Reconciling Research Ethics

Dr. Dutton conducts research on research ethics theory and practice with a focus on applied solutions for the Northwest Territories. Research has a long and difficult history in Northern Canada research ethics protocols provide an important opportunity to hold researchers to a higher standard of ethical practice. In order to understand how to make appropriate use of the research ethics review system to protect research participants in the North, we must understand the positions of key stakeholders, including Indigenous governments, community organizations, governments, funders, researchers, participants, etc. and learn how they converge, intersect, and diverge. By working with diverse stakeholder groups to develop shared research questions and situate priorities, this program of research seeks applied solutions that will support ethical engagement of Indigenous participants and northern communities in research in practice. In theory, this work aims to reconcile the vision of research ethics set out by the academic establishment and those of Northern communities and Indigenous groups.

Program Evaluation

ARI provides evaluation services by contract for a number of programs and organizations. Our evaluations are tailored to the specific needs of the researchers and the objectives of the project and rely on comprehensive data collection. Program evaluations designed and/or carried out by the ARI team include: Paul W. Kaeser High School fitness program (2014), Fostering Open eXpression among Youth (FOXY) project evaluation (2011-2015), Aurora College Early Childhood Development program (2015-2020), and the DigitalNWT study (2019-2022).

Breastfeeding in the NWT

This breastfeeding study (2017/18) widened the scope of an initial study that was conducted in the Tlicho region in 2013 and the doctoral work of Dr. Moffitt. Our interest was to generate knowledge that would guide health promotion efforts targeting territorial mothers and be inclusive of grandmothers and the traditional knowledge that they hold about infant feeding and mothering practices. Research of this nature also empowers women through shared stories and voice.

Nursing Practice in Rural and Remote Canada

The goal of this project is to better understand the nursing workforce and nursing practice in rural and remote Canada so that health care planners and policy makers can work to improve nursing services and access to care in rural and remote Canada. People who live in rural and remote parts of Canada (including the North) tend to have more health challenges than people living in urban areas. Rural and remote communities also experience limited numbers and chronic shortages of health care workers, including nurses. In order to keep improving health services and to support nurses in rural and remote communities, planners and policy makers need up-to-date information. Nursing Practice in Rural and Remote Canada II is a study that provides that information.

Influences on quality of life of older adults

With the aging trend in the territory, it is vital that we understand the influences on the livelihood of our older population which sits at greater than 10 percent of the territorial population. Beginning in 2013, nurse researchers with Aurora Research Institute in partnership with the NWT Seniors’ Society undertook a project to study the influences on the quality of life of older adults in the NWT. This was a community based participatory action research study engages with older adults in the NWT to identify current actual and potential influences upon and threats to their quality of life.

Health eSteps

HealtheSteps is a program that gives participants a personalized exercise prescription with simple goals for increasing their physical activity and improving their health. The project aims to improve individual lifestyle behaviours and health, clinical practice patterns, investments in health technologies, and policy decisions, with the ultimate goal to reduce the growing economic burden of chronic disease on health care systems. Researchers hope to explore how the program can operate and be adapted for northern communities.

Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate partner violence is a serious social problem in the Prairie Provinces and Northwest Territories. These regions report the highest rates of shelter utilization in Canada and the highest rates of sexual assault and intimate partner homicide. Despite sustained research into intimate partner violence, Little data is available about rural and northern communities' incidence of intimate partner violence. Numerous gaps have been identified, including the need for research conducted within a Canadian context, the unique experiences of specific populations of women, and the experience of women in rural and northern communities. As a result, resources that respond to this social problem are lacking and knowledge of how to improve community responses to intimate partner violence are poor. This research aims to answer: What are the unique needs of victims of IPV living in rural and northern areas of these regions? What are the gaps that exist in meeting these needs? How do we create non-violent communities in these regions?
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