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Research at a Glance

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

While not a 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).



Develop an erosion mitigation plan for the Community of Tuktoyaktuk and a flood mitigation plan for the Community of Aklavik. The goals of this project include enhancement of public safety and reduction of future flood and erosion hazards and development of mitigation options to increase community resilience for both sites. Project stakeholders include the territorial government, local authorities and the public. This study includes the support of Northwest Hydraulic Consultants Ltd. (NHC) and Baird Consulting.

Objective: To analyze historical data, tidal models and wave/climate models to identify the plausibility of three possible future mitigation measures for storm surge related erosion around the Tuktoyaktuk region.



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.



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.



Traditionally, scientific research has informed wildlife and environmental management planning within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. These studies rarely include traditional or local knowledge and thus create a gap in information when conducting evidence-based decision making. This study aims to fill this knowledge gap by acquiring knowledge from Inuvialuit community members to identify key areas of current use throughout the Beaufort Sea. Priority species will be identified for each community and data will be collected using an interactive iPad application. Areas of current use of the Beaufort Sea, defined as: (a) areas commonly accessed by local harvesters; and/or, (b) areas of cultural or traditional value. Priority species of the Beaufort Sea, defined as: (a) Species commonly harvested and relied upon by community members; and/or, (b) Species with cultural or traditional value; and/or, (c) Species considered invasive or of concern by community members; and/or, (d) Species with significant economic value. This project includes an active partnership with the Inuvialuit Joint Secretariat.

Objective: To develop priority areas for key species in the Beaufort Sea related to food security (fish population), ecosystem (ability of fish habitat to support long term regeneration of fish populations) and cultural importance (traditional harvesting grounds and/or areas of cultural significance).



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.



In 2008, 362 Inuvialuit beneficiaries completed a series of questionnaires about their health as part of the Inuit Health Survey. A key finding was that 46% of Inuvialuit households were food insecure. In other words, 46% of Inuvialuit who participated in the study were either stressed that they would not have enough food to eat or had to skip meals. In response to this finding, IRC teamed up with University of Ottawa researchers to conduct regional workshops in Inuvik in 2012 and 2014 to begin to determine and prioritize actions to address on-going food insecurity in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. Workshop participants highlighted the importance of speaking with members of each community in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region to determine local priorities. As a result, we conducted a regional food security engagement process in winter 2018. This engagement builds on a series of collaborative food security research projects since 2014.

Objective: a comprehensive report to summarize the findings of the winter 2018 community engagement which effectively represents the perspectives and priorities of each community about how to improve food security.



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.


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

Bob Simpson
Director, Government Affairs
Tel: (867) 777-7040