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Innovation, Science & Climate Change at a Glance

Current Research 2019/2020

This page highlights some ongoing research initiatives in which Inuvialuit Regional Corporation is a Principal Investigator or Co-applicant.*

While not an exhaustive list of all activities currently being worked on, this page will rotate to provide a glimpse of the overall work being done.

Completed projects are available on the Documents and Resources page.

*Please Note: This list does not include research which IRC is a contributor or partner.


The Beaufort Regional Strategic Environmental Assessment (RSEA) which aims to facilitate a better understanding of the Beaufort Sea Large Ocean Management Area and contribute to the review included in the December 20, 2016 United States-Canada Joint Arctic Leaders’ Statement by (a) promoting engagement, education, monitoring, and research projects in the Western Arctic to support informed decision-making around possible future resource development and management, environmental conservation programs, community sustainable and subsistence activities, and other complementary commercial activities (b) review under which conditions do Inuvialuit endorse oil and gas activities in the Beaufort; and (c) assess how other variables will affect the future of the Beaufort (i.e. invasive species, climate change, transportation).



Recognizing that carbon pricing may have a disproportionate impact on Indigenous and low-income families, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, in partnership with the federal government, are committed to work together and find solutions that address their unique circumstances, including high costs of living and of energy, challenges with food security and emerging economies.

Objective: (a) To assess the potential direct and indirect economic impacts that carbon pricing may have on households in the six communities of the ISR and; (b) to examine the potential impact that cost increases due to carbon pricing may have on traditional livelihoods in the communities (i.e., a community’s ability to participate and access traditional resources).



The Canadian Consortium for Arctic Data Interoperability will develop an Arctic Research Data Infrastructure predicated on a vision to support and grow a research community that fully engages Inuit; that is properly governed so as to enhance individual, local, regional, national, and international initiatives in data management and research; and that builds capacity across a network of linked data centers with common standards, practices, tools, and expertise. It will facilitate data discovery and description, enabling data to be shared across systems for upload, analysis, and visualization. It will support efficient, effective use of data, allowing Canada to better realize the benefits of our decades of investment in Arctic research.

Objective: (a) support Inuit self-determination; (b) enabling informed actions for managing decision-making around multiple issues; (c) support operational activities by making information from space-based technologies more accessible and usable for those charged with search and rescue; (d) ensuring safe transportation and protection of life, environment, and infrastructure in Canada's Arctic.



This study will provide a strategic approach to identifying regional thresholds of wellness and economic impacts associated with several oil and gas development scenarios. This study will incorporate historical case studies (BREA results & Inuvialuit Indicators), current statistics, literature review and assessment of development scenarios. Results of this work will support cumulative effect indicators gaps identified during the 2017 community tour and form the basis of 2019-2020 cumulative effects research.

Objective: To assess wellness and employment indicators associated with the ‘life cycle’ of employment within the oil and gas industry within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.



Over the centuries that Inuvialuit have lived and travelled throughout their land and given names to camping places, settlements and landmarks. These names may reflect the kinds of activities that were carried out at those places, the kinds of resources the area is known for, or events that occurred there. Place names help to shape and define the cultural landscape, and are an enduring record of Inuvialuit history and heritage. Knowing place names and their meanings, the resources or landmarks at those locations, and the sequence of those place names as people journeyed along travel routes was one way that Inuvialuit learned to read the land without a writing system or printed maps. These locations are of central importance when identifying key areas of significance within the ISR. This initiative aims to identify, collect, overlap and quality controls previously collected Place Names research. Place name information will be complied from existing research and will include names documented on maps and in interviews (both English and Inuvialuktun).

Objective: Develop a consolidated and quality-controlled map of place names within the ISR which can be used to identify key areas of consideration when assessing the potential for natural resource development.



Contribute to research self-determination at the community and organizational level in the ISR by incorporate ideas/actions that contribute to IRC’s 2016-19 Strategic Plan which aims to; revitalize and celebrate Inuvialuit cultural identity and values, exercise stewardship over Inuvialuit lands, improve the capacity and well-being of individuals, families and communities, continue to assert Inuvialuit rights and benefits through implementation of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, take an evidence-based, decision-making approach to policy development and advocacy and manage optimally the human, physical and financial resources of the Inuvialuit Corporate Group.

