2010 J. Norman Emerson Silver Medal

William A. Fox


The 2010 recipient of the J. Norman Emerson Silver medal is William (Bill) A. Fox. Bill has been an OAS member since 1969, two years after he published his first article in Ontario Archaeology (“A Hillside Midden, King’s Forest Park Site” Ontario Archaeology 10:18-20.), at the age of 15. Bill’s contributions to Ontario archaeology since then have been nothing short of spectacular. This has included stints as Vice-President and President of the OAS (1978-1979), founding member of the London Chapter of the OAS, founding editor of the London Chapter newsletter, KEWA, and its Occasional Publication Series. Bill’s publication record is truly prolific, including well over 80 contributions to OA, Arch Notes, Chapter newsletters and monographs, along with a substantial list of publications ranging from government publications to scholarly journals and books published in Canada and the United States. His research has ranged across the full temporal span of the Ontario archaeological record and from the most southerly points of Ontario to northern Ontario. He was instrumental in establishing and managing a provincial program in archaeological management that made Ontario a leader in CRM in North America. He created a very successful avocational archaeologist support, training and mentoring program, since copied elsewhere in North America. And he has supported and continues to support and aid the research of several cohorts of professional, student and non-professional Ontario archaeologists, shaping and launching the careers of many of those practicing archaeology in Ontario today.

Remarkably, for over the last 20 years of his career, Bill has not worked in a professional archaeologist capacity, but rather as a manager of government programs, beginning in 1986 with the Ontario Ministry of Culture, then in the 1990s with Parks Canada, first in Winnipeg, then Inuvik, then Ucluelet, and then, this year, Peterborough. So during the time of some of Bill’s most important research contributions to Ontario archaeology he was doing this as a non-professional (or as Bill likes to say, as an avocational archaeologist), funding his own research out of pocket. In short, Bill has been the walking personification of the achievements expected of a J. Norman Emerson Silver Medal recipient, setting the bar for contributions and commitment to Ontario archaeology and the Ontario Archaeological Society few non-professional OR professional archaeologists can ever hope to equal. Please join with the OAS Board in acknowledging Bill’s contributions to Ontario archaeology.

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