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Walker, Ernest (1948–)

Ernie Walker measuring a skull, September 1984.
Saskatchewan Archives Board S-SP-A22432-2, Saskatoon StarPhoenix fonds

Ernest Gordon Walker, an archeologist and anthropologist, was instrumental in the establishment of Wanuskewin Heritage Park. Born in Saskatoon and educated at the Universities of Saskatchewan and Texas, he has pursued a two-pronged career in prehistoric research and forensic science. Walker’s research has focused on North American prehistory in the northern plains and American southwest. His archeological work in Saskatchewan is characterized by co-operation with First Nations Elders and authorities, who have named him Miyo Peyasew (Red Thunderbird) and Honorary Chief. Walker began excavations at Wanuskewin, 5 km north of Saskatoon, in 1982 and was a major force behind the establishment of the area as a park in 1992. He is also noted specifically for his knowledge of Aboriginal prehistoric burial grounds, and of human reaction to climate change over the millennia. Walker is frequently consulted by police agencies for forensic investigation of human skeletal remains involved in homicides or suspicious deaths. He is a Supernumerary Special Constable with the RCMP, and a Saskatchewan coroner. A professor at the University of Saskatchewan since 1984, Walker is a recipient of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit (2001) and a Member of the Order of Canada (2004).

John Chaput

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