government, academia, and community groups. Our expertise in negotiation, mediation, policy development and recognizing and managing the intangible aspects of CRM, combined with our extensive experience with ancestral burial grounds are what set us apart from other consulting companies. In 2006, I was formally adopted into the Cas’Yex (Grizzly House) of the Gitdumden (Bear) Clan of the Wet’suwet’en. I am also the publisher of Culturally Modified: The Journal of Cultural Resource Management (CulturallyModified.org)

In Hagwilget Canyon, British Columbia, with Chief Gisdaywa (Alfred Joseph) asking him to interpret the segmented stone artifacts we recovered during archaeological excavations (2012).
In Hagwilget Canyon, British Columbia at the inception of our first Wet’suwet’en/Gitxsan ancestral remains burial ground project. This project resulted in a documentary film which was honoured in 2017 at the Society for Applied Anthropology in Philadelphia.
Machu Picchu. My all-time bucket list wish gets realized (2019).
Under the watchful eye of master carver Robert Austin - learning to carve totem poles in Hagwilget, British Columbia (2019).
An unassuming moment of peace during an archaeological impact assessment in Smithers, BC. (2020).