Northwest Territories Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program and Nunavut General Monitoring Plan

Table of contents

Message from the Assistant Deputy Minister

I am pleased to present the 2012–14 Northwest Territories Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program and Nunavut General Monitoring Plan Highlights report by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC).

This annual report highlights the progress made and some of the many notable projects implemented by the Northwest Territories Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (NWT CIMP), and the Nunavut’s ecosystemic and socio-economic Nunavut General Monitoring Plan (NGMP). The highlighted projects demonstrate how the results generated by both programs support wise decision making on important natural and socio-economic resource development in Canada’s North.

The responsibility for NWT CIMP has changed as of April 1, 2014. The Final Devolution Transfer Agreement, signed in 2013, transfers the administration of land and natural resources from the Government of Canada to the Government of Northwest Territories (GNWT). Therefore, effective April 1, 2014, NWT CIMP is the responsibility of the territorial government. Both NWT CIMP and NGMP are built on strong partnerships, and it is in that spirit that Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) anticipates working cooperatively with the GNWT after devolution to support cumulative impact monitoring in the Northwest Territories within the scope of AANDC’s residual mandate and capacity.

The federal government has ongoing responsibility through the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA) for environmental and socio-economic monitoring in Nunavut. The attention the territory has received in recent years with regards to new mining developments underlines the ongoing relevance and need for the NGMP. Recent activities around oil and gas exploration off the coast of Baffin Island and new proposed mines are evidence that this trend continues. Over the past years, monitoring products have been shared with decision makers and helped the federal and territorial governments, as well as Aboriginal organizations and other stakeholders improve their understanding of ecosystem and socio-economic components.

NGMP and NWT CIMP are "made in the North, for the North" and place an emphasis on the integration of science, traditional knowledge, community-based monitoring and capacity building to achieve the best results possible. As part of their work, the programs aim to provide long-term, stable funding to Aboriginal and northern organizations to monitor issues of particular interest that fill key knowledge gaps. NWT CIMP also aims to assist resource decision makers by facilitating and conducting the monitoring and analysis of cumulative effects.

In the 2012–2013 and 2013–2014 reporting years, NWT CIMP and NGMP coordinated, supported and/or conducted over 45 monitoring related initiatives and allocated approximately $2.5 million in project funding. Monitoring projects included local, regional, national and international initiatives that were led by a range of organizations from local Aboriginal organizations to academic institutions, to territorial and federal governments.

I invite you to read this report and learn more about the efforts of our department to ensure that resource development occurs with consideration of cumulative impacts on the natural and socio-economic environments.


Paula Isaak
Acting Assistant Deputy Minister
Northern Affairs Organization
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

1. Environmental Monitoring in the North


Canada’s northern socio-economic and environmental landscapes are constantly changing and being impacted by many different pressures and events. Watching over the land, water and air to see what changes are occurring and how these changes affect social, environmental and economic conditions is a challenging and important activity. By understanding the combined impacts of changes within the environment, the ‘bigger picture' of environmental challenges and opportunities is realized.

Monitoring of the environment is the shared responsibility of governments, industries and other third-party entities across Canada. In the North, environmental monitoring is both a constitutional obligation and statutory requirement of the Government of Canada.

Northwest Territories

In the Northwest Territories, the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA) and comprehensive land claim agreements with the Sahtu, Gwich’in and Tlicho require monitoring of cumulative impacts on the environment, in consultation with Aboriginal governments. With the devolution of land and natural resource administration from the Government of Canada to the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), the responsibility for cumulative impact monitoring rests with the territorial government as of April 1, 2014. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) anticipates working cooperatively with the GNWT after devolution to support cumulative impacts monitoring in the Northwest Territories within the scope of its residual mandate and capacity.


In Nunavut, the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA) requires that the Government of Canada and the Government of Nunavut as well as the Nunavut Planning Commission cooperate to develop and implement a plan for monitoring the current and long-term state and health of the ecosystemic and socio-economic environment.


AANDC does not oversee environmental monitoring in the Yukon because the administration and control of lands and resources were transferred to the Government of Yukon on April 1, 2003, pursuant to the Yukon Northern Affairs Program Devolution Transfer Agreement.

To support AANDC’s mandate and responsibility for environmental monitoring in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, the Government of Canada announced ongoing funding as part of Budget 2010 through the Action Plan to Improve Northern Regulatory Regimes. This funding provided $25.5 million to over five years (2010–2015) and $5 million per year in ongoing funding in both territories.


The Northwest Territories Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (NWT CIMP) and the Nunavut General Monitoring Plan (NGMP) are independent but complementary programs.

NWT CIMP and NGMP were established to meet the legal requirements for environmental monitoring and to improve the overall effectiveness and coordination of monitoring in the North. Their shared purpose is to support, facilitate and coordinate the collection, analysis, management and dissemination of information regarding the long-term state and health of the environment, with the goal of supporting better resource management decision making and sustainable development in each territory.

The Government of Canada, in partnership with its territorial partners, engaged in a number of activities to support the development of the NGMP beginning shortly after the establishment of Nunavut in 1993. CIMP was established a few years later in 1999. As the need for monitoring and coordination has increased in complexity and scope overtime, so have the activities of CIMP and NGMP.

Budget 2010 provided dedicated funding for both programs enabling them to evolve to address the growing demand for monitoring through the development of partnerships and funding for monitoring projects.

Both programs are ‘made in the North', tailored to meet northern needs, and are overseen by separate governance structures comprised of regional Aboriginal, federal and territorial partners.

The role of CIMP and NGMP is to champion and facilitate environmental and, in the case of NGMP, ecosystemic and socio-economic monitoring activities in order to effectively provide information to communities, government, industry and regulators for better decision making.

AANDC provides a coordination role among existing environmental research and monitoring programs. Program management staff support the organizational partners, engage with stakeholders, report program information, and manage other partnership structures and the allocation of funding. Additional scientific staff provide technical support to help implement and coordinate monitoring in the Northwest Territories.

NWT CIMP and NGMP Activities

To achieve its mandate and vision, NWT CIMP and NGMP will be active in four main activity areas, while promoting a community-based approach.

Facilitating Governance and Partnerships

NWT CIMP and NGMP are designed to build on partnerships in order to align, coordinate and integrate environmental monitoring (NWT CIMP) and ecosystemic and socio-economic (NGMP) objectives and activities. These activities will establish standardized questions and priorities for monitoring in each of the valued component areas.

