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Anthony (Tony) D. Fisher (1931-2018)



Anthony (Tony) D. Fisher (1931-2018) passed away on March 8, 2018 at the age of 86.  He was a professor the University of Alberta between 1965 and 1994, and was founding member of the Anthropology Department.  Tony’s publications include co-editorship of The North American Indians: A Sourcebook, which for many years was a leading text in the field.

Tony grew up in Palo Alto, California. His father Dr. Harold Fisher taught Russian history at Stanford U for 30 years, and also chaired the Hoover Institute.  Tony did his BA, MA, and PhD degrees at Stanford, and served for four years in the US Navy, working as a mine sweeper in Korea.  In 1965 he took a position at the University of Alberta, where he taught in the Faculties of Anthropology and Education.

Michael Asch and Carl Urion recall that Tony was known best for his collaborative research with Treaty Nations and Metis in Alberta. He is remembered for his key involvement with the Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Research group of the Indian Association of Alberta, which under the leadership of Harold Cardinal challenged and ultimately overturned the policies initiated under the now infamous White Paper of 1969.  He was also a lead collaborator in the groundbreaking Project Iron Star, which implemented a system that connected First Nations communities to media networks, and was an active participant in the development of the Native Studies program at the University of Alberta.   He was also a founding member of the anthropology and education group of the American Anthropological Association.

Rod Wilson recalls that Tony was very much a maverick, and also that when he did field work with Blood Indians, they gave him a horse in gratitude.  He was well-known in Edmonton for one of his hobbies, which was car racing. He and a friend formed the Mad Dog Racing team with Tony as the driver, and his nickname in the ice racing world was “Mad Dog Fisher.”  His obituary can be found here:  Obituary for Tony Fisher

Asch and staff 1985-6
Tony with members of the Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta, 1985


Tony speaking at the 40th Anniversary of the University of Alberta Department of Anthropology


Jean DeBernardi, Acting Chair and Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta; with the assistance of UA Anthropology Department Emeritus Professors Michael Asch, Carl Urion, and Rod Wilson.

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