Expert Details

Brian Thom

Contact Information

Brian Thom
Associate Professor
Languages: English

Research Information

Research Description

- ethnographic mapping
- modern-day treaty negotiations
- Place, place names, political ontology
- Aboriginal rights, title and governance
- Indigenous Peoples, Coast Salish
- Applying anthropology to public policy

Expertise Profile

Dr. Brian Thom has worked for over 15 years in British Columbia as a researcher, senior adviser and negotiator for Coast Salish Indigenous communities involved in land claims.

Much of this work has been in the BC Treaty Process, where Dr. Thom worked with First Nations groups in the negotiation room itself.

He has supported their efforts to establish new governance institutions, to resolve long-standing disputes about land title, and to promote the recognition of Aboriginal and Indigenous rights.

Dr. Thom's work has also has taken him to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights where Hul'qumi'num leaders have sought international intervention in their claims.

At the heart of his research is an effort to find places of reconciliation of state power and colonial settlement with the ongoing presence of Coast Salish peoples on the land.

Dr. Thom's research has highlighted examples of how this may be done, such as the successful co-management parks, and through employing collaborative and long-term research to document Indigenous land use and territoriality.

He continues to work on these issues, most recently partnering with Google to develop tools and training for Indigenous mapping projects.

Related Links

Dr. Thom's Faces of UVic Research

UVic's Ethnographic Mapping Lab

Interdisciplinary Research

Dr. Thom's research is at the intersection of anthropology, geography and law.

Research Keywords

Community Interaction

Community Projects

Dr. Thom's research is with Coast Salish people, particularly with Hul'q'umi'num'-speaking communities of southeast Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. He focuses on the political, social and cultural processes involved in land claims, self-government, co-management and other efforts of reconciliation on Vancouver Island.

International Involvement

International Research

Dr. Thom is involved with collaborative research with the Itelmen peoples, an indigenous community in the Russian Far East.

Professional development
Three Minute Thesis (3MT)
Graduate Students' Society

Program information