Collect, Analyze and Synthesize Data

NWT CIMP and NGMP work to establish baselines and adopt monitoring and analysis protocols for priority valued components. They also collect, or facilitate the collection of, information from various organizations and, where information gaps exist, provide coordination and funding for data collection and analysis.

Develop and Maintain an Information Management System

The programs work on the development and operation of an online information management system to consolidate monitoring information from different sources to facilitate data accessibility and analysis.

Report and Communicate

The programs develop and distribute communications and reports, including the comprehensive State of the Environment report every five years, and the Annual Summary of Knowledge report (NGMP only).

Community-Based Approach

All aspects of NWT CIMP and NGMP, including the design and execution of monitoring work, the analysis of results, and the interpretation and sharing of what it all means for the ‘bigger picture' of the northern environment, are informed by communities that are impacted by changes in the land, air and water. The community-based approach brings together northern residents, co-management boards, government, industry, non-government organizations, and scientists to work together to collect, analyze, and communicate traditional knowledge and scientific monitoring information on topics of high priority to the community.

Community-based monitoring helps to collectively improve our understanding of changes occurring in the environment and increase the ability of communities to identify, plan and adapt to these changes. At the same time, communities benefit from having community members trained in leading and carrying out monitoring activities. The NWT CIMP and NGMP Accomplishments section includes examples of community-based monitoring in action in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Overview of Project Funding

For the 2012–2013 reporting year, NWT CIMP funded a total of 31 projects and allocated approximately $1.7 million while NGMP funded a total of 15 projects, allocating approximately $1.65 million in funding. In 2013–2014, NWT CIMP funded the same number of projects allocating $1.8 million in project funding and NGMP funded 20 projects allocating approximately $1.365 million.

Many of the projects funded by both programs are long-standing, ongoing monitoring projects that are building a knowledge base around specific issues of concern in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14
Total Number of Funded Projects 20 44 31 31 4 19 15 20
Total Amount of Allocated Funds $525,000 $1.3
$200,000 $1.165

A complete listing of all monitoring projects funded by NWT CIMP and NGMP since 2010 can be found in Appendix 1: List of NWT CIMP and NGMP Funded Projects at the end of this report.

2. NWT CIMP and NGMP Accomplishments


2.1.1 Informing design and mitigation measures for the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway in the Northwest Territories

Map of the proposed Invik to Tuktoyatuk Highway project displayed in Google Earth™

The Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway project is a 140-kilometre gravel road that will provide year-round access between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk. Currently Tuktoyatuk is only served by ice road, barge or air. Building the highway requires careful consideration of environmental conditions. NWT CIMP has contributed data and analyses on environmental indicators to the Government of the Northwest Territories – Department of Transportation and its partners to inform highway design and mitigation measures.

Project Goals:

  • Share baseline data and analyses on terrain hazards in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region to support appropriate highway design and mitigation decisions; and
  • Contribute information that supports sound planning and management of a nationally significant project in the Northwest Territories.
A long-awaited northern project

Since the 1960s, construction of a year-round road linking Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk has been a high priority for the residents of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s several government departments undertook land surveys, engineering studies and environmental and socio-economic studies examining the costs and benefits of various routes and designs. The project was revived in 2009 with the confirmation that the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) would fund the first stage of the regulatory process for the highway construction project.

Map of the proposed highway route. Photo
Credit: GNWT - Department of Transportation

Over the past five years, the project has undergone an in-depth environmental impact assessment in accordance with the Inuvialuit Final Agreement and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The Inuvialuit Settlement Region’s Environmental Impact Review Board formally approved development of the highway in January 2013. A ground breaking ceremony was held on January 8, 2014, marking the beginning of construction of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk highway.

Construction that protects permafrost

Constructing the all-season highway across permafrost and muskeg involves many technical environmental considerations including stream crossings and permafrost preservation to keep the ground under the road from sinking. Special construction methods and mitigation measures are required to protect the permafrost that is necessary for year-round road stability.

Given the unique and changing environmental conditions in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, project designers and decision makers need reliable regionally-specific data and analyses to make decisions about how best to plan for, execute, and manage the highway.

Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway. Photo Credit: J. Kanigan

Providing northern data for design and mitigation

NWT CIMP has been collecting long-term baseline information in the project-area since 2004. Climate data, including air temperature is collected using a network of five meteorological stations. Ground temperatures are collected at multiple sites using thermistors and data loggers whereas permafrost conditions are monitored throughout the region using water jets or core drills. Ice wedges, thaw slumps and soil properties are monitored through core drilling, remote sensing, recording stratigraphy, sample collection and lab analysis. Monitoring activities are conducted by a team of experts from multiple organizations including AANDC and Carleton University’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies.

In 2012 and 2013, NWT CIMP provided the Northwest Territories Department of Transportation and their consultants with multiple datasets and reports relevant to terrain hazards to produce detailed highway designs and mitigation plans. Datasets included air and ground temperatures, particularly in relation to stream crossings, ice wedge distribution, and thaw slump locations. These datasets and accompanying analyses will directly contribute to the quality of the designs and mitigation plans that the Department of Transportation will submit to the Northwest Territories Water Board and AANDC for review.

Construction of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway.
Photo Credit: GNWT - Department of Transportation

NWT CIMP continues to collect and compile data throughout the region to support regional decision making. This information is available to the public by contacting NWT CIMP at

Location: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Northwest Territories
Project Information: 2010 to 2013
NWT CIMP contribution: $300,000 (2010–2013)
Leveraged funds were approximately $600,000
Valued Components (VC): Climate, Snow, Ground ice, Permafrost
Select Indicators: Regional air and ground temperature variation, ice wedge and thaw slump distribution, permafrost
Partners: Carleton University Department of Geography and Environmental Studies (major partner), University of Victoria Department of Environmental Studies
Target Users: GNWT Department of Transportation and its consultants, Northwest Territories Water Board, AANDC – land use permit issuance
Contact Information: Julian Kanigan
Section Head, Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program
Government of the Northwest Territories
Environment and Natural Resources Division
PO BOX 1320
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories X1A 2L9

2.1.2 Northwest Territories Inventory of Landscape Changes

Northwest Territories Inventory of Landscape Changes

A key goal of NWT CIMP is to contribute to better natural resource management decisions in the Northwest Territories by providing credible information to those who need it. NWT CIMP is collaborating with partners and other stakeholders to develop the first Northwest Territories-wide inventory of landscape changes which includes information on the location and extent of past development and natural disturbance. The inventory will provide a central location to access landscape disturbance information in the Northwest Territories.