Objective: Establish a framework for the co-development of a regionally specific Inuvialuit research agenda that integrates aspects of territorial and national Inuit research strategies.



Traditional and local knowledge (TLK) should form the basis of and contribute to baseline information for any environment assessment. To ensure this occurs, TLK must be included at all stages of the assessment process including scoping, establishing baselines, identifying key areas of sensitives, cumulative effects, identification of thresholds and mitigation measures. However, a framework or process must be outlined to ensure equitable inclusion when placed alongside western science.

Objective: Outline how TLK should be utilized in the Environmental Assessment process and accompanying final report.



The Unit is intended to promote health research that better reflects the priorities and realities of NWT Indigenous people, and to ensure research results positively shape the NWT health system, and improve how health services are delivered and accessed. It will work to ensure health research funding is provided directly to NWT organizations, and that health-related capacity development and training in research, the health professions and in administration, will be a basis for continuous health system improvement and innovation. This project includes an active partnership with various indigenous organizations across NWT.

Objective: Contribute to ensuring NWT health research and the NWT health system better meet the needs of NWT Indigenous peoples.



This multi-year program will ask local community monitors and community members to gather information in order to obtain current environmental conditions within the ISR. Monitors/Guardians will collect data from their own observations as well as the observations of the communities using iPad technology via a custom mapping application. This will include observations of waste sites, debris, environmental disturbances and general observations on the land and water-ice. The collections of information and data will be downloaded on the ISR Data Platform. Validation of data will be done at regular Hunters and Trappers Committee meetings. To ensure safe travel and stewardship of the land, results will be shared with local community organizations via posters, radio advertisements, maps and an interactive mapping application.

Objective: To identify areas of interest and concern on land, water and ice in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region using local and traditional knowledge in combination with historic empirical data to inform stewardship of Inuit lands and waters and the preservation of Inuvialuit culture.



Since 2013, the Beaufort Sea Partnership has been developing the Inuvialuit Settlement Region Platform in support of the Integrated Oceans Management Plan. This cloud-based platform provides a ‘one window’ approach to data storage, mapping, and application development which facilitates collaborative ISR decision making. Featuring tools for field data collection, custom base maps, analysis capabilities, print applications and over 400 spatial layers, the BSOP currently supports 32 BSP organizations including the Inuvialuit Land Administration, Wildlife Management Advisory Councils, Fisheries Joint Management Committee and the Joint Secretariat. This platform is administered solely by IRC, who aims to continually expand the site to meet user needs.

Objective: To improve communication and information sharing between Beaufort Sea Partners and provide a continually expanding platform for innovative research.



This workshop will facilitate discussion on the development of terminology to accurately interpret environmental changes as well as better understand academically derived concepts related to climate change, environmental change and contaminants. Terminology will be developed in three dialects of Inuvialuktun spoken within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.

Objective: Create a glossary of terms to describe various climate change and long-range contaminant terminology into the Inuvialuktun language for use by communities and researchers when communicating with one another.



The Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA) sets out government and Inuvialuit responsibilities in relation to wildlife and environment “to protect and preserve the Arctic wildlife, environment and biological productivity.” In particular, the IFA compels the Parties to use standards set out in laws of general application for the environment and safety, including, Inuvialuit land management rules should be equal or exceed government standards. With a changing arctic environment, there is a growing need to determine the status, pace and stability of drilling waste and sumps and develop and implement mitigation and remediation efforts prior to their failure as a result of global warming and resource development activities in the ISR.

Objective: Conduct a sump assessment that builds on a 2004 ESRF study and includes analyses of predicted air/ground temperature change + impacts from known or expected drilling waste and muds on the surrounding environment.


If you have any questions concerning these, or other research projects, please contact: 

Jenn Parrott
Director, Innovation, Science & Climate Change
107 Mackenzie Road
Bag Service #21
Inuvik, NT X0E 0T0
Tel: (867) 777-7053