Jessica Dutton, PhD

Research Associate

Home Organization

Government of the Northwest Territories

Research Statement

Jessica completed her Ph.D. in Public Health Sciences at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto in 2018. Originally from southern Ontario, Jessica has been living in the Northwest Territories since 2013 and has been working in community-based health research since her arrival. Currently, Jessica is located in Yellowknife where she works at the Department of Health and Social Services, seeking opportunities to apply her research training to actionable advancements in health and social services for people in the Northwest Territories.

Jessica studies health issues impacting Northerners with a specific focus on how and why Northerners make decisions about health behaviours. As a social scientist, Jessica is interested in how social determinants of health impact health behaviours and outcomes. Areas of expertise include diabetes, food production and preference, food security, local economies, health information/misinformation, health system administration, and learning health systems. Jessica specializes in community-based participatory research, research ethics, program evaluation, and qualitative methods

Description of Research Program

Jessica’s previous research in the NWT has focused on food production, accessibility of local and traditional foods, food security, diabetes treatment experiences, and other community-generated research questions. Jessica has over a decade experience partnering with southern researchers to provide guidance on how to appropriately conduct research in the NWT and she enjoys being able to connect colleagues in the south with partners, Elders, communities, and advisors in the NWT to improve the relevance and respectfulness of research to Northerners.

Despite leaving the academic sector in 2021, Jessica remains active in the NWT research community as much as possible by supporting research projects, supervising students, and encouraging a culture of collaborative, responsible, and responsive research that creates meaningful positive impacts for NWT communities.

Significant Contributions

Dutton J, Lys C. (Eds.) 2024. Living Well? [Special Issue] Xàgots’eèhk’ǫ̀ Journal, 2 (3).

Dutton J, Komarnisky S. (2021) Research CASH (Capacity, Access, and Strength Here) Grant-Writing Workshop. Virtual Workshop.

Spring A, … Dutton J, et al. 2020. Building community-university research partnerships to enhance capacity for climate change and food security action in the NWT. Northern Public Affairs. August 2020.

Dutton J. 2019. Modeling change to traditional food systems on the Northwest Territories: Findings from the "State of Country Food Systems in the NWT: Planning for Long-term Sustainability" study. ArcticNet Conference. Halifax, NS.

Dutton J. 2019. An urban and a northern REB perspective on applying Chapter 9 of the TCPS2. Canadian Association of Research Ethics Boards Conference. Winnipeg, MB

Dutton J. 2018. Lessons from stories of diabetes self-management: Enunciating culture in health decision-making in the third space. PhD Thesis, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

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.