Project Goals:

  • Develop a robust Northwest Territories-wide inventory of natural disturbance and human development;
  • Build decision-maker awareness of and familiarity with existing regional landscape-level data; and
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to design an inventory that better suits existing and emerging needs for regional cumulative impacts assessment.
Need for robust, standardized landscape-level data

Past development and natural disturbance information is required by regulators, industry, communities and other stakeholders to support a range of development and planning decisions. Landscape-level information is critical for monitoring cumulative impacts; which is a constitutional obligation of the Sahtu, Gwich'in and Tlicho comprehensive land claim agreements and a statutory requirement of Part 6 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA). For example, in the environmental assessment process, decision makers require accurate and detailed data on natural and human-induced changes in a project area to assess the potential cumulative effects of new projects. Similarly, wildlife managers require a robust and repeatable method of tracking natural and human disturbance in order to appropriately develop wildlife range management plans.

Data from the Human Development Database for the North and South Slave Region
manipulated and displayed using a Geographic Information System (GIS).

Linkage to regional decision making

The mapping of human and natural disturbance is not a new initiative. Several organizations have mapped or are currently mapping human and natural disturbance in the Northwest Territories. A critical initial step to developing a territory-wide inventory of landscape disturbances is cataloging and bringing together existing datasets, as these may form the foundation of future efforts. As an initial step towards a standalone inventory of landscape change, these datasets will be made available through the Northwest Territories Discovery Portal.

NWT CIMP, in collaboration with Golder Associates, has completed a Database of Human Development Activity for the Northwest Territories, including the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, the Gwich’in Settlement Area, the Sahtu Settlement Area and the North and South Slave Regions. This information is available to the public through the Northwest Territories Discovery Portal and has been used in several recent regulatory processes, including the Dehcho Land Use Planning Process (ongoing), the Gahcho Kué Environmental Impact Review (2013), the Snap Lake Environmental Assessment (2006), the Taltson Hydroelectric Expansion Project Environmental Assessment (2008), and the Fortune Minerals Ltd. NICO Project Environmental Assessment (2013).

Building a comprehensive inventory to fill information gaps

The Northwest Territories currently lacks a comprehensive inventory of regional landscape change information which has implications for decision makers who must assess cumulative effects and make choices about land use and development over large areas. Compiling data on natural disturbances such as wildfires, landslides, and thaw slumping as well as human development and activity, such as contaminated sites, quarries and parks, is a critical input for cumulative effects assessment and land use planning. With growing interest in northern resource development, having a central inventory of landscape level information to inform sound regional land use and management decisions is timely.

Data from the Human Development Database for the Inuvialuit settlement region displayed in Google Earth™

A Collaborative Project

In collaboration with partners and stakeholders, NWT CIMP is leading an initiative to develop a Northwest Territories-wide Inventory of Landscape Change. NWT CIMP is well positioned to lead this work as the program was designed to assemble, share and analyze cumulative effects information needed by local and regional decision makers. NWT CIMP has developed a five-year Strategic Plan and workplan in conjunction with stakeholders. The workplan is now being implemented, including the compilation of existing human and natural disturbance datasets to the Northwest Territories Discovery Portal and establishing pilot projects to visually reference and add attribute information to human disturbance data.

The Northwest Territories Discovery Portal can be accessed at the provided link.

Location: Northwest Territories-wide
Project Information: Ongoing (May 2013 to March 2019)
Contributions from NWT CIMP: approximately $75 000/year
Leveraged funds: $200 000/year
Valued Components (VC): Water, Vegetation, Permafrost, Snow and Ground Ice, Caribou, Moose, Other Wildlife, Fish
Select Indicators: Human disturbances (e.g. contaminated sites, active mine sites, mineral exploration sites, seismic lines, quarries)
Natural landscape disturbances (e.g. wildfires, landslides, slumping, flooding, vegetation change)
Partners: Renewable Resource Boards
Land and Water Boards
GNWTIndustry, Tourism and Investment
GNWTEnvironment and Natural Resources
GNWT Geomatics
Land Use Planning Boards
Targeted Users: Regulators, industry, renewable resource boards, land and resource managers, communities
Contact Information: Mike Palmer
Environmental Scientist
Government of the Northwest Territories
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
PO BOX 1320
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories X1A 2L9

2.1.3 Understanding changing winter flows in northern watersheds and implications for water treatment at Giant Mine site

Shifting weather conditions are leading to higher than normal winter flows in streams, rivers, and other channels across northern Canada, including watersheds in the Taiga Shield. This trend has implications for northern development and projects such as the Giant Mine Remediation Project, where on-site water management is being affected by changes in regional hydrologic conditions. The goal of this project is to understand changes in winter streamflow in the Taiga Shield and to understand the implications for resource managers making land and water management decisions.

Location of Giant Mine displayed in Google Earth™

Project Goals:

  • Monitor changes in winter streamflow and water chemistry conditions in the North Slave Taiga Shield to better understand the consequences of increasing winter flows across the region;
  • Identify the drivers for these changes and trends that can be expected in the future; and
  • Provide resource managers with information on shifting aquatic regimes to help inform future development and remediation planning and management decisions.
Changing hydrology in the Taiga Shield

The Taiga Shield is one of Canada’s largest ecozones. Stretching across much of the subarctic north, it covers about 29 percent of the Northwest Territories. It is dotted with millions of lakes and wetlands carved out by successive glacial cycles.

Across the circumpolar north, increases in winter streamflow are being documented. Monitoring results from this project show that watersheds in the North Slave Taiga Shield are experiencing greater autumn rainfalls which causes enhanced runoff into and through the winter. The consequences of these changes include higher chemical concentrations, particularly metals and nutrients, and more frequent icing development in channels.

Map of the Baker Creek Research Basin in the North Slave Taiga Shield

Implications for site water management at Giant Mine

The abandoned Giant Mine is a former gold mine located near the City of Yellowknife. One of Canada’s largest contaminated sites, Giant Mine houses approximately 237,000 tonnes of arsenic trioxide dust, a by-product of the ore processing. During mining operations, the dust was collected and transferred into underground storage areas at the mine site. The dust is soluble in water and is hazardous to both people and the environment.

