Desiring to delve into anthropology because of his personal experiences with Native American struggles during his time in the U.S. Army, Deward E. Walker Jr., Ph.D., sought to help native individuals by going into the field of education. Commencing his career as an assistant professor of anthropology at The George Washington University in 1964, he subsequently served in the same capacity at Washington State University, where he was also a research collaborator for two years. Transitioning to an associate professor role at the University of Idaho soon thereafter, he joined the faculty of the University of Colorado Boulder in 1969 as a research associate and full professor, holding the latter role for the following 43 years until his retirement in 2012. During his tenure, he also served as the associate dean of the graduate school between 1973 and 1976.
Conducting research in the Yakama, Colville Salish-Kootenai, Sioux, Cayuse, Washo, Shoshone, Paiute, Bannock, Umatilla, Tulalip, Blackfeet, Arapaho, Navajo, Mohawk, Sioux, Bannock, and affiliated tribes of Northwest Native Americans, Dr. Walker was an invited Harvard lecturer on American Indian sacred geography. He is also proud of his ability to create legal support for the defense of Native American rights; through his work, he helped Congress pass a law titled the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, which has defended the rights and religious freedom of myriad Native Americans. A fellow of the National Science Foundation and the American Anthropological Association, he also contributed to the Walker Research Group Ltd. as founder, chief executive officer, and vice president, having become an advisor of Native American affairs.
To remain abreast of developments in the field, Dr. Walker served the Society of Applied Anthropology as treasurer and executive committee member in the 1970s, having also served the organization as longtime chair for 40 years. In addition, he maintains affiliation with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, and the Northwest Anthropological Conference, among many others. Dr. Walker would like to be remembered as an educator and anthropologist who used his field of study in an effort to help people in their times of need. Married with six children and one grandchild, he enjoys studying geology, mining, and ranching in his spare time.
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