Dr. Shirley Thompson

Associate Professor

Natural Resources Institute
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canada R3T 2M6
Tel.: (204) 474-7170
Fax: (204) 261-0038
E-mail: s.thompson@ad.umanitoba.ca
Website: Partnership Research


B.Sc.(Hons.) University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 1988
M.Eng. Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1993
Ph.D. Adult Education, Community Development and Counselling Psychology, OISE/University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2002.

Research Interests

Food sovereignty: Food sovereignty combines food security and sustainable livelihoods to feed the family, provide jobs and repatriate natural resources and land in ancestral territories. Looking at the social economy of food (e.g., farmer's markets, community gardens, community shared agriculture, fisheries cooperatives, etc) provides a way to proceed in community-led action towards food sovereignty. These are participatory research projects where action plans for food security are being developed with communities considering implementing country food programs, community gardens, land use, food co-operatives and the present access to food through Northern stores and hunting/gathering.

Ecosystem health and housing: Adequate and appropriate infrastructure is necessary for ecosystem health, resource conservation and to reduce climate change. Built environment (infrastructure and management of resources including food, waste management and sustainable energy) is studied at the nexus of food security, environment, health and community development in Aboriginal communities. Many Indigenous communities lack adequate infrastructure and food production and distribution facilities (e.g., greenhouses, gardens, livestock or hunting arrangements to ensure local food security) in the northern prairies. Human and Indigenous rights clearly show this is unacceptable and that positive social development is required for sustainability and peace. Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Calls for Action to: “Ensure that Aboriginal peoples have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector, and that Aboriginal communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects” (Section 92, ii).

Community-led education for sustainability: Education is necessary for self-determination that addresses colonialism to be aware of the oppressions faced by FN people within contemporary society. This type of adult education overcomes hegemony to decolonize and promote Mino Bimaadizwin and cultural resilience instead of state dependence. Many Indigenous people are viewing self-determination as a framework to improve the educational experience and outcomes in their communities and overall to overcome Indigenous oppressions that include poverty and racial discrimination. The 13 Principles on Indigenous Education recognize the need for greater indigenization of university curricula and leadership, as well as promoting dialogue and intercultural engagement. The 2014 First Nations, Inuit and Metis Essential Skills Inventory Project identified five beneficial practices, namely: 1) working with/in the community; 2) learner-centered, holistic approaches; 3) Indigenous learning principles, 4) employer involvement to provide workplace experience, and 5) control and ownership .

Selected Publications

REFERRED ARTICLES (since 2012 only)

Olsen Harper, A. & Thompson, S. (2017). Structural oppressions facing Indigenous students in Canadian education. Fourth World Journal, 15 (2), 41-66.
Bhatarali, P. & Thompson, S. (2016). Optimizing an Off-Grid Electrical System in Brochet, Manitoba, Canada. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 53: 709-719. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2015.09.001
Thompson, S. (2015). Flooding First Nations and Environmental Justice in Manitoba: Case Studies of the Impacts of 2011 Flood and Hydrodevelopment in Manitoba. Manitoba Law Journal: 38(2), 220-259. http://mlj.robsonhall.com/mlj/content/flooding-first-nations-and-environmental-justice-manitoba-case-studies-impacts-2011-flood
Chowdhury, A.H., Helen Hambly, O., Thompson, S. & Hauser, M. (2015). Enhancing Farmers' Capacity of botanical pesticide innovation through video-mediated learning in Bangladesh. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 13(4), 326-349. DOI: 10.1080/14735903.2014.997461
Thompson, S., Clahane, T., Gulruhk, A. & Nwankwo, U. (2015). Growing Gardens, Youth and Community Food Security in Canada’s Boreal Forest. International Journal of Biodiversity Watch, 1(1) 65-88.
Kamal, A., Linklater, R., Thompson, S., Dipple, J. & Ithinto Mechisowin Committee (2015). A Recipe for Change: Reclamation of Indigenous Food Sovereignty in O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation for Decolonization, Resource Sharing, and Cultural Restoration, Globalizations, 12(4), 559-575, DOI: 10.1080/14747731.2015.1039761
Thompson, S., Rony, M., Temmer, J., & Wood, D. (2014). Pulling in the indigenous fishery cooperative net: Fishing for sustainable livelihoods and food security in Garden Hill First Nation, Manitoba, Canada. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 4(3), 177–192. http://dx.doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2014.043.016
Thompson, S. & Si, M. (2014). Strategic analysis of Energy Efficiency Projects: Case Study of a Steel Mill in Manitoba. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 40:814-819. DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2014.07.140.
Thompson, S. Ballard, M. & D. Martin (2014). Environmentally and Developmentally Induced Displacement: Lake St. Martin First Nation Community Members’ Experiences -“We’re like refugees”. Refuge, 29 (2), 75-86.
Fulford, S. & Thompson, S. (2013). Youth Community Gardening Programming as Community Development: The Youth for EcoAction Program in Winnipeg, Canada. Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research, 4 (2), 56-75.
Ballard, M. & Thompson, S. (2013). “Flooding Lake St. Martin First Nation Community: Impacts to and Future Community Plans for Sustainable Livelihoods". Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research, 4 (1), 43-65.
Hossain, B.M.S., Rahman M., Thompson S., Rashed-Un-Nabi, M. & Kibria M. (2013). Climate Change Resilience Assessment Using Livelihood Assets of Coastal Fishing Community in Nijhum Dwip, Bangladesh. Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology, 21 (2), 397-422. http// www.pertanika2.upm.edu.my/...%202013/10%20Page%20397-422.pdf
Deb, A., Haque E. & Thompson, S. (2013). “Man can’t give birth, woman can’t fish": Gender dynamics in the small-scale fisheries of Bangladesh. Gender, Place and Culture, 1-22. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2013.855626
Thompson S., Wiebe, J., Gulrukh, A. & Ashram, A. (2012). Analyzing Food-related Economic Development in Indigenous Communities in Northern Manitoba for Impacts on Food Sovereignty, Food Security and Sustainable Livelihoods. Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research. 3 (2): 43-66.
Fieldhouse, P. & Thompson, S. (2012). Tackling Food Security Issues in Indigenous Communities in Canada: The Manitoba Experience. Nutrition and Dietetics. 69 (3), 217–221, DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-0080.2012.01619.
Zurba, M., Islam, D. Smith, D. & Thompson, S. (2012). Food and healing: an urban community food security assessment for the North End of Winnipeg. Urban Research and Practice, 5 (2): 284-289.
Rahman, R. Uddin, S. & Thompson, S. (2012). Effective Governance Strategy: Key to Sustainable Collaborative Management in a Wildlife Sanctuary in South-Eastern part of Bangladesh. International Journal of Environmental and Rural Development, 3 (2): 174-180. http://iserd.net/ijerd/IJERD31.pdf


