Meet Norm Easton
Lecturer in Anthropology and Northern Studies, Yukon College
Norman Alexander Easton, overlooking the Scottie Creek Valley on the Yukon - Alaskan Borderlands
Norm has lived in Yukon and worked for the College since 1986. A Lecturer in Anthropology and Northern Studies at Ayamdigut Campus, Yukon College in Whitehorse, he divides his research efforts between the social history and cultural geography of Northern Athapaskan First Nations and prehistoric underwater archaeology. He directed the Yukon Underwater Diving Association's Underwater Heritage programme for 4 years and, with Ruth Gotthardt, he helped the Selkirk First Nation initiate community-based archaeological research in Yukon in the late 1980s. Outside of Yukon, he has undertaken two major underwater archaeology research projects in British Columbia and regularly collaborates with colleagues in Alaska at the Tanana Chiefs Conference and the Univerities of Alaska at Fairbanks and Anchorage.
He was a Founding Editor of The Northern Review, the initiating Director of The Northern Research Institute at Yukon College, and an Editor and contributor to the British Museum Encyclopaedia of Underwater and Maritime Archaeology (1997). Besides numerous unpublished reports, monographs, and conference papers on his various field studies, he has published in The American Review of Canadian Studies, Geographie Physique et Quaternaire, Arctic - the Journal of the Arctic Institute of North America, Arctic Anthropology, The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology and Underwater Exploration, Diver Magazine, Northwest Anthropological Research Notes, The Native Studies Review , The Canadian Journal of Native Studies, The Northern Review, Current Research in the Pleistocene, the Alaska Journal of Anthropology, and Before Farming - The Archaeology and Anthropology of Hunter-Gatherers, and has recently completed chapter contributions on the early bifaces of the Little John site and Eastern Beringia for Projectile Point Sequences In Northwestern North America, edited by Roy Carlson and Martin Magne (SFU Press, 2008) and Little John's Late Pleistocene technologies for Explaining Lithic Assemblage Variability Across Beringia, edited by Ted Goebel and Ian Buvit (Center for First Americans, TAMU, 2011). He is currently working on a major multi-volume monograph, "My Great People's Land": A Social History and Cultural Geography of the Southwest Yukon-Alaska Borderlands, which forms the basis of his Doctoral dissertation for the University of Toronto.
His academic awards include the Charles Borden Scholarship for British Columbia Archaeology (1984-85), the Canadian Northern Studies Trust Scholarship in Northern Studies (1995-96), a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Fellowship (1995-97), a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Northern Research Grant (2008-09), and an International Canada - U. S. Fulbright Scholarship (1996-97). He has subsequently hosted and mentored four Fulbright Scholars undertaking research in the Yukon.
Norm has worked with the Athapaskans of the Yukon - Alaska borderlands since 1991, which has included extended periods of fieldwork in every season of the year. He returns each year to further explore the landscape and document the social history of the region, often in the company of students in the context of Yukon College's Anthropology 225 - Field Methods in Subarctic Archaeology and Ethnography, or as a directed study credit. Ten of his former students have gone on to complete their graduate degrees and now work professionally as anthropologists; two undertook advanced graduate work with him in the borderlands.
He has completed a major ethnohistory of the borderlands for the US National Park Service (2005) and was a co-investigator and author of a three-year study of the Upper Tanana subsistence fishery for Alaska Fish and Game (2004-2006). His current research activities in the region include projects in archaeology, social history, linguistics, and contemporary social issues. A summary of work at the Little John site, a multi-component archaeological site dating back to Beringian occupations circa 14,000 years ago can be found at this Link.
A full listing of his project work and publications through March 2012, along with selected publications and reports can be found by clicking the ARCOM logo below
(or visiting dl1.yukoncollege.yk.ca/anth225/N_A_Easton_Publications)
Besides teaching and hanging out in the bush with his Dineh teachers and friends, Norm likes to write poetry and "entertainments". He has completed three stage plays and a movie script based on historical moments in the North. His most recent, "Timber Rabbits - A Mystery of Men, Madness, Murder, and Mutilation," co-written with Joseph Graham, entered preproduction the winter of 2007/08 and premiered in Whitehorse in the fall of 2008.
He was a founding member of the Beat Archaeology movement, and authored its manifesto "Trowel" which received it's first public performance at the 1991 Belzoni Awards in Fairbanks, Alaska. In recognition of his consistent insistence on reading poetry at subsequent Belzoni events he was named Poet Laureate of the Belzoni Society for the new millenium in the year 2000.
He assumed command of ArCom Marine in a putsch in 1992 and has since established ArComNorth. Anthropology 225 is considered vital training for advancement in ArCom.
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Last update: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 11:16:52 PM
Copyright 2013 ANTH 225 Norman Alexander Easton