Hi, thanks for visiting!
I was born in Nanaimo, BC and now live in Victoria BC working as an archaeologist and educator. I first learned about the rich heritage of this coast as a grade 3 student from the lovely and wise Snuneymuxw elder, Dr. Ellen White, who visited my classroom at Seaview Elementary School in 1983. It wasn’t until I entered university that my learning about the northwest coast, my home, continued as I pursued a degree in anthropology. Since 2000, I have been honored to practice archaeology on the BC coast, and to be welcomed into the traditional territories of more than two dozen First Nations spanning Coast Salish, Nuu-chah-nulth, Laich-Kwil-Tach, Kwakwakwa’ak, Haida, Heiltsuk and Tsimshian culture areas.
As a professional archaeologist I work primarily with First Nations communities, The Hakai Institute, Parks Canada, the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre and colleagues at various universities. My archaeological research focuses on clam gardens, fish traps, household archaeology at recent village sites, stone tool analysis, and seeking out very ancient archaeological sites (10,000+ years old) in the intertidal zone, forests and caves. I have appeared in documentary productions for the BBC and Découverte on Radio-Canada and have given interviews on Global TV and CBC radio. As an educator, I’ve taught anthropology, archaeology, and ESL (English as a second language) to youth, post-secondary and adult learners. I believe that archaeological stories can inspire people, empower indigenous youth, and facilitate cross-cultural education and understanding. I feel deeply honoured to work on projects that examine the human history of the BC coast and am only now starting to realize how the early lessons from Dr. White have shaped me as a person. Like her, I find myself in classrooms from time to time and sincerely hope that by talking about my experiences in a good way, that I too can inspire students to celebrate the diversity and heritage of our coast.
Peer Reviewed Publications
Holmes, K., Cox, K., Cline, A.R., Hatch, M.B.A., Black, M.J., Salomon, A.K., Lepofsky, D., Smith, N.F. and Dudas, S, Ancient Ecology: The Quadra Island Clam Gardens. Fisheries, 45: 151-156. doi: 10.1002/fsh.10374
Smith N.F., Lepofsky D, Toniello G, Holmes K, Wilson L, Neudorf C, Roberts C. 3500 years of shellfish mariculture on the Northwest Coast of North America. PLoS ONE 14(2): e0211194. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0211194
Fedje D, McLaren D, James T, Mackie Q, Smith N, Southon J, Mackie A. A revised sea level history for the Northern Strait of Georgia, British Columbia, Canada. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2018; 192: 300-316
Neudorf CM, Smith N.F., Lepofsky D, Toniello G, Lian OB, Between a rock and a soft place: Using optical ages to date ancient clam gardens on the Pacific Northwest. PLoS ONE 12(2): e0171775. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0171775
Lepofsky, D., N.F. Smith, N. Cardinal, J. Harper, M. Morris, Gitla (E. White), R. Bouchard, D. I. D. Kennedy, A. K. Salomon, M. Puckett, K. Rowell, and E. McLay, Ancient Shellfish Mariculture on the Northwest Coast of North America. American Antiquity, Pp. 236-259, Vol.80, No.2, April 2015.
Fedje, D. W., Q. Mackie, N.F. Smith, and D. McLaren, Function, Visibility, and Interpretation of Archaeological Assemblages at the Pleistocene – Holocene Transition in Haida Gwaii. In From the Yenisei to the Yukon: Interpreting Lithic Assemblage Variability in Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene Beringia, edited by T. Goebel and I. Buvit. College Station: Texas A&M University Press.
Mackie, Q., D. W. Fedje, D. McLaren, N.F. Smith and I. McKechnie, Early Environments and Archaeology of Coastal British Columbia. In Trekking the Shore: Changing Coastlines and the Antiquity of Coastal Settlement, edited by N. F. Bicho, J. A. Haws & L. Davis. pp. 51–103. Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology. Springer, New York.
McLaren, D. and N. F. Smith, The Stratigraphy of Bifacial Implements at the Richardson Island Site, Haida Gwaii. In Projectile Point Sequences in Northwestern North America. R. Carlson and M. Magne, eds. Pp 41 – 60. SFU Press, Burnaby, B.C.
Smith, N.F., M. Rogers, A. Gemmill, and T. Smith (Eds.), Cultural Reflections: Journal of the Graduate Students of Anthropology, University of Victoria, Vol. 5.
Non-Peer Reviewed Publications
N. Smith, Alag̱a̱mił N. Norris, Qaixaitasu Elroy White, S. Augustine, M. Hatch, J. Harper, D. Lepofsky, M. Morris, A. Salomon, J. Silver, and E. Spencer. 2021 How to Identify and Record a Clam Garden, DRAFT. Clam Garden Network.
N.F. Smith and ICLEI Canada. Considering Sea Level Rise and Cultural Heritage: A Resource for Municipalities. An Initiative from the Together for Climate Project. icleicanada.org/project/protecting-cultural-heritage-from-sea-level-rise/
Lepofsky, D., N. Smith, P. Waterfall, and E. White. Húy̓at: Our Voices, Our Land Teacher’s Guide: Grade 9 Social Studies and Science Curricular Competencies and Content Linkages. www.hauyat.ca/about.html#teacher-guide
Smith, N.F. Clam Gardens! Dimensions, British Columbia Social Studies Teachers’ Association. February 2018, Pg.11.
