Bruce Trigger, renowned archaeologist, author and McGill professor, died Friday, Dec. 1, in Montreal, after a year-long battle with cancer. He was 69. Prof. Trigger's career in McGill's department of anthropology spanned more than four decades, during which he published more than 20 books, including A History of Archaeological Thought, which became required reading in the discipline.
Prof. Trigger, whose exhaustive exploration of the origins of the Hurons earned him an honorary membership in the Huron-Wendat Nation, was considered an authority on aboriginal cultures in northeastern North America. He was respected internationally as a scholar of early civilizations and revered by students as a man whose enthusiasm for archaeology made him an ambassador for his chosen field. His death came just two months after the October release of The Archaeology of Bruce Trigger, in which 22 scholars paid tribute to Prof. Trigger's influence on generations of archaeologists. At the launch of the book, Prof. Trigger said, "This last year has been one of the happiest of my life. First of all, I've been able to spend time with my wife and family, which is always very pleasant. In June, I was made Professor Emeritus and now this book, The Archaeology of Bruce Trigger, is evidence in print of my colleagues' appreciation."
Prof. Trigger was an officer of the Order of Canada and the Ordre national du Québec, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 1991, he won the Quebec government's Prix Léon-Gérin. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Barbara, two daughters, Isabel and Rosalyn, and grandchildren David and Madeleine.