Climate change is causing profound impacts on the ecosystems that support health and well-being in communities across the Northwest Territories (NWT). As food systems in the NWT depend on the health of the land and waters and the availability of traditional foods, impacts to the land in response to changing climatic conditions are having negative effects on communities.

For many communities where food insecurity is already an issue, these impacts can further threaten community food systems, health and well-being.  As communities continue to adapt to these changing conditions to ensure that traditional foods remain as the basis of their food systems, many are also turning to the local production of food, mainly through community gardens, to make food more available. The need has been expressed by communities to further build capacity to grow food in the NWT. As climate change continues to impact the NWT, there may be more opportunities for local food production, as temperature warms and ecosystems shift. Developing agricultural opportunities in the NWT can work to alleviate some of the complex issues surrounding high levels of food insecurity in the NWT and provide economic benefits to communities. However, many important barriers exist that may limit the ability of communities to adapt and take advantage of this opportunity, including: land suitability and availability, capacity and knowledge in growing food, and policy. For NWT communities, ensuring that agriculture is developed in a way that meets the needs of local residents and does not diminish the overall health of the ecosystem is important. Creating policies that support local growers and agroecological production methods that keep the environment healthy are essential. This proposed research will work with a broad range of stakeholders in communities across the South Slave and Dehcho regions to address these issues and serve as a model for developing best practices for other communities in the NWT.

In partnership with the Ka’a’gee Tu First Nation in Kakisa, NWT, we are inviting applications for a 2-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Northern Agriculture and Food Systems Research. Specifically, we seek individuals with experience in Participatory Action Research methodologies, and have practical experience growing food and training others in food growing techniques. Ideal candidates will have completed a PhD in Environmental Studies, Geography or a related discipline and have a background in agroecology. Experience working collaboratively with Indigenous communities is an asset. Candidates should have strong track record of publishing high quality peer-reviewed papers. Excellent communication skills and the ability to work closely with a range of partner organizations are essential.

The position will be based at the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario but extensive travel to communities in the NWT will be required.

To apply please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, list of references and reprints of relevant publications to Dr. Andrew Spring (aspring@wlu.ca). Informal inquiries are welcome.