2016-2017 Call for Proposals for Northern Contaminants Research

December 8, 2015 – Ottawa, ON – Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, today announced the opening of the 2016-2017 call for proposals for research projects on contaminants in the North. Specifically, projects with respect to better understanding contaminant levels in traditionally harvested foods and their potential impacts on the health of animals and people.

The Northern Contaminants Program is Canada’s longest-running Arctic research program. It engages Northerners and scientists in research and monitoring of long-range contaminants in the Arctic, that is, contaminants that are transported to the Arctic through the atmosphere, oceans and rivers from other parts of the world and build up in the Arctic food chain. The research is used to advance knowledge for informed decision making by policy makers, individuals and communities in the North in their food use. The Northern Contaminants Program is one of many research programs, like those at Polar Knowledge Canada, which are advancing Canadian and international knowledge and understanding of Northern issues.

Today’s announcement coincides with the wrap up of the 21st Northern Contaminants Program Results Workshop being held in Vancouver, BC. The workshop is the main venue for Canadian scientists, Northerners and policy-makers to focus attention on the breadth of issues related to contaminants and to learn and discuss the latest results, current state of knowledge and policy implications, and to plan for future initiatives.

Quick facts

  • The Northern Contaminants Program was established in 1991 in response to concerns about human exposure to contaminants via the traditional diets of Northern Indigenous Peoples.
  • The program issues a yearly call for proposals and typically funds 50-60 projects per year for up to $4.1 million in total research funding. The program’s geographic scope includes Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut.
  • The Call for Proposals closes on January 12, 2016 and funding recipients will be announced in spring 2016.
  • The Northern Contaminants Program Results Workshop is held every other year and includes speakers, panel discussions and poster presentations based on the results of monitoring, research and related activities funded by the program.


“The Arctic is a vast and dynamic ecosystem upon which Northern Canadians rely for their livelihoods and traditional diets. Funding research that expands our body of knowledge on pollutants in that ecosystem, and doing this in partnership with Northerners, allows governments and individuals to make informed decisions that are essential to ensuring the health of future generations.”

Carolyn Bennett,
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

Additional links


Media Relations
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada


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