Kurtis Blaikie-Birkigt is the General Manager of Ember Archaeology. He joined Tree Time Services Inc. in 2008 and found a new archaeology division. Kurtis has worked in the Parkland and Boreal Forest since 2002, with a strong focus on archaeology for the forestry sector. Kurtis has been the permit holder or project manager on over 80 forestry annual operating plans up to 15,000 ha in size. He has led predictive modeling projects for over 22% of Alberta, and a modeling pilot project for the Government of Northwest Territories. Kurtis is authorized to hold permits in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territory, Yukon and Northeastern British Columbia.
Kurtis was awarded an MA (Anthropology) from the University of Alberta in 2005 for the first graduate thesis on the Bodo Bison Skulls Archaeological Site (FaOm-1) near Provost, Alberta. From 2005-2008 Kurtis worked as a project archaeologist for Alberta Western Heritage. Kurtis managed large multi-year heritage management programs and excavations for several forestry, energy and aggregate sector companies in central and northeastern Alberta. In 2008 Kurtis joined Tree Time Services to establish a new archaeology division. While Kurtis already had considerable experience and knowledge regarding the inner workings of forestry companies, Tree Time exposed him to the intricacies of our silviculture work and nursery operations to turn him into an expert.
Kurtis pro-actively engages First Nations communities in the historic resource management process. He is the Historical Resources Technical Advisor to Fort McKay Sustainability Department and McKay Metis Sustainability Centre and has also provided technical support to Fort McMurray Metis and the Inuvialuit Game Council.
Kurtis is active in public outreach and public archaeology activities as well as best practices development for the field. He regularly provides historic resource management training to industry stakeholders as well as public audiences. He is a past President of the Archaeological Society of Alberta – Edmonton Centre, past Chair of the Cultural Resource Management Committee of the Canadian Archaeological Association, and current President-Elect of the Association of Consulting Archaeologists.
When not doing archaeology, Kurtis enjoys the outdoors with his wife and two teen children. He is a Group Commissioner with Scouts Canada and loves sharing his knowledge of the forest and the past.