Ronald E. Ignace

Adjunct Professor, Anthropology
Sociology & Anthropology


Chief Ronald E. Ignace (Stsmél̓qen) is a member of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation. He has been the elected Chief of the Skeetchestn Band for more than 30 years since the early 1980s, and also served as Chairman of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council and president of the Secwepemc Cultural Education Society during the late 1980s and 1990s, co-facilitating the repatriation of human remains from the Royal BC Museum. For many years he was the co-chair of the Aboriginal university partnership between the Secwepemc and Simon Fraser University in Kamloops, B. C., and he continues to teach courses in Secwepemc Language and First Nations Studies through SFU.  He holds B.A. and M.A. Degrees in Sociology from the University of British Columbia, and completed his PhD in Anthropology at Simon Fraser University in 2008 with a dissertation titled Our Oral Histories are Our Iron Posts: Secwepemc Stories and Historical Consciousness. He has published and co-published, with Marianne Ignace, several articles and book chapters on Secwepemc history, ethnobotany, language and culture, and most recently co-wrote the epic Secwepemc People, Land and Laws: Yeri7 re stsq’ey’s-kucw (McGill-Queens University Press 2017), a journey through 10,000 years of Secwepemc history. Having been raised by his great-grandparents, Ron is a fluent speaker of Secwepemctsin and has more than sixty years of practical experience in Secwepemc traditional food gathering, having learned these skills from his own elders, who shared their stories and teachings in the Secwepemc language with him. With Marianne Ignace, he was awarded the Governor General‘s Award for Innovation in 2019.