Ph.D., LL.D., FRCGS, FG,
Member of the Kainai Honourary Chieftainship
1953 – 2013
Born in Edmonton, Gerry studied archaeology and anthropology at the University of Alberta, Memorial University, and Simon Fraser University. Field projects in Nevada, the Queen Charlotte Islands, Kentucky and northern Alberta were followed by a position as Curator of Archaeology at the Saskatchewan Museum of Natural History. Since 1990, he was a senior curator at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, and most recently served as Director of Indigenous Studies. There, he shaped a respectful working relationship between the museum and First Nations that became a model for international museum practice. Gerry was instrumental in developing a programme of repatriating sacred items held by the museum, ensuring that they could be returned to the First Nations communities where they could be part of a living culture. By immersing himself in this culture, learning from elders, and by listening, Gerry developed strong friendships over the years. He sought to make the First Nations full partners in interpreting and presenting their culture. Through developing exhibits, public speaking, teaching, and an active publication record, Gerry inspired his colleagues to look at museum collections and their meaning to the community with fresh eyes. His contributions to museum practice and to the First Nations communities were recognized by an honourary degree from the University of Lethbridge, by an appointment as a Fellow of the Glenbow Museum, and as a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society. He was inducted as a member of the Kainai Honourary Chieftainship, an honour that he deeply appreciated. Gerry faced his journey with cancer with resiliency, and with the quirky humour that was his trademark.
He will be sorely missed by his wife Gwyn Langemann and their son Niall Conaty, and by his family; his many friends and colleagues will miss his wise insight, and the inclusive breadth of his vision and experience.
Funeral Services will be held at Christ Church (3602 – 8th Street S.W., Calgary, AB) on Monday, September 9, 2013 at 11:00 a.m.
Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. Please consider a donation to the Kainai Chieftainship Scholarship Fund, or to the Glenbow Museum.
In living memory of Gerald Conaty a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.Print This Obituary & Condolences