Giant Mine, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Photo Credit: AANDC/Dave Brosha Photography

Baker Creek flows directly through the Giant Mine site. Changes in winter streamflow in the creek are posing on-site water management challenges. The creek has the ability to flood the underground workings causing the release of arsenic trioxide to surface waters. In May 2011, the development of anchor ice in Baker Creek impeded flow and forced water into the floodplain causing a spill of contaminated tailings downstream from Giant Mine into Great Slave Lake. As baseline conditions change, water management will need to be adapted to address persistent streamflow throughout winter and icing development.

Monitoring results suggest that there will continue to be changes in aquatic chemistry, particularly increased metals and nutrients in Baker Creek. As a consequence, water licence limits related to these parameters may need to be re-evaluated and addressed through water treatment systems.

Large icing development in Baker Creek during May 2011 at the Giant Mine,
North Slave region, Northwest Territories. Photo Credit: P. Vecsei

Linkage to regional decision making

Monitoring results for streamflow and aquatic chemistry on Baker Creek have informed various parties in the environmental assessment process for the Giant Mine Remediation Project (2013) and the Fortune Minerals Ltd. NICO Project (2013). The Giant Mine Remediation Project Team has used the monitoring results of this project to prepare the hydrology section of their Developer’s Assessment Report and to respond to information requests from the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board on icing development along Baker Creek and implications on local and regional water resources.

The Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board has also considered this research in their Report of Environmental Assessment. They recommended that Baker Creek be diverted away from the Giant Mine site to avoid the potential risks of flooding of the underground mine workings (e.g. shafts, tunnels, underground storage areas).

Location: Baker Creek, North Great Slave, Northwest Territories
Project Information: April 2011 to 2015
NWT CIMP contribution to-date: $163,000
Leveraged funds to date: $397,000
Valued Components (VC): Water, Permafrost, Snow, Climate
Select Indicators: Water quantity: rainfall, runoff, streamflow, baseflow, soil saturation, icing events
Water quality: geochemistry, solute concentrations, aquatic chemistry
Partners: AANDC - Water Resources Division, Environment Canada, Geological Survey of Canada, Wilfrid Laurier University, Brock University, North Slave Métis Alliance
Target Users: Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board, Giant Mine Remediation Team (consists of representatives from AANDC, GNWT, PWGSC), AANDC, GNWT, Yellowknives Dene First Nation, North Slave Métis Alliance, City of Yellowknife, and industry groups
Contact Information: Christopher Spence
Research Scientist
Environment Canada
11 Innovation Boulevard
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 3H5


2.2.1 Hudson Strait-Foxe Basin Marine Bird Coastal Monitoring Survey

Map of Hudson Strait-Foxe Basin Marine Bird Coastal Monitoring Survey locations and years
in which they were completed

Researchers are collaborating with local Inuit Hunters and Trappers Organizations to study marine bird populations in the Hudson Strait-Foxe Basin – one of the most ecologically rich marine corridors in the world. The collection and analysis of this data will contribute to the long-term monitoring of marine bird population health in the wake of declining summer sea ice and increasing northern development.

Project Goals:

  • Compile baseline data on eider and other marine bird populations and their distribution in coastal areas;
  • Quantify the spread and severity of avian cholera outbreaks among northern eider populations;
  • Identify and gather data on the effects of increased shipping on critical habitats for nesting and brood rearing, including flooding caused by ship wakes as well as industrial accidents such as oil discharge or ship grounding; and
  • Monitor polar bear activity on bird colonies and quantify the extent of their predation of bird nests, including documenting traditional ecological knowledge of the changing relationships between polar bear, seals, and birds as they relate to sea-ice conditions and climate change.
Changing Ecological Stressors

Hudson Strait-Foxe Basin is one of the most ecologically rich marine corridors in the world, home to an extraordinary diversity and abundance of terrestrial and marine species such as Beluga, Ringed Seal, Narwhal, polar bears, Common Eiders, Black Guillemot, and Red-throated Loons. The region is also the marine gateway from the Atlantic Ocean to the Hudson Bay, western Baffin Island, and the Melville Peninsula, all of which are likely to experience resource development in coming years.

This projected development, as well as changes brought on by a warming climate, has the potential to bring detrimental effects to the region’s wildlife. The project team is working to collect strong baseline data on bird species and their habitats, as well as to develop a better understanding of the way in which the different ecosystem components interact and their likely responses to potential stressors. This data and assessment will be critical in informing decisions to protect the region’s wildlife and environment.

Sampling Eider nests for signs of avian
cholera. Photo Credit: Jeffrey Werner

Increasing shipping activity, for example, has the potential to create wakes which flood bird nests located near water. To better understand this threat, the project team is conducting surveys to estimate the number and proportion of nests potentially susceptible to flooding. Similarly, a larger volume of shipping activity brings increased chances for industrial accidents such as oil discharges and ship grounding. The project team is identifying critical habitats for nesting and brood rearing – the raising and caring of ducklings from egg stage, which may have the potential to be damaged by such events.

Project researchers are also undertaking efforts to quantify the spread and severity of avian cholera outbreaks among northern Eider populations. Avian cholera is one of the most lethal diseases for birds in North America. While it has been present in southern Canada and the United States for many years, it has only been recently observed among Eiders in the North.

Utilizing Traditional Inuit Knowledge

The project team is working with local communities to incorporate and document Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) as key component of monitoring research. In addition to hiring teams comprised of western scientists and Inuit guides, the project team is conducting interviews with community elders and other community members with intimate knowledge of wildlife in the study areas. To date, baseline information has been collected on critical bird habitats, vulnerability of marine birds in a changing North, and perspectives about relationships between polar bears, seals and alternative prey resources such as eider ducks.

Inuit community members and biologists currently working in the region have observed an increased frequency of polar bear sightings in bird colonies. It is hypothesized that a loss of summer sea ice due to increasing ship traffic and a warming climate impedes the polar bears’ ability to hunt for seal, forcing them to increase predation of birds and their eggs.

Polar bears feeding on Common Eider eggs. Photo Credit: Steve Marson

Sam Iverson and his colleagues at Carleton University are visiting these nesting sites in order to collect distribution and abundance data for marine birds and to investigate the destruction of the nesting sites by polar bears.

"In the company of extremely knowledgeable Inuit guides, we visited 140 nesting colonies and collected as much basic data as we could about all the species we encountered," recalls Iverson. "We saw 22 bears in all, and at one site, only 20 nests remained of the 500!"

