Canada's Northern Contaminants Program Projects Bring Science and Traditional Knowledge Together

OTTAWA, July 29, 2016 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is committed to supporting governments, Northerners and scientists to better understand contaminant levels in traditionally harvested foods that are important to the diet of Indigenous people and northerners. For more than 25 years, the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) has funded innovative research projects that are guided by both scientific and traditional knowledge to broaden our understanding of the potential impact of these contaminants on the health of animals and people.

Today, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, announced the successful recipients of this year's research funding.

Each of these 53 projects is an excellent example of innovative research, outreach and capacity-building initiatives. Their work helps confirm that bringing science and traditional knowledge together can come together for the benefit of all Canadians. The Northern Contaminants Program is helping to position Canada as an international leader in this field.


"The Northern Contaminants Program has become a model to follow as Canada continues to renew its First Nations and Inuit-to-Crown relationships on the basis of respect and partnership. I am delighted to see that Northerners and researchers continue to work together under Canada's longest-running Arctic research program."

  • The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
    Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

"Environment and Climate Change Canada has been a proud partner in the Northern Contaminants Program since its inception twenty five years ago. Through the NCP, our scientists help monitor levels of pollutants and assess their effects on the health of Arctic ecosystems and the communities who depend on them. This work contributes to healthier populations and helps us meet our international commitments to environmental protection through the Stockholm Convention and the Minimata Convention. We look forward to continuing our participation in the NCP for many years to come."

  • The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

"We are committed to understanding the impacts of contaminants on our fish, marine mammals and other aquatic organisms. For years, the Northern Contaminants Program has been addressing important issues related to contaminants in the Arctic, in collaboration with Northern communities. This work contributes to the understanding of our Arctic marine ecosystems and supports the health of communities that depend on them."

  • The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

"This program continues to play a significant role in helping Canada to assess, understand and better manage the health risks associated with people being exposed to contaminants in Arctic Canada, including through traditional/country foods. I am pleased to see the Northern Contaminants Program reach its 25th anniversary and congratulate the successful recipients of this year's research funding."

  • The Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P.
    Minister of Health

Quick Facts

  • The Northern Contaminants Program is Canada's longest-running Arctic research program.
  • The NCP issues a yearly call for proposals and with a total of up to $4.1 million available for research projects throughout the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik, and Nunatsiavut.
  • Projects are guided by both scientific and traditional knowledge, and are carried out in partnership with academia, federal science based departments, Indigenous and territorial governments, and community members.
  • A complete list of this year's 53 successful projects is available on Canada's web site

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SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

For further information: media may contact: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160; Stay Connected Follow us on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Flickr.

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