Jessica Dutton

Jessica Dutton

Jessica Dutton, MA
Manager, Research Ethics and Regional Programs
South Slave Research Centre (Fort Smith)
P: 867-872-7084


Research Statement

As a social scientist working in the field of Public Health, I’m interested in the ways political, cultural, social, and structural factors impact human health behaviours. My graduate research explored food and the social factors that influence eating behaviours, the impact of colonization on Indigenous peoples’ traditional food use, and the barriers and facilitators of diabetes self-management. Currently, my research addresses community-identified priorities in partnership with community organizations, Indigenous governments, policy-makers, and other key Northern stakeholders. Recent research topics include local food production, sustainable traditional/country food use, Northern research ethics, and community wellness.

During my Master’s degree I trained in community-based research as an intern with the Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship at the University of Guelph. This approach has continued to shape the development of my research programs. In my work, I aim to source research questions from community members, organizations, businesses, and governments, then work collaboratively to design and carry out studies that are locally relevant and have a positive impact for my research partners. My areas of methodological expertise include community-based participatory research, qualitative methods, critical theory, postcolonial theory, and program evaluation.

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Current Projects

  • The State of the Northwest Territories Country Food Systems: Planning for Long-Term Sustainability

Significant Contributions

  • Dutton J. 2017. Urban and northern perspectives on indigenous community engagement in human research ethics. Recorded oral presentation at the Canadian Association of Research Administrators West Conference, Victoria, BC.
  • Dutton J. 2017.Telling the story of diabetes: Understanding how cultural identity impacts diabetes management. Community oral presentation of research findings. Fort Smith, NT.
  • Dutton J, and Sellwood C. 2017.  Home grown harvest: Guide to mapping the local food market in NWT communities. Available from the Aurora Research Institute, Inuvik, NT.
  • Dutton J. 2010. First come, first served: Post-colonial barriers to traditional food consumption in Aboriginal communities. MA Thesis, Department of Political Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON.