Jim earned his BA (Hons) from the University of Winnipeg and his MA and Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba. Since arriving at UND he has developed a series of courses in Canadian, Canadian-US, British, and British Imperial History. He has also been heavily involved in the creation of the Canadian Studies Program at UND. Related to his work in northern and western Canada Jim has also developed a strong interest in First Nations history on both sides of the Canada-US border and works closely with UND’s Department of Indian Studies.
Recognized as UND's Outstanding Graduate Teacher in 1998, as UND’s Outstanding Faculty Scholar in 2011 and then named a "Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor" in 2013, Jim has also been the recipient of Margaret McWilliams Awards from the Manitoba Historical Society (2001 and 2005) for books he has written. In his various publications Jim has explored the history of northern development in Canada and the social, ethnic, political, and labor history of western Canada. His book-length publications include, The People’s Co-op: The Life and Times of a North End Institution (Halifax: 2000); “Formidable Heritage:” Manitoba’s North and the Cost of Development, 1870 to 1930 (Winnipeg: 2004); and Re-Imagining Ukrainian-Canadians: History, Politics and Identity (Toronto: 2011), a collection of essays co-edited with Rhonda Hinther. Jim is currently working on a book-length study concerning the social and economic history of Winnipeg – and its many real and imagined communities - in the inter-war period. He is also engaged in a book-length examination of the development of Winnipeg’s “oppositional consciousness” from the 1870s onwards and another edited volume (with Rhonda Hinther of Brandon University) on civilian internment in Canada from WWI to the present.