Jody Butler Walker


M.Sc. Community Health Sciences, University of Northern British Columbia

I have been living and working in the Canadian Arctic for over 25 years. I lived and worked in both Nunavut and Northwest Territories before making Whitehorse, Yukon my home nearly 14 years ago. In Nunavut, I contributed to a Dept. Fisheries and Ocean's biological oceanographic research project in Resolute Bay. My work in the Northwest Territories took place before the creation of Nunavut, and so included what are now the 2 Territories. 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 and 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 Gwich'in Government in Old Crow. We built the organization by bringing together Norma's indigenous knowledge and her experiences in politics, among others with my academic training and experiences living and working across the Canadian North to promote and facilitate research activities 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.

As this organization continues to grow I look forward to building new partnerships and networks with others that are interested in working together to improve Northern health and well-being.