Jonathan Clapperton

Associate faculty

Jonathan (Jon) Clapperton specializes in Indigenous history and culture, combining archival research with community-based collaboration. His doctoral dissertation analyzed the history of Indigenous Peoples and environmental conservation since the late nineteenth century in the Pacific Northwest. Clapperton’s numerous ongoing research projects collectively examine Indigenous ecological management, resource development and environmental activism primarily in Alberta, British Columbia and Washington State.

Clapperton has also served, and continues to do so, as a consultant, research coordinator and expert witness for First Nation, Native American and Métis communities on issues relating to treaty rights, land claims, industrial resource development and other matters.


Clapperton teaches Canadian Studies and graduate research and writing courses in the College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Royal Roads University; he is also an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria. He has taught courses in Indigenous, Canadian and environmental history in history departments at Memorial University of Newfoundland, the University of Alberta and the University of Saskatchewan, as well as in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta.


Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology

University of Alberta

PhD in History

University of Saskatchewan

Master of Arts in History

University of Victoria

Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in History

University of Northern British Columbia


Governor General’s Gold Medal

Governor General’s Gold Medal and was recognized for the best PhD thesis in Fine Arts & Humanities.


  1. Edited with Liza Piper. Environmental Activism on the Ground: Small Green and Indigenous Organizing. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2019.
    Nominated for Canadian Studies Network’s Prize for Best Edited Collection.
    Nominated for the ISA Harold & Margaret Sprout Award.
    Nominated for the ALECC Alanna Bondar Memorial Book Prize.

Environmental Activism as Anti-Conquest: The Nuu-chah-nulth and Environmentalists in the Contact Zone of Clayoquot Sound.” In Environmental Activism on the Ground: Small Green and Indigenous Organizing, ed. by Jonathan Clapperton and Liza Piper, 181-205. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2019.

“The Ebb and Flow of Local Environmentalist Activism: The Society for Pollution and Environmental Control (SPEC), Vancouver, British Columbia.” In Environmental Activism on the Ground: Small Green and Indigenous Organizing, ed. by Jonathan Clapperton and Liza Piper, 261-88. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2019.

“Preserving Native Space: The Xá:ytem Longhouse Interpretive Centre and the Politics of Aboriginal-run Museums.” In Beyond Pedagogy: Museums and Their Educational Imperatives, edited by Brenda Trofanenko, 69-92. Rotterdam and Boston: Sense Publishers, 2014.

“Naturalizing Race Relations: Conservation, Colonialism, and Spectacle at the Banff Indian Days.” The Canadian Historical Review 94.3 (Sep. 2013): 349-80.

"Desolate Viewscapes: Sliammon First Nation, BC Parks, and Settler Conservation.” Environment and History 18.4 (Nov. 2012): 529-59.

"With Keith Thor Carlson. “Introduction: Special Places and Protected Spaces: Historical and Global Perspectives on Non-National Parks in Canada and Abroad.” Environment and History 18.4 (Nov. 2012): 475-96.

“Contested Spaces, Shared Places: The Museum of Anthropology at UBC, Aboriginal Peoples, and Postcolonial Criticism.” BC Studies 165 (Spring 2010): 7-30.

“Building Longhouses and Constructing Identities: A Brief History of the Coqualeetza Longhouse and Shxwt'a:selhawtxw.” UFV Research Review 2.2 (2009): 95-118.

“Whales and Whaling in Puget Sound Coast Salish History and Culture.” Rachel Carson Centre Perspectives 5 (2019): 99-104.

"With Liza Piper. “Introduction: Environmental Knowledge, Environmental Politics.” Rachel Carson Center Perspectives 4 (2016): 5-8.

“Indigenous Ecological Knowledge and the Politics of Postcolonial Writing.” Rachel Carson Center Perspectives 4 (2016): 9-16.

Apostate Englishman: Grey Owl the Writer and the Myths by Albert Braz. In Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) 4.2 (2017): 81-2.

Decolonizing Employment: Aboriginal Inclusion in Canada’s Labour Market by Shauna MacKinnon. In Labour/Le Travail 79 (Spring 2017): 273-5.

