People passionate about nature

Chris Vickers

Honorary Membership 1985

This Honorary Membership is being presented today to the person responsible for initiating scientific archeology in the Province of Manitoba.

While Chris Vickers has received a number of accolades and plaques for his work in archeology and history, he also made many important contributions in writing about natural history, developing a public appreciation of natural history, conducting bird banding programs, and capturing Manitoba’s natural heritage on film.

In the 1940s and early 1950s he conducted systematic bird banding in the Baldur area.

During the late 1940s and mid-1950s he published numerous articles and editorials in “Game and Fish”, “Northern Sportsman”, “Rod and Gun”, “Hunting and Fishing in Canada”, and “the Winnipeg Free Press”. He wrote on bird banding, various kinds of wildlife, conservation concerns, geographical terminology, preservation of heritage sites such as the homes of Gilbert White and Henry Thoreau, and endangered ecological areas.

During the period 1951-1975, he was rural editor and book reviewer for the Winnipeg Free Press, during which time he wrote numerous editorials and over 300 book reviews. His writings covered many topics but certainly included numerous editorials and book reviews on natural history topics of Manitoba, North America, and around the world. He also wrote occasional reviews for magazines such as “the Beaver”.

Mr. Vickers also gave illustrated presentations on natural history over the decades to numerous groups and throughout the years he has built up an impressive set of colour slides and photographs on Manitoba’s wildlife and nature scenes.

He is considered to be the “father of Manitoba Archeology”. When he was discussing his ideas on prehistoric settlements in Manitoba he always encouraged researchers and students to think in terms of adaptation to the pre-homestead landscape and would spend hours advocating for ecological models for archeological interpretation.

Mr. Vickers virtually set up the basic archeological chronology for Manitoba based upon excavations and surveys during the 1940s. He published his research and the general archeological activities of the Manitoba Historical and Scientific Society in a variety of professional journals and popular magazines in the 1940s and 1950s.

He was also instrumental in getting an archaeology programme started at the University of Manitoba in 1960. He supported the development of archeology programmes at the University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg through the donations of part of his collections and part of his extensive library holdings.