Dr. Shirley Thompson is an assistant professor for the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Manitoba. She was a co-investigator into the original MAFRA proposal and her research is focused on northern Manitoba food sovereignty. She has also produced and directed the videos Harvesting Hope in Northern Manitoba (2011) and Growing Hope in Northern Manitoba (2010) with Vanessa Lozeznik and Ryan Klatt.
Her research addresses the large food insecurity rates in northern Manitoba which are eight times the rate across Canada with even higher rates in fly-in communities. In the north, food is twice the price but half the quality than in the south. In communities without stores trips to the grocery store can take several days at significant expenses.