I am an anthropologist, linguist and broadcaster. I serve as Chair of the First Nations Languages Program at the University of British Columbia and am an Associate Professor of Anthropology at UBC. At Yale, I was Program Director of the Yale Himalaya Initiative and continue to be co-editor of Himalaya.
My research interests are language conservation, documentation and endangerment; cultural diversity and oral traditions. My research focus is the Himalayan region (particularly in Nepal, northern India and Bhutan), and increasingly the Pacific Northwest.
Idirect two international research projects, Digital Himalaya and the World Oral Literature Project. I edit the Oral Literature Series with the Open Book Publishers. In 2013, I presented a three-part BBC radio series entitled Our Language in Your Hands, and am currently working on my next BBC project. I am one of three principal investigators on new a five-year collaborative research project supported by the Arcadia Fund to document Bhutan’s oral traditions.
I write about language policy, linguistic rights and mother tongue instruction. I also focus on issues of access and ownership of anthropological materials from ethnographic museums when they circulate online or are returned to communities in digital form. As a firm advocate of collaborative research, I am committed to widening public engagement with anthropology and linguistics.