Klatt, R. & Thompson, S. High School - Then What? Education in Wasagamack First Nation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC0NswCF4BE
Klatt, R. & Thompson, S. The Wasagamack Housing Crisis. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgySkmyho1U&t=25s
Ballard, M, Klatt, R. Martin, D. and Thompson, S. Wounded Spirit: Forced Evacuation of Little Saskatchewan First Nation Elders. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQTubc1LIjY
Thompson, S. and Oyegunle, A. (2015) Sinking Under the Negative Impacts of Manitoba Hydro This film is available at http://youtu.be/ph7Kw1LFWS4
Klatt, R. & Thompson, S. (2015). Meechim Farms Inc , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CeWRoRQaZk
Thompson, S., Klatt, R. & Oyegunle, A. (2015). Wasagamack: Living without Running Water and Sewage Service. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6qPQYfNavY
Thompson, S. and Klatt, R. (2015). Manito Ahbee Black River: Where the sacred rocks live. 10 minute video. https://youtu.be/gZo6VD-JxaU
Kamal, A. and Thompson, S. (2013). Use and Occupancy Mapping Guide and Research Design Created by 7 First Nation communities. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJdFj184zKU&feature=em-upload_owner
Ballard, M., Klatt, R. & Thompson, S. (2012). Flooding Hope: The Lake St. Martin First Nation story [Video]. http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~thompso4/floodinghope_doc.html
Thompson, S. (co-Director/ co-Producer), Tait, V. & Klatt, R. (2012). Women reclaiming our power: A gendered view of First Nation colonization [Video].

Referred Books and Book Chapters

  • Fredericks, S., Shen, L., & Thompson, S. (Eds). (2012). Natural Resources and Sustainability. Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability. Great Barrington: Berkshire.

  • Thompson, L. and Thompson, S. (2012). A Process to Determine One Organization’s Environmental Management System. In H. Dupont. In Environmental Management: Systems, Sustainability and Current Issues. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

  • Thompson, S. (2008). Environmental justice in education: Drinking deeply from the well of sustainability. In J. Gray-Donald & D. Selby (Eds). Green frontiers: Environmental educators dancing out of mechanism (36-58). Rotterdam: Sense Publications.

  • Thompson, S. (2008). Evaluating the Northern Healthy Food Initiative to determine its impact on food security and self-sufficiency in northern Manitoba. In M. Campbell, D. Walker, J. Davin & M. Halowaty (Eds). Healthy parks, healthy people: 2008 Proceedings of seventh annual parks and protected areas research forum (27-36). Winnipeg: Health, Leisure and Human Performance Research Institute, University of Manitoba.

