Jack Ives (left), Department of Anthropology graduate student Gabriel Yanicki (excavating), Grant Smith (recording at table, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service) and members of the Chournos family during April 2011 fieldwork in the Promontory Caves, Great Salt Lake.  Photo courtesy David Rhode, Desert Research Institute.

Jack Ives



John W. (Jack) Ives is a Professor of Northern Plains Archaeology in the Department of Anthropology as well as Executive Director of Institute of Prairie Archaeology, Faculty of Arts. He has a variety of field and archaeological collections projects underway in Alberta, including offerings every second year of the Department of Anthropology archaeological field school, last held in 2010 at a 10,000 year old site on Transalta’s Highvale minesite near Lake Wabamun. 

Prior to joining the University in 2007, he served with the Archaeological Survey of Alberta, the Royal Alberta Museum, and the Historic Resources Management Branch, with senior management responsibilities as Provincial Archaeologist and extensive cross-ministry experience in Aboriginal policy and legislative initiatives (such as Alberta’s First Nations Sacred Ceremonial Objects Repatriation Act).  Jack has undertaken senior management and curatorial roles in developing facilities such as the World Heritage Site of Head-Smashed-In, the Gallery of Aboriginal Culture and international exhibitions (Rise of the Black Dragon).  He received the University of Michigan’s Distinguished Dissertation Award and three Alberta Premier’s Awards. He is currently serving on the General Faculties Council and the University of Alberta Senate. 

Jack has led field research in the Subarctic and Plains region of Canada, in the Great Basin and Southwest of the United States, and in northeastern China. He is currently using Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council funding to explore a particular interest, that of how Navajo and Apache ancestors moved from Canada to the southern United States (with a particular focus on Utah’s Promontory caves). This and related research on the spread of Dene-Yeniseian languages in Siberia and North America are discussed in “Dene-Yeneseian, Migration and  Prehistory.” Anthropological Papers of the University of Alaska, Volume 5 (1-2):324-334 (2010). Special Issue, The Dene-Yeneseian Hypothesis, edited by J. Kari and B. Potter.