Carla Johnston

Carla Johnston is a Ph.D. Candidate and a Doctoral Fellow at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. Her research interests include the governance of sustainable food systems in northern Canada and other circumpolar regions as well as using Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodology to work directly with civil society groups to create meaningful actions that help them reach their goals.

Carla is a member of the FLEdGE (Food: Locally Embedded, Globally Engaged) research network at the Wilfrid Laurier Center for Sustainable Food Systems. As part of this network, she has contributed to the Innovative Governance Working Group that examines a spectrum of governance approaches from stakeholderism to collaborative governance in food systems.

Prior to pursing a PhD, Carla led the development of the NWT Food Network, a collaboration of food system actors and community leaders that seeks nurture and promote food systems in the Northwest Territories by celebrating a collaborative food culture that honours northern ecosystems and values. This work is an extension of Carla’s MA research at Carleton University’s Institute of Political Economy, which focused on using PAR to work with community partners to investigate the political ecology of sustainable food systems in Yellowknife and the Northwest Territories, with an emphasis on civil society action and community-led policy initiatives.

Academic / Professional Awards

  • Balsillie Doctoral Fellowship, 2018-2019
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship, 2018-2019
  • Dean of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies Scholarship, 2018-2019


  • Johnston, C., & Andree, P. Forthcoming. “Potential for Co-governance? The Role of NGOs in Food Governance in the Northwest Territories, Canada”. In C. Levkoe, P. Andree, J. Clark, & K. Lowitt (Eds.), Civil Society and Social Movements in Food System Governance. Routledge.
  • Johnston, C., Williams, T. 2016. “The Yellowknife Food Charter: Driving Collaborative Action for Increased Food Security and a Just and Sustainable Food System in Yellowknife, NWT”. Northern Public Affairs 5(1).
Environment and Resources

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