Robert (Bob) Roy Janes, born in 1948, initially studied liberal arts and anthropology, graduating from the Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin with a B.A. in Anthropology in 1970. He continued his studies, receiving his Ph.D. in Archaeology from the University of Calgary in 1976.
In 1974, Janes was employed by the Northwest Territories Historical Advisory Board as the Chief Archaeologist for the Mackenzie River Archaeological Project. Two years later, in June 1976, he was appointed the first Director of the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife. In 1986, he left the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre to take the position of Founding Executive Director of the Science Institute of the Northwest Territories and Science Advisor to the Government of the Northwest Territories. In 1989, at the conclusion of his term as Executive Director of the Science Institute, he was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer for the Glenbow Museum, Art Gallery, Library and Archives in Calgary, where he worked until 2000. Since 2000, he has been a museum and heritage consultant, advisor, author and independent museum scholar and served as Editor-in-Chief of the “Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship” from 2003 to 2014. He was also an adjunct professor at the University of Calgary from 1990 to 2015.
Dr. Janes has been a Foreign Fellow of the American Anthropological Association, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary, Fellow of the Glenbow-Alberta Institute, Fellow of the Canadian Museums Association, Honorary Visiting Fellow at the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester (UK), and Fellow of the Canadian Museums Association.
Dr. Janes has served in various capacities on numerous boards and committees, including the Canadian Archaeological Association, the Arctic Institute of North America, the Northern Jury of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Assembly of First Nations/Canadian Museums Association Task Force on Museums and First Peoples, the Canadian Art Museums Directors Organization, the Canadian Museums Association, the National Selection Committee for NextGen Canada, the Banff Canmore Community Foundation, and the Board of Directors of the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley.
He has received many honorary awards and degrees, including being named the first honorary life member of the Canadian Museums Association (CMA), the CMA award for Outstanding Achievement in Museum Management, the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for exceptional contributions to the provincial, national and international museum communities, an International Achievement Award from the International Council of Museums (ICOM/Canada), and an Honorary Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.) from the University of Western Ontario. In 1995, he was given the traditional Blackfoot name OTAHKO OHKIPTOPii (Yellow Horse Rider).
Dr. Janes has written several books, including “The Archaeology of Fort Alexander, NWT”, “Archaeological Ethnography among Mackenzie Basin Dene”, “Preserving Diversity: Ethnoarchaeological Perspectives on Culture Change in the Western Canadian Subarctic”, “Museums in a Troubled World: Renewal, Irrelevance or Collapse?”, “Museums and the Paradox of Change”, and “Museums Without Borders: Selected Writings of Robert R. Janes”, and over 100 articles in the areas of archaeology, anthropology, and museology. He has also edited several books and occasional papers. He is a prolific speaker, having given more than 75 public presentations and keynote speeches.
Dr. Janes is married to Priscilla Bickel Janes.