Mandate and Objectives

The Nunavut Research Institute’s mandate is to develop, facilitate, and promote scientific research and Inuit Qaujimanituqangit as a resource for the well being of people in Nunavut.

The Nunavut Research Institute (NRI) is responsible for:

  • administering scientific research licensing in Nunavut, in accordance with Nunavut's Scientists Act;
  • delivering logistics support services (accommodation, laboratories, equipment, etc.) to various research partners and collaborators
  • supporting research training, outreach, and knowledge mobilization efforts that address the needs and priorities of Nunavummiut;
  • providing information, guidance and advice related to scientific research in Nunavut;
  • developing programs and partnerships that help to build applied research capacity within Nunavut Arctic College.

History of the Nunavut Research Institute

In 1984, the Government of the Northwest Territories established the Science Institute of the Northwest Territories (SINT) to administer research licensing in the territories and to advise the Territorial government on matters related to science and technology. In 1988, SINT assumed responsibility for the operations of the Government of Canada's field laboratories in Iqaluit and in Igloolik that had been established in the late 1970s to support marine research. The Eastern branch of SINT was then combined with Arctic College in 1995 and became the Nunavut Research Institute (NRI).

Responsibility for NRI's Igloolik facility was transferred to the Arctic College's Language and Culture Program in 2008. The centre oversees an oral history program and is an integral part of Nunavut Arctic College's new Inuit Language and Culture Centre.

In 2010 the NRI's Iqaluit research centre was replaced with a new facility with support from the Arctic Research Infrastructure Fund.

Hundreds of research field projects in the physical, biological, health, and social science disciplines have been supported by the NRI. Over the years, NRI’s role expanded well beyond providing scientific permits, technical advice, and logistic support. The Institute has administered a wide range of outreach, training and communication initiatives to inform Nunavummiut about research in Nunavut and to support young Nunavummiut in pursuing careers in scientific research. NRI has also actively worked to identify research needs, broker research partnerships, and facilitate dialogue and collaboration among Nunavut communities, academic research scientists, government agencies, and the private sector. NRI has also served as the point of contact in Nunavut for major research programs such as the International Polar Year. NRI staff have also led a variety of primary projects ranging from oral history documentation to development of methods for aquatic biomonitoring.

The NRI has established strong working relationships with Nunavut communities, Inuit organizations, government agencies and co-management bodies, and is well networked with academic, government and private sector institutions that conduct long term research in Nunavut. Utilizing these connections, the Institute serves as a clearinghouse for information on research in Nunavut and provides a focal point for science coordination and outreach. The NRI is also responsible for developing and overseeing research partnerships and programs for NAC that offer training and capacity building opportunities for staff, students, and faculty.