Communication and Engaging Communities in Scientific Research

Training and capacity-building activities allow for valuable knowledge exchanges to take place between the project team and local community members from Cape Dorset, Coral Harbour and Kimmirut. The project relies heavily on the participation of local guides, who are employed to provide boating and logistical expertise. Concurrently, guides receive training in performing surveys of bird colonies and collecting biological samples, a practice which is instrumental in continuing to monitor environmental change over time.

Prior to starting the field research, the project team visits each community to discuss project planning. Research plans, rationale and results to date have been presented to the boards of the Hunters and Trappers Organizations of each community involved. This practice provides an opportunity to solicit input and recommendations from the boards and to engage in valuable discussions that inform the collection of TEK of the project area. After field work is complete, the project team issues reports to the various communities detailing the results of their field activities in the research area.

Outcomes and Future Direction

The project team has already reported a number of outcomes and highlights of their research to date. Hundreds of surveys of eider breeding colonies in the Hudson Strait-Foxe Basin region have been conducted, including the collection of samples to confirm the presence of avian cholera. The data collected has contributed to a better understanding of trends associated with the outbreaks, and provided evidence supporting the project team’s hypothesis that the disease is spread by eiders wintering in Canada through contact with Atlantic eider populations.

Researchers have also gathered scientific evidence supporting the local Inuit’s observations of greater polar bear predation on seabird colonies. At two of the long-term research sites, East Bay Island and Coats Island, the project team observed a greater than seven-fold increase in bear incursions into seabird colonies. They have also found a strong relationship between the presence of bears in these colonies and ice conditions, in that more bears are seen in seabird colonies in years with shorter ice seasons.

The future direction of this research involves understanding the combined stresses of disease and increased nest predation on eider ducks, as well as undertaking coastal sensitivity mapping based on data collected in the field.

Location: Hudson Strait and Foxe Basin, Nunavut
Project Information: November 2011 – March 2014
Total project cost: $510,000 (2011–2014)
NGMP contribution to date: $95,500 (2011–2014)
Valued Components (VC): Species: harvest species, breeding birds, waterfowl
Waterfowl (sea ducks)
Polar bears
Ringed and bearded seals
Food security
Education and training
Select Indicators: Geographic extent and severity of polar bear predation on bird nests
Geographic extent and severity of avian disease outbreaks in Hudson Strait
Reproductive success of seabirds at long-term study sites
Colony size of seabirds at long-term study sites
Marine habitat use of seabirds in Hudson Strait
Partners: Cape Dorset Hunters and Trappers Organization,
Coral Harbour Hunters and Trappers Organizations,
Kimmirut Hunters and Trappers Organizations
Contact Information: Mark R. Forbes
Professor, Biology
Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B7

2.2.2 Kitikmeot Inuit Traditional Land Use and Occupancy Baseline Data Integration Project

The Inuit Land Use and Occupancy Project (ILUOP) was an initiative which collected a substantial amount of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit or Inuit Traditional Knowledge (IQ/TK) in the early 1970s — gathering data from elders and hunters on Inuit land use, occupancy patterns, travel routes and important wildlife harvest areas. This valuable and irreplaceable data is currently stored in hardcopy format at the National Archives of Canada. In order to make use of it for educational and decision-making purposes, the project team has geo-referenced, digitized and integrated it into the existing traditional knowledge GIS database maintained by the Kitikmeot Inuit Association.

Project Goals:

  • Asses the quantity, quality and condition of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit or Inuit Traditional Knowledge information collected from the Kitikmeot Region in the early 1970s under the former Inuit Land Use and Occupancy Project (ILUOP);
  • Geo-reference, digitize and integrate data contained within the ILUOP into the Kitikmeot Inuit Association’s GIS database; and
  • Provide traditional knowledge information from this new integrated database to educate and inform land-use options and choices in the Kitikmeot Region.
A Rich Source of Baseline Data

The ILUOP was undertaken from 1972 to1975 by the Inuit of what was then the Northwest Territories as a major territory-wide community mapping project in preparation for the first stages of the land claims process. This record of Inuit land use and knowledge was developed from map-based interviews with elders and hunters in every Inuit community and satellite camp in the region.

"They put vellum paper over topographical maps and, at each community they visited, had hunters outline their paths and identify the species they hunted," explains Luigi Torretti, Senior Environment Officer with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association.

Based on the age of the hunters interviewed, the time frame for land use and occupancy information contained within the database extends from the mid-1970s to as far back as the 1920s and 1930s, representing what is arguably the most comprehensive and detailed record of traditional land use and knowledge that presently exists for a hunting society anywhere in the world.

A photo of an original hunter map (left), the same area with digitized features overlaid
on a topographical map (right).

This data also represents an irreplaceable source of baseline data for scientific and monitoring purposes. The ILUOP captured information at a time when the Kitikmeot Inuit were still in their early years of living in permanent settlements and when industrial activity and development on the land was minimal. Given this, the data comprises an unparalleled baseline against which changes in Inuit cultural practices and the state of Kitikmeot wildlife can be detected, quantified and monitored.

Illustrating the Evolution of the Kitikmeot Region

The Kitikmeot Inuit Association currently maintains a traditional knowledge database that dates back to 1996 called the Naonaiyaotit Traditional Knowledge Project (NTKP). The project team has worked to integrate the ILUOP data into the Kitikmeot Inuit Association’s existing knowledge database, resulting in a single system which provides a powerful tool by increasing accessibility and usefulness as well as bolstering the comparative and analytical value of traditional knowledge.

The information also broadens the geographic scope of the existing database which is much more focused on the western part of the Kitikmeot Region. This expanded scope and continuity of knowledge will be valuable in illustrating how the territory is evolving. NGMP is working to provide the frame within which the overall picture or tapestry of Nunavut can be woven to establish a baseline for comparison over time.

Supporting Education, Participation and Decision Making

The project team expects the digitized ILUOP will support education in local Kitikmeot communities as well as inform and facilitate Inuit participation in decision making that will help shape the future of the Kitikmeot Region.

Quantifying and presenting IQ/TK information in a manner that is usable during planning and decision-making processes can influence the conduct of industry, conservation groups, governments and co-management agencies. The database, for example, will support the Kitikmeot Inuit Association’s mandate to take traditional land use into account as it undertakes leasing and licensing use of Inuit Owned Land. Additionally, it will aid the Kitikmeot Inuit in effectively participating in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement integrated resource management systems.

