John R. Welch
Associate Professor • Canada Research Chair
Indigenous Heritage Stewardship • Archaeological Resource Management • Co-Management • Historic Preservation
B.A. (Anthropology, Hamilton College)
M.A. (Anthropology, University of Arizona)
Ph.D. (Anthropology, University of Arizona)
John Welch is a social archaeologist with research interests grounded in broad questions about how culture- and place-based communities define, protect, use, and sustain their biophysical and cultural heritage: How do cultural precepts and historical circumstances influence whether and how we carry forward places, objects, and traditions? How do heritage-related values and preferences influence governance in general and indigenous sovereignty(s) in particular? What lessons about sustainability and other forms of recommended policy and practice emerge from collaborations with indigenous and place-based communities?
Dr. Welch employs community partnerships as the bases for research, training, and outreach initiatives. The diverse collaborations formalize and advance community agendas to explore what archaeology can do—how archaeological sites, methods, perspectives, and data can enhance land and place histories, stewardship practices, indigenous community capacities, and intercultural reconciliation. The ultimate goal of the work is to harmonize local community, academic, and societal interests relating to landscapes, places, objects, and intangible associations that provide people with orientation, identity, and vitality, as well as food, shelter, and other ecosystem services.
Dr. Welch has worked for and with the White Mountain Apache Tribe in Arizona for three decades and continues to serve as an adviser on the protection of sacred sites and the redevelopment of the Fort Apache and Theodore Roosevelt School National Historic Landmark. Dr. Welch is a member of the Steering Committee for the SFU-based Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage Project. Research and outreach partners in British Columbia include the Tla’amin, Katzie, and Stó:lō First Nations.
Some recent publications include:
- Welch, J.R. (2012) Effects of Fire on Intangible Cultural Resources: Moving Toward a Landscape Approach. In Wildland Fire in Ecosystems: Effects of Fire on Cultural Resources and Archaeology, edited by K.C. Ryan, A.T. Jones, and C.H. Koerner, pp. 157-170. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 3. Ft. Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station
- Welch, J.R., Dana Lepofsky, Megan Caldwell, Georgia Combes, and Craig Rust (2011) Treasure Bearers: Personal Foundations For Effective Leadership In Northern Coast Salish Heritage Stewardship, Heritage and Society 4(1):83-114
- Welch, J.R., And Robert C. Brauchli (2010) “Subject To The Right Of The Secretary Of The Interior”: The White Mountain Apache Reclamation Of The Fort Apache And Theodore Roosevelt School Historic District, Wicazo Sa Review 25(1):47-73
- Welch, J.R., Mark K. Altaha, Karl A. Hoerig and Ramon Riley (2009) Best Cultural Heritage Stewardship Practices by and for the White Mountain Apache Tribe, Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 11(2):148-160
- Discretionary Desecration: American Indian Sacred Sites, Dzil Nchaa Si An (Mount Graham, Arizona), and Federal Agency Decision Making. (Welch, J.R., Michael V. Nixon and Ramon Riley 2009) American Indian Culture and Research Journal 33(4):117-147
- National Historic Landmark Nomination for Fort Apache and Theodore Roosevelt School. (J.R. Welch 2008) Historic Sites Review Board, National Park Service, Washington, D.C.
- Welch, J.R. (2008) Places, Displacements, Histories and Memories at a Frontier Icon in Indian Country. In Monuments, Landscapes, and Cultural Memory, edited by Patricia E. Rubertone, pp. 101-134. World Archaeological Congress and Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, California.
- Welch, J.R. (2007) ‘A Monument to Native American Civilization‘: Byron Cummings’ Enduring Vision for Kinishba Ruins National Historic Landmark. Journal of the Southwest 49(1): 1-94
- Welch, J.R., and T. J. Ferguson (2007) Putting Patria into Repatriation: Cultural Affiliations of White Mountain Apache Tribe Lands. Journal of Social Archaeology 7:171-198
- Welch, J.R., Mark Altaha, Doreen Gatewood, Karl Hoerig, and Ramon Riley (2006) Archaeology, Stewardship, and Sovereignty. The SAA Archaeological Record 6(4):17-20, 57
- J.R. Welch, Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Mark Altaha (2005) Retracing The Battle Of Cibecue: Western Apache, Documentary, And Archaeological Interpretations. Kiva 71(2):133-163