Denis St. Claire

Date award received: 

I began my career as an educator and archaeologist in 1970.  Since 1973, I have focused solely upon the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations on the west coast of Vancouver Island, specifically in the Barkley Sound area.  My research associate, Dr. Alan D. McMillan of Simon Fraser University and Douglas College, and I have co-directed large, multi-year excavation projects, such as Shoemaker Bay, Toquaht, Ts'ishaa, Huu7ii and Hiikwis.  These projects have resulted in numerous reports and three published monographs. We have also published several articles in professional journals.  I have also co-authored a volume in the Mercury Series of the Canadian National Museum.

In the mid-1970s, I began ethnographic research amongst the central Nuu-chah-nulth, particularly with the Tseshaht First Nation.  Initially the purpose of this work was to provide a context for the archaeological work in which I was engaged.  I had the privilege of working with 23 elders from 7 different Nations.  This work resulted in numerous reports to the various Nations, used in the on-going treaty process and the education of community members.