The project team is partnering with local schools and the Kitikmeot Heritage Society to promote the combined NTKP-ILUOP database as a valuable educational tool which demonstrates Inuit cultural vitality and shares the history of the Kitikmeot Inuit. Through their work, the project team has converted the data into accessible formats including maps, which support learning institutions develop culturally-relevant educational materials addressing history, science, geography and cultural and social studies.

The ILUOP information is an essential component of Inuit heritage, representing an irreplaceable source of knowledge and wisdom, and providing a tool that will inform and contribute to effective and sustainable decision making in the Kitikmeot Region.

Location: Kitikmeot Region, Nunavut
Project Information: November 2011 – March 2014
NGMP contribution to date: $146,209 (2011 2014)
Valued Components (VC): Harvested marine and terrestrial species
Traditional use areas
Select Indicators: Indicators based on IQ/TK
Partners: Nunavut Impact Review Board
Nunavut Planning Commission
Kitikmeot Heritage Society
Local educational institutions
Mineral exploration and mining companies
Contact Information: Luigi Torretti
Senior Environment Officer, Department of Lands and Environment Kitikmeot Inuit Association
Kugluktuk, Nunavut X0B 0E0

2.2.3 Monitoring educational and professional success among Inuit of Nunavut who have registered in a post-secondary program

Nunavut Arctic College, Nunavut Campus. Photo Credit: NGMP, AANDC.

The monitoring of educational outcomes in the territory is a priority for Nunavut general monitoring. This project is working to fill a substantive knowledge gap in Nunavut by collecting data on the relationships between educational success and professional success. This data is critical to making effective and well-informed decisions around educational programming.

Project Goals:

  • Collect data on post-secondary educational success among Inuit students within and outside the territory;
  • Collect data on professional success among Inuit with postgraduate education, depending on whether they have graduated or not; and
  • Collect data on the financial assistance programs and compare their effectiveness in terms of post-secondary success and graduation.
Filling a Knowledge Gap

There is a knowledge gap in Nunavut related to the level of success attained by students with post-secondary education. Data that is considered critical in informing decisions around educational programming is often non-existent or inadequate to meet these needs, including basic statistics on graduation rates, the effectiveness of student funding programs, and the relationship between education and employment.

One of the primary reasons for this gap is the lack of access to post-secondary education in Nunavut. Apart from the limited number of programs available at Nunavut Arctic College, there is no university in Nunavut or elsewhere in the Canadian Arctic. This leads to many students travelling to Southern Canada to pursue further studies. While studying educational trends among Inuit students, Dr. Thierry Rodon of Laval University in Quebec City realized that no work was being done to track the success of these students.

"Because so much takes place outside, we have no overall view of post-secondary education in Nunavut, and no idea how these students fare when they return home," Dr. Rodon explains.

Since 2012, Dr. Rodon and his team have undertaken a research project to fill this gap and collect data on the successes of Inuit with post-secondary experience in Nunavut. The project team hopes this data will be used to improve decision making around educational programming and lead to better educational and professional outcomes for Inuit with post-secondary experience within and outside the territory. This involves gathering data on post-secondary educational success among Inuit students, professional success among Inuit with post-secondary education and the effectiveness of financial assistance programs for students.

Improved data on post-secondary education will contribute to more informed decision making and capacity building in Nunavut by enabling decision makers to understand and quantify the impact of post-secondary education on Inuit.

Expanding Our Conception of Success

The project team stresses the importance of expanding the conception of educational success, rather than limiting it to graduation rates and employment: "Though employment remains the benchmark, as always, we will try to work with a definition of success that goes beyond jobs and includes elements of personal satisfaction, as well", explains Dr. Rodon.

For many Nunavummiut, success is not necessarily tied to graduation. Many Inuit students who have attended post-secondary educational programs and never graduated are nevertheless successful in their careers and personal lives. Professional success can exist among students who have attended a post-secondary program but not necessarily graduated. Although research has been focused on educational success, studies in recent years have been looking at the broader notion of success and demonstrating that students who have not graduated or do not have official accreditation may nevertheless enjoy a tremendous amount of professional and personal success.

Sharing Results

In 2012–2013, the project hired two survey coordinators who worked with local Inuit researchers in 10 Nunavut communities. They surveyed 375 Nunavut Inuit with post-secondary experience to further examine the opportunities and challenges faced by Northerners. In February 2014, the results of the preliminary analysis were presented by the research team to Nunavut stakeholders in Iqaluit. The purpose was to share current and valid information to the decision makers to help inform programming. Considerations include improving English language training options and strengthening Inuktitut courses available to Nunavummiut.

Location: Qikiqtani, Kivalliq and Kitikmeot Regions, Nunavut; Ottawa, Ontario
Project Information: February 2011 – March 2014
NGMP contribution to date: $163,249 (2011–2014)
Valued Components (VC): Education and Training
Economic Activity
Select Indicators: Education and Training: graduation rates, academic program, and number of years in a post-secondary program
Employment: job satisfaction and relatedness of educational background to employment
Economic Activity: source of financial assistance and appropriateness for student needs
Partners: Nunavut Arctic College
Nunavut Research Institute
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.
Coalition of Nunavut District Education Authorities
Government of Nunavut – Department of Education
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami – Amaujaq National Centre for Inuit Education
Contact Information: Dr. Thierry Rodon
Northern Sustainable Development Chair
Department of Political Science, Laval University
1030 Avenue des Sciences-Humaines
Quebec City, Quebec G1V 0A6
 418-656-2131 ext. 5244

3. Program Priorities for the Upcoming Year

NWT CIMP and NGMP have made considerable advancements in monitoring in recent years. To continue building on these successes, each program has identified several priority focus areas for the upcoming year.


As NWT CIMP devolves to the GNWT, the program will continue to encourage and maintain active participation by partners, including Aboriginal organizations, government, co-management boards and industry in the NWT CIMP Working Group. Through a recent engagement process, an Aboriginal panel of the Working Group established additional priorities for NWT CIMP including funding for Aboriginal participation in program governance and better inclusion of traditional knowledge in the program. In 2014 NWT CIMP will focus on refining its program objectives through a collaborative planning process leading to a new Strategic Plan in 2015.

NWT CIMP will continue to work with monitoring partners in the Northwest Territories and assess decision-maker needs to refine monitoring priorities and identify information gaps. Next year, NWT CIMP intends to work with renewable resource boards to review the current wildlife monitoring priorities and to engage with the NWT Board Forum to update their research and monitoring priorities.

