Nicholas Laluk



Lab: 55 Anthropology and Art Practice Building (Formerly Known As Kroeber Hall)

Office: TBD  

Special Interests:

Decolonization and Indigenization, Indigenous Methodologies,

Tribal sovereignty-driven research


Nicholas Laluk is a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe located in east-central Arizona and is an Indigenous archaeologist interested in the continued decolonization and Indigenization of the archaeological discipline. Currently, his research focuses on sovereignty-driven research and utilizing tribal best management practices and cultural tenets to better address the wants and needs of Tribal nations engaged in collaborative archaeological research. His research attempts to highlight not only the powerful ways Indigenous communities rationalize and understand themselves, but how these intricate rationalizations for personal and social identities can be used to co-manage ancestral lands, enhance community-based research, and to expand upon colonial models of Indigenous peoples and Euromerican interactions through an Indigenous and decolonial lens.


I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. As an Ndee (White Mountain Apache) enrolled Tribal member the majority of my professional experience has been with Native American communities in various capacities. I have worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a Tribal liaison-archaeologist where I have led various collaborative and multivocal projects as well being involved in Holy/Sacred site protections. After graduation from the University of Arizona I took a postdoctoral position at the Center for Race and Ethnicity in the America’s at Brown University. Upon completion of my postdoc I took a position with my own Tribe as Deputy Historic Preservation Officer where I continued to assist my own tribe in protection and preservation of our heritage. I have also worked as a wildland firefighter and wildland fire cultural heritage resource advisor for my own Tribe and the U.S. Forest Service. My experience in this capacity also drives my research interests in the realms of Indigenous fire ecologies and placemaking. Through my education, training and experience I continue to advocate for epistemic and social justice, inclusion and the critical need for the Indigenous voice to be included in all stages of research-related and real world activities.

Representative Publications:

Laluk, Nicholas C.
2017 The Indivisibility of Land and Mind: Indigenous Knowledge and Collaborative Archaeology within Apache Contexts." Journal of Social Archaeology 17(1):92-112.

Laluk, Nicholas and Mark Agostini
2020 Collaborative Archaeology in the U.S.: Research Experiences in the American Southwest as Pedagogy. Chapter in An Educators Handbook for Teaching about the Ancient World. Edited by Pinar Durgun. ArchaeoPress Publishing Ltd.

Laluk, Nicholas C., and Benrita Burnette
2021 We Know Who We Are and What Is Needed: Achieving Healing, Harmony, and Balance in Ndee Institutions." Advances in Archaeological Practice 9(2):110-118.

Laluk, Nicholas C.
2021 Changing how Archaeology is done in Native American Contexts: An Ndee (Apache) Case Study." Journal of Social Archaeology 21(1):53-73.

Laluk, Nicholas C.
2021 "Ndee Hotspots: Ethics, Healing and Management." Hot Spots, Fieldsights, July 27.

Laluk, Nicholas
2022 Why am I Ephemeral? Foregrounding Ndee Perceptions of our Past as Persistence. Chapter in Unearthing Indigenous Presence: Critical Perspectives on the Archaeology of Post-1492 North America. Edited by Tsim Schneider and Lee Panich. University Press of Florida.