Jody Butler Walker
Co-Founder & Former Executive Director
M.Sc. (Community Health Sciences), University of Northern British Columbia, M.A.Sc. (Environmental/Civil Engineering), University of British Columbia, and B.Sc., University of Alberta
I have been living and working in the Canadian Arctic for over 30 years. I lived and worked in both Nunavut and Northwest Territories before making Whitehorse, Yukon my home nearly 17 years ago. In Nunavut, I contributed to a Dept. Fisheries and Ocean's biological oceanographic research project in Resolute Bay. While I was based in Yellowknife, I was Head of the Contaminants Unit for the Government of Northwest Territories' Health Department and led the contaminants and human health research program as well as the cooperative risk management program. This work involved collaborating with regional, national and circumpolar Indigenous organizations, several territorial and federal government agencies, as well as Inuit and Dene/Métis communities and regional health boards.
My academic background is interdisciplinary, and reflects the evolution of my work in the North. I have a M.Sc. in Community Health Sciences from the University of Northern British Columbia, a Masters in Applied Science (Environmental/Civil Engineering) from University of British Columbia and a B.Sc. from the University of Alberta.
In 2007, I co-founded the Arctic Health Research Network-Yukon with Norma Kassi, who was Chief of the Vuntut Gwitchin Government in Old Crow at the time. I served as Executive Director and Co-Director from 2007-2017, and together with Norma and our valued team members and partners throughout the years, we built the organization by bringing together Indigenous knowledge and western science to promote and facilitate research activities and training that contribute to Northern health and well-being. My experience in working with contaminants and human health, Indigenous health and biological oceanography has highlighted the essential role of community-based research in Canada's Arctic from multiple perspectives.