To improve information collection and sharing processes in the territory, NWT CIMP is currently supporting the development and testing of a standardized monitoring protocol for fish occupancy in northern streams. NWT CIMP will continue to promote the use of standardized protocols by regulators. For example, NWT CIMP is working with land and water boards to implement a standardized spatial data protocol.

A longer-term goal of NWT CIMP is to provide easier access to data and to key landscape disturbance datasets. To help facilitate this, NWT CIMP will continue to populate the NWT Discovery Portal with the results of NWT CIMP-funded research and monitoring, and will make existing landscape disturbance datasets available for download.

A regional workshop will be hosted to report the results of NWT CIMP-funded monitoring and research and to understand the concerns and perspectives of local communities.

NWT CIMP will continue to fund projects based on established priorities, focusing on projects that directly support information needs for resource decision-making process.

3.2 NGMP

An Information Management Specialist has joined the NGMP Secretariat at the end of the 2013–14 fiscal year. Staffing this position will help advance information management initiatives that are currently underway such as web-enabled dissemination of information and enhancing the functionality of the NGMP website.

Despite the challenges of maintaining staff and turn-over that are common in Nunavut, the Steering Committee and Secretariat were able to conduct several successful meetings in the past year and discuss priorities for monitoring. Confirming priorities for 2014 15 is a key goal for these groups in the short term.

To improve information collection, analysis and to standardize monitoring in Nunavut, NGMP is working to update a reporting and uptake form for Valued Components (VCs) and the socio-economic monitoring framework, which is being implemented and utilised within socio-economic monitoring groups. A priority going forward will be to enhance the use of these monitoring frameworks and tools through project funding and partnerships.

Expanding and growing partnerships is also a priority for NGMP, which help to further refine monitoring priorities and support territorial organizations in data collection activities and dissemination of monitoring data. The recent partnership between NGMP and the Canadian Polar Data Network (CPDN) is an example of our efforts to build strong relationships with other organizations established to disseminate and preserve data for future use and analysis. As part of this partnership, metadata and the respective data collected through NGMP project work is fed into the Polar Data Catalogue (PDC) and thereby made accessible to planners, decision makers and the general public. Other AANDC programs (Canadian High Arctic Research Station, Northern Contaminants Program, and Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment) are also partnering with the CPDN to provide the same and consistent service across the Department.

NGMP will continue to investigate how project information is used in policy decision making and program development and continue to report and communicate results through public reports and online tools (e.g. Summary of Knowledge reports, State of the Environment Reports, website, and partnerships with other Nunavut organizations with monitoring mandates). Only projects currently supported will be invited to submit a proposed workplan and supporting budget for 2014–15 funding.

For detailed information on program progress and upcoming priorities refer to Appendix 2: Program Progress and Priorities at the end of this report.

4. Getting Involved in the Northern Monitoring Programs

NWT CIMP and NGMP fund projects that align with their partner’s monitoring priorities. The current monitoring priorities of NWT CIMP are: water, fish and caribou. Monitoring priorities may change in 2015 with the release of a new Strategic Plan. Current monitoring gaps in each of these areas are identified in the CIMP proposal guide and monitoring blueprint. The proposal submission guide contains further information on the proposal process, including the criteria used to select projects to be funded. The  CIMP Proposal Guide (592 Kb, 31 Pages) can be found on the NWT Discovery Portal.

NGMP is currently working with the Steering Committee to determine the monitoring priorities for the 2014–15 year. One priority established in a meeting December 2013, is to continue to support NGMP approved projects in their mid-monitoring cycles to improve data collection and analysis. Therefore, a formal NGMP Request for Proposal will not be forthcoming in the new fiscal year (2014–15). It is the intention that the next Call for Proposals and guidelines will reflect priorities established by the Steering Committee and contain further information on funding criteria.

Information on the NGMP proposal process can be found on the program website. For persons interested in accessing Nunavut general monitoring information who do not have access to the Internet, NGMP has a toll-free number whereby you can speak with NGMP staff at  1-855-897-6988.


NGMP Secretariat
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Qimugjuk Building/GOCB
969 Federal Road
P.O. Box 2200
Iqaluit, NU X0A 0H0
Toll-free: 1-855-897-6988
Phone: 867-975-4654
Fax: 867-975-4736


NWT CIMP Secretariat
Government of the Northwest Territories
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
P.O. Box 1320
Yellowknife, NT X1A 2L9
Phone: (867) 765-6750
Fax: (867) 669-2701

Appendix 1: List of NWT CIMP and NGMP Funded Projects

A complete listing of all monitoring projects funded by CIMP and NGMP for the last four reporting years

