Award for Distinction in Outreach & Engagement - Fall 2005
Dr. Ernest Gordon Walker (C.M., S.O.M., B.Ed.'71, B.A.'72, M.A.'78, Ph.D.'80) is an individual whose contributions to heritage and the community have been recognized both provincially through the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2001 and nationally in his becoming a Member of the Order of Canada in 2004.
Born and raised in Saskatoon, Dr. Walker is a Professor and Head of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Saskatchewan. He is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Texas - Austin. Dr. Walker has Associate Memberships in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology (College of Medicine), the College of Dentistry and the Department of Geological Sciences (College of Arts and Science).
Dr. Walker's research interests in the Great Plains and its people have led him to be a strong proponent for the establishment of Wanuskewin Heritage Park. He has been involved at the Park since its inception and he has also been a committed spokesperson for aboriginal interests in archaeological sites across the province.
His interest in human remains and forensic science as a component of his archaeological research has not remained solely an academic exercise. He has applied these principles to forensic investigations across Canada for the past 25 years involving homicides and suspicious death investigations for a variety of law enforcement agencies. His work and knowledge were recognized when he was named a Special Constable with the RCMP in 2000.
Dr. Walker has been actively involved with Saskatchewan's First Nations for many years in the areas of cultural expression and post-secondary education for Aboriginal students. He has worked extensively with elders and members of the senate of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. Dr. Walker is an Honorary Chief among Saskatchewan's First Nations with the traditional name "Miko Peyasew" or Red Thunderbird. He has received the Distinguished Researcher Award, Master Teacher Award, as well as the Students' Union Excellence in Teaching Award from the U of S.