Alan D. McMillan

Date award received: 

The following excerpts are from nomination letters sent in for Alan.

I wish to nominate Alan D. McMillan for the Smith-Wintemberg Award because he has made an outstanding contribution to the archaeology of Canada. An anthropological archaeologist with broad ranging interests, he has written two editions of a test book on Canada’s aboriginal peoples and revised it again in collaboration with Eldon Yellowhorn. He has conducted years of archaeological field work on the west coast of Vancouver Island and authored or co-authored an impressive series of papers and book chapters on various aspects of that research. He has co-authored a series of site report monographs with Denis St. Clair in Barkley Sound and has presented a long list of sole authored or joint authored scholarly papers at national and international conferences.

He is clearly at the leading edge of archaeological authority on the aboriginal peoples of Canada’s west coast. His contributions range from investigations of art and social meaning through considerations of geological catastrophes to technical analysis of DNA and stable isotopes. He has accomplishes all this on top of prolific basic archaeological reporting and analysis which has been based on a constant program of field research.

Al received his Master’s degree in 1969 at UBC under Charles Borden. From there he took a teaching position at Douglas college in Westminster where he founded the

Anthropology and Sociology Department, later chaired it many times and made his career there. He also served on the First nations Advisory Board. He taught as a sessional faculty member in the Archaeology Department at Simon Fraser University from 1980 and became an Adjunct Professor there in 1989. In 1996, he received his

Ph.D. from the Archaeology Department at SFU and in 1999 his dissertation was published by UBC Press. It stands as the authoritative summary of Nuu-chah-nulth ethnography, ethnohistory and archaeology.

The Canadian Archaeological Association has also benefitted from Al’s long membership and his service. Most recently, and currently, as Book Review Editor, but prior to that as Vice-President in 200-2002, Al has contributed significantly to our professional community.

In Summary, Al has had a long career as an educator, at SFU and Douglas College, during which time he has mentored literally thousands of students in passing on an

understanding of, and appreciation for, Canada’s aboriginal people and their heritage. He has had an equally long career in field and laboratory research, and the publications

and conference presentations that have resulted form the work are truly exhausting to list. He has published alone and in a diversity of groups, which , to me, indicated the

true extent of his collegiality. Not only has his research and publications led the way in our archaeological understanding of the aboriginal peoples of Canada’s west coast, but also he has set those people into a larger anthropological context and, in turn, integrated them into the fabric of all First Nations peoples in Canada.

He is truly a scholar’s scholar who has spent his adult life contributing abundantly to our anthropological and archaeological knowledge and understanding of Canada’s first peoples. Al has been a longstanding member of the Canadian Archaeological Association, has been its Vice-President, and he continues to serve as its Book review

Editor. His career fully embodies the archaeological and anthropological legacies of both Harlan I. Smith and William J. Wintemberg, and he is abundantly deserving of the award that commemorates their names and their contributions.

Nominated by

Greg Monks, R. G. Matson, S. G. Frederick, I. McKechnie, G Coupland