D. Lepofsky and N.F. Smith, Ancient Clam Gardening on the Northwest Coast, British Columbia History, The British Columbia Historical Federation Magazine, Spring 2017, Vol. 50, No.1.
McKechnie, Iain and N.F. Smith, Coastal Field Archaeology in Huu-ay-aht First Nation Territory, Southwestern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. SAA Current Research Online 153(1).
Smith, N.F. Visitor Update. Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, Kiing’aay, Staff Newsletter, March 27th, 2009.
Smith, N.F., University of Victoria at Hiikwis, Vancouver Island. The Midden. Vol. 40 (3):11-12.
Sanders, A. and N.F. Smith, Reporting on Investigations in Northwest Coast Archaeology. The Midden. Vol. 38 (3):5 – 8.
Mackie, Q. and N.F. Smith, Early Holocene Occupation Layers at the Richardson Island Site, Haida Gwaii. The Debitage. Vol. 2(1):2-6.
Smith, N.F., Boot Review: Adidas Predator Traxion. On the Ball: The Women’s Football Magazine. Vol. 7:16.
N.F. Smith A Geochemical Approach to Understanding Raw Material Use and Stone Tool Production at the Richardson Island Archaeological Site, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Unpublished MA Thesis, University of Victoria, BC, Canada. www.academia.edu/3404441
Masters of Arts
Department of Anthropology, University of Victoria
Thesis: A Geochemical Approach to Understanding Raw Material Use and Stone Tool Production at the Richardson Island Archaeological Site, Haida Gwaii, BC.
Cambridge CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
Cambridge English Language Assessment, University of Cambridge/British Language Institute, Madrid, Spain
Bachelor of Arts w/ Distinction
Department of Anthropology, University of Victoria
2022 – Present
2012 – Present
Professional Permit Holding Archaeologist and Educator,
2014 – 2019
Hakai Institute and University of Victoria, BC.
2007 – 2012
Parks Canada, Victoria and Vancouver, BC.
2006 – 2007
Independent Professional Archaeologist,
2005 – 2006
Senior (Permit Holding) Archaeologist,
Millennia Research Ltd., Victoria, BC.
Huu-ay-aht First Nation and Coast Heritage Consulting, Pachena Bay, BC.
I.R. Wilson Consultants Ltd., Victoria, BC.
2000 – 2002
Associate Director of Admissions,
Shawnigan Lake School, Shawnigan Lake, BC.
2012 – 2015
University of Victoria, Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, Instructor,
Coastal Field Archaeology
2006 – 2008
University of Victoria, Instructor,
Anthropology 343 (Archaeological Field Methods), Anthropology 344 (Regional Topics in Archaeology).
2006 – 2007
Camosun College, Instructor,
Anthropology 104 (Introduction to Anthropology), Anthropology 140 (Archaeology of the Pacific Rim), Anthropology 240 (Archaeological Method and Theory), (Maternity Leave Replacement Fall 2006, Spring 2007, Fall 2007).
2003 – 2004
University of Victoria, Lab Instructor,
Anthropology 240 (Introduction to Archaeology), Anthropology 250 (Introduction to Physical Anthropology).
2002 – 2004
University of Victoria, Teaching Assistant,
Anthropology 200 (Cultural Anthropology); Anthropology 240 (Introduction to Archaeology); Anthropology 250 (Introduction to Physical Anthropology); Anthropology 311 (Applied Anthropology).
1999 – 2000
Shawnigan Lake School, Teaching Intern, Tutor, Coach
GEOS Language Academy, Vancouver, BC, Instructor,
English as a Second Language to International Adult Students at beginner, intermediate, and advanced language levels (January – June 1999).
British Language Institute, Madrid, Spain, Instructor,
English Language Courses taught to both adults and children at beginner, intermediate and advanced language levels (March – December 1998).
Talks and Keynotes (Recent)
BC Science Teacher’s Association
Catalyst Conference. October 22nd, 2020.
Clam Garden Network
Conversations Series Webinar 1. April 23rd, 2021, and Webinar 2. Sept 17th, 2021.
Simon Fraser University
Department of Archaeology, Seminar Series. April 16th, 2021
Raincoast Education Society
Invited Presentation. January 26, 2021.
BC Science Teacher’s Association.
Catalyst Conference. October 23rd, 2020.
University of Victoria, Department of Anthropology
Keynote address. April 2, 2020. *Cancelled due to Covid-19
DFO and School District 68
Keynote address. Archaeology from Stream to Sea.
School District 79
Keynote Address. Archaeology from Stream to Sea. All grade 10 students in District
DFO and School District 79.
Keynote Address. Archaeology from Stream to Sea.
University of British Columbia, Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy
Ancient clam gardens in the Pacific Northwest: Teaching and learning at the confluence of archaeology, marine science, and traditional (Indigenous) knowledge. Seminar Series, Vancouver, BC, February 17th, 2017. mediasitemob1.mediagroup.ubc.ca
University of Victoria,
Ancient Clam Gardens of the Pacific Northwest. Guest Lecture Anthropology 340, Instructor Iain McKechnie, Victoria, BC, February 10, 2017.
Simon Fraser University/British Columbia Institute of Technology
Clam Gardens: Traditional Shellfish Mariculture on the Northwest Coast. Guest Lecture for Master of Science Program in Ecological Restoration. Instructor Audrey Pearson, Burnaby, BC, February 1st, 2017.