Non-refereed contributions including many magazine publications:

  • Thompson, S. and Lozeznik, V. (2012). Harvesting Hope in Northern Manitoba: Can participatory video help rebuild Aboriginal Food Sovereignty? Women and Environment International Magazine, 88, 10-13.
  • Thompson, S. and Gulrukh, A. and A. Murthy. (2011). Back to Traditional Aboriginal Food. Alternatives Journal 37(2), p. 13.
  • Thompson, S. (2010). Determining Gender Sensitive Climate Change Adaptations in Bangladesh: Application of the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework for Gender Empowerment. New York: World Bank (Nilufar Ahmad). 46 pages.
  • Si, M. and Thompson, S. (2010). Energy optimization at Gerdau Ameristeel. University of Manitoba report to Gerdau Ameristel. 54 pages.
  • Thompson, S., Gulrukh, A. Fulford, S., Wong, K. & Zahuriuk, S. (2009). Is healthy food on the table? An Evaluation of the Northern Healthy Food Initiative by people on the ground. University of Manitoba report to Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Canada. Winnipeg, 82 pages.
  • Si, M. and Thompson, S. (2010). Energy optimization at Gerdau Ameristeel. University of Manitoba report to Gerdau Ameristel. 54 pages.
  • Duggirali, B. & Thompson, S. (2009). Building occupant analysis of ELA (Experimental Lakes Area): Opportunities to reduce energy costs by analyzing various renewable energies and their environmental impacts while improving building occupant comfort. Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Winnipeg, 53 pages.
  • Thompson, S., Ballard, M. & Zahuriuk, S. (2009). Is healthy food on the table? An Evaluation of the Northern Healthy Food Initiative by people on the ground: preliminary findings. Aboriginal and Northern Affairs. Winnipeg, 28 pages.
  • Thompson, S. & Thompson, L. (2009). Focus group Findings with Northern Healthy Food Initiative Management Team. Aboriginal and Northern Affairs. Winnipeg, 13 pages.
  • Smith, S. & Thompson, S. (2008). A plan for the utilization of Brady Road Landfill gas at the University of Manitoba. A feasibility study status report. Winnipeg, 14 pages.
  • Thompson, S. & Duggirali, B. (2008). Energy and housing workshops for First Nation communities: Voices of First Nations and Northern Affairs’ communities. Natural Resources Canada. Ottawa, 16 pages.
  • Sawyer, J. & Thompson, S. (2007). User guide to model methane generation from landfills for Canada (with model). Environment Canada. Ottawa, 15 pages + model.


Thompson, S. (2012). The Food We Eat. Visionary Lectures at University of Manitoba. Winnipeg,
Thompson, S et al. (2012). Harvesting Hope in northern Manitoba. Human Rights Film Festival.
Thompson, S et al. (2012). Harvesting Hope in northern Manitoba. Growing Local Film Festival.
Thompson, S et al. (2012). Harvesting Hope in northern Manitoba. Winnipeg Reel Green Film Festival.
Thompson, S et al. (2011). Harvesting Hope in northern Manitoba. Rural Secretariat Federal Employee Workshop, Ottawa, ON.
Thompson, S et al. (2011). Harvesting Hope in northern Manitoba. Aboriginal and Northern Development Federal Employee Workshop, Ottawa, ON.
Thompson, S et al. (2011). Harvesting Hope in northern Manitoba. Women’s World, Ottawa, ON.
Thompson, S., Nwanko, U., Gulrukh, A., Wong, K., Lozeznik, V. & Klatt, R. (2010). Growing Hope in Northern Manitoba communities. CIFST/AAFC Conference, Winnipeg, May 2010.
Kamal, A., Mailman, M., Fennel, K., & Thompson, S.  (2010). Promotion of traditional foods, gardening and chicken production. Eating Healthy at Nelson House. Prionet Conference, Ottawa.
Thompson, S., Mailman, M., Fennel, K. & Gulrukh, A. (2009). 58% rates of children’s food insecurity in Northern Manitoba Communities is too high. Prionet Conference, Ottawa.
Thompson, S.,Mailman, M., & Gulrukh, A. (2009). 58% rates of children’s food insecurity in Northern Manitoba Communities is too high. 5th Annual Children’s Health Symposium. Winnipeg,

Other Research Contributions

Media Produced
  • Ballard, M., Klatt, R. and Thompson, S.(2012). Flooding Hope: The Lake St. Martin First Nation story. [Video]
  • Thompson, S (co-Director/ co-Producer), Tait, V. & Klatt, R. (2012). Women reclaiming our power: A gendered view of First Nation colonization.
  • Thompson, S. (co-Director/co-Producer), Lozeznik, V. & Klatt, R. (Editor). (2011). Harvesting Hope in Northern Manitoba Communities. [Trailer]). 37 minutes.
  • Thompson, S. (Director/Videographer/Editor), Lozeznik, V. & Klatt, R. (Editor). (2009). Growing hope in northern Manitoba communities. [Video]).
  • Eidse, D. & Thompson, S. (2011). The Burntwood Journey: Chronic Disease Prevention Initiative in Northern Manitoba. Commissioned by Burntwood Regional Health Authority, Thompson. 27 minutes.
  • Eidse, D. & Thompson, S. (2011). Chronic Disease Prevention Initiative in Manitoba. Commissioned by Assiniboine Regional Health Authority. 22 minutes.