I have been a professor at UBC since 1990. My research concerns Indigenous peoples and their relations with the state in its various local, national, and international manifestations. In recent years my work has particularly overlapped with colleagues in archaeology and in law.
Much of my ethnographic work has been with the Coast Salish of BC and Washington State, but I have also worked in Brazil, Papua New Guinea, several areas of the US, and Taiwan. I have served on a number of occasions as an expert witness in Indigenous litigation in the United States and Canada, including, United States v Washington (a treaty case) and, the Radek case before the BC Human Rights Tribunal, (a precedent-setting case regarding Aboriginal presence in public spaces and racial profiling).
I am a member of the board of the Museum of Vancouver and chair of the collections committee, which has initiated a progressive program of repatriation to First Nations. From 1995-98 I was Anglophone Editor of Culture, the journal of the Canadian Anthropology Society.