Spirits of the Rockies: Reasserting an Indigenous Presence in Banff National Park by Courtney Mason. In BC Studies 191 (Autumn 2016): 160-1.

Wildlife, Conservation and Conflict in Quebec, 1840-1914 by Darcy Ingram.In The Canadian Historical Review 95.1 (March 2014): 136-8.

“Beyond Borders: The Shady Past and Uncertain Future of (Trans)National Parks.” Review essay of: Transforming the Frontier: Peace Parks and the Politics of Neoliberal Conservation in Southern Africa by Bram Büscher; Civilizing Nature: National Parks in Global Historical Perspective edited by Bernhard Gibissl, Sabine Hohler, and To Conserve Unimpaired: The Evolution of the National Park Idea by Patrick Kupper. In Conservation Biology 27. 6 (Dec. 2013): 1491-3.

Civilizing the Wilderness: Culture and Nature in Pre-Confederation Canada and Rupert’s Land by A. A. den Otter. In BC Studies 179 (Autumn 2013): 243-5.

Canadians and the Natural Environment to the Twenty-First Century by Neil S. Forkey. In BC Studies 178 (Summer 2013): 122-3.

The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia edited by Carol E. Mayer and Anthony Shelton. In BC Studies 171 (Autumn 2011): 131-2.

“De-Mythologizing the Wildness of the West.” Book Review of Hunger for the Wild: America's Obsession with the Untamed West by Michael L. Johnson. H-Net Environment, 2009.

“Native-Newcomer Narratives: Rethinking Culture, Environment and the Historical Center in Aboriginal and Canadian History.” Book Review of Home is the Hunter: The James Bay Cree and their Land by Hans M. Carlson. H-Net Canada, 2009.

“Canada’s ‘Forgotten Park’: Re-evaluating Game Conservation and Government Bureaucracy.” Book Review of Lost Tracks: Buffalo National Park, 1909-1939 by Jennifer Brower. H-Net Canada, 2009.

  1. Battle Grounds: The Canadian Military and Aboriginal Lands by P. Whitney Lackenbauer. In The Canadian Geographer 52.2 (2008): 263-4.

“The Historic Lac Ste. Anne Métis Community and its Land Use and Occupation in the Vicinity of the Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. 's Peace River Mainline Abandonment.” Expert report, July 11, 2017, 13pp.

“Lac Ste. Anne/Gunn Métis Local #55 Historic Usage of Lakes and Waterways.” Expert report, January 27, 2017, 10pp.

“A Summary of the Lac Ste. Anne Métis Community’s (Gunn Métis Local 55 Members’) Historic Use and Occupation in the McLeod River Area.” Expert report, September 2015, 13pp.

“Report for Gunn Metis Local No. 55 Participation in National Energy Board Hearing re: Kinder Morgan Transmountain Expansion.” Expert report, May 2015, 45pp.

“Empowering Civil Society: The Promise and Potential for a Science Shop at the University of Saskatchewan.” Technical report for the University of Saskatchewan, July 2013, 43pp.

“Principles, Guidelines and Recommendations for Engaging with External Partners at the University of Saskatchewan.” Technical report the University of Saskatchewan, Nov. 2011, 41pp.

With Keith Carlson and Amanda Fehr. “University of Saskatchewan Native Research Database Project.” Technical report for the University of Saskatchewan College of Arts and Science, Oct. 2008, 18pp.

With Liza Piper. “Environmental Knowledge and Environmental Politics in the ‘Post-Truth’ Era.” Seeing the Woods: A Blog by the Rachel Carson Center  Decc. 22, 2016,

“Desolate Viewscapes: Sliammon First Nation and Desolation Sound Marine Park, Part 2.” Neh Motl  (June 2010), 2-3. (Tla’amin First Nation monthly publication)

"Desolate Viewscapes: Sliammon First Nation and Desolation Sound Marine Park, Part 1.” Neh Motl (May 2010), 2.

“Environmentalists and Sliammon First Nation: An Introduction to Ongoing Research.” Neh Motl (Dec. 2008), 3.