NWT CIMP Projects List

Legend for Regions:
Abbreviation Region
ISR Inuvialuit Settlement Region
GSA Gwich’in Settlement Area
SSA Sahtu Settlement Area
DC Dehcho region
AK Akaitcho region
WK within Wek’eezhii
NWT Northwest Territories-wide
Project Lead Title of Project Region Aboriginal / Community Partners Fiscal Year
Caribou Monitoring
Circumarctic Rangifer Monitoring and Assessment Network
CARMA’s Knowledge to Action: Developing and Testing Thresholds and Monitoring for Cumulative Impacts on Caribou (modeling) NWT No       Yes
Canadian Centre for Remote Sensing
Baseline Monitoring of Arctic Vegetation and Snow Changes Over the Bathurst Caribou Habitat Using Satellite Remote Sensing and Community-Based Field Observations WK, AK Yes     Yes Yes
Monitoring the Dehcho Boreal Caribou Population DC Yes   Yes Yes Yes
Wolf Abundance and Predation on Caribou Winter Range WK, AK No   Yes Yes Yes
Succession and Regeneration Response on Seismic Lines and their Effect on Boreal Caribou Habitat SSA, DC No     Yes Yes
Wilfred Laurier University
Evolution of the Snowpack and Snowmelt Chemistry in the Boreal Forest and Tundra Ecosystem; Snowpack Accumulation: Influence on Caribou Distribution, Surface Water Chemistry and Lake Productivity WK No   Yes Yes Yes
University of Calgary
Community-Based Monitoring of Caribou and Moose Health in the Sahtu Settlement Region: Stress and Pathogens in a Changing Landscape; Monitoring the Emergence and Impacts of Winter Tick SSA Yes Yes Yes   Yes
Fish Monitoring
Dehcho First Nations
Understanding and Predicting Fish Mercury Levels in the Dehcho Region Using Models of Nio-Magnification and Bio-Accumulation DC Yes       Yes
Understanding Adaptive Mechanisms of Fishery Productivity and Community Diversity Corresponding to Environmental and Cumulative Impacts on Great Slave Lake Ecosystems WK, AK No   Yes Yes Yes
Biological Monitoring and Assessment of Fish Populations, With a Focus on Lake Trout Biology in Great Bear Lake SSA No   Yes Yes Yes
Monitoring Pacific Salmon to Understand Cumulative Impacts of Climate Change in the Arctic ISR, GSA, SSA, DC Yes     Yes Yes
Impacts of Climate Change on Contaminants in Consumed Fish, Sahtu Settlement Region SSA Yes   Yes Yes  
The Road to Ecosystem Redemption: Comparative Study of Degraded and Pristine Giant Lakes of North America Using Ecopath SSA, WK, AK No   Yes Yes  
Assessment of Critical Bull Trout Habitat in the South Nahanni Watershed Leading to a Watershed-scale Sampling Protocol for Accurate Distribution and Trend Assessment of Stream Salmonids in the Northwest Territories DC, AK Yes Yes     Yes
Comparison and Calibration of Broad Scale Monitoring and NORDIC Community Index Gill Net Protocols for NWT Lakes NWT No   Yes    
Environmental Baseline Conditions of Habitat and Fish Tissue at a Proposed Effluent Discharge Site, Yellowknife Bay, NWT AK No   Yes    
Harvest-Based Monitoring of Western Beaufort Sea Coastal Fisheries ISR Yes   Yes    
Parks Canada
Quantifying the Cumulative impacts of Industrial Activities on the Health of Fish in Rivers in the Northwest Territories, Prairie Creek Watershed DC No     Yes  
Trent University
Understanding Impacts of Environmental Change on Char in the ISR: Science and Inuit Knowledge for Community Monitoring ISR No Yes Yes Yes  
University of Victoria
Evaluation of Hydro-Climatic Drivers of Contaminant Transfer in Aquatic Food Webs in the Husky Lakes Watershed ISR Yes   Yes    
Water / Aquatic Monitoring
The Cumulative Impacts of Rapid Environmental Change in the Northwestern NWT: Investigating the impacts of mega-slump disturbances on Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems in the Lower Peel Watershed, NWT GSA Yes   Yes Yes Yes
Establishing a Watershed Framework for Assessing Cumulative Impacts of Development – Central Mackenzie Valley SSA Yes       Yes
Hay River Water and Suspended Sediment Quality: Community Sampling Program AK Yes   Yes    
AANDC/Environment Canada
Changing Hydrology in the Taiga Shield: Geochemical and Resource Management Implications AK No   Yes Yes Yes
AANDC/University of Ottawa
Evaluating Catchment Scale Cumulative Impacts: Mega-Scale Permafrost Disturbances and Their Effects on Terrestrial and Aquatic Systems in the Richardson Mountains, NWT ISR, GSA No Yes      
Hendrickson Island Beluga Research Program ISR Yes Yes      
Environmental Conditions and Beluga Whale Entrapment Events in the Husky Lakes ISR No   Yes    
Environment Canada
Community and Scientific Monitoring of the Great Slave Lake Ecosystem, Resolution Bay AK Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Implementing Collaborative Cross-NWT Water Quality Monitoring to Address the Needs of Water Partners, Focussing on Cumulative Impacts and Community Concerns SSA, DC, AK Yes     Yes Yes
Landscape Scale Flooding in the Great Slave Lake Plain: Expansion of Lakes, Flooding of Wetlands and Implications to Bison Habitat DC No   Yes Yes Yes
Vulnerability Assessment for the Slave River and Slave River Delta and Sediment Core Sampling to Assess Contaminant Deposition to the Slave River Delta Over Time AK Yes   Yes    
GNWT – Health and Social Services
Visual Analysis of Predictors for Increased Mercury Levels in Predatory Fish in NWT Lakes NWT No     Yes  
Ka’a’gee Tu First Nation
Investigating the Cumulative Impacts of Environmental Change and Human Activity in the Tathlina Watershed DC Yes   Yes Yes Yes
Northwest Territory Metis Nation
Slave River Water and Suspended Sediment Quality Community Sampling Program AK Yes Yes      
Wek’eezhii Renewable Resources Board
Tlicho Aquatic Ecosystem Monitoring Project WK Yes   Yes Yes Yes
Yellowknives Dene First Nation
Establishing a Water Quality Dataset for Cumulative Impacts Assessment in the North Slave AK Yes     Yes Yes
A Multi-Scale Assessment of Cumulative Impacts in the Northern Mackenzie Basin ISR, GSA Yes   Yes Yes Yes
Canadian Forest Service
Ecological Monitoring in the Northwest Territories: a Collaborative Approach NWT No   Yes    
Environment Canada
Integrated Vegetation Monitoring Protocol NWT No   Yes    
Investigating the Effects of Northern Overland Winter Transportation Infrastructure ISR Yes Yes Yes    
Aurora Research Institute
Monitoring Permafrost for Cumulative Impact Assessment in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region ISR No   Yes    
Natural Resources Canada
Characterization of Variability in Permafrost Thermal State, Mackenzie Corridor NWT ISR, GSA, SSA, DC Yes   Yes    
Canadian Wildlife Service
Population Trends of Songbirds in the Fort Liard Area DC Yes   Yes    
Canadian Wildlife Service & Environment Canada
Bird Monitoring in the Mackenzie Delta (Arctic Program for Regional and International Shorebird Monitoring (PRISM) Tier II Site) ISR No Yes Yes    
Furbearer Contaminants, Population and Harvest on the Slave River and Slave River Delta: Historical and Current Conditions AK Yes     Yes  
Moose Population Monitoring in the Dehcho DC Yes Yes Yes    
Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board
Moose Abundance and Composition in the Gwich’in Settlement Area and Inuvialuit Settlement Region ISR, GSA No Yes      
Community-Based Monitoring
Arctic Borderlands Ecological Knowledge Co-Op
Arctic Borderlands Co-Op Community-Based Monitoring Program ISR, GSA Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Community-Based Coastal Arctic Monitoring and Winter Ecosystem and Fish Habitat in the Nearshore Beaufort Sea ISR Yes Yes   Yes  
Community Coastal Based Monitoring: A Regional Approach for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region ISR No     Yes Yes
Community-Based Monitoring of Coastal Fish Ecology Using Biomarkers, Beaufort Sea ISR Yes   Yes    
Dehcho First Nations
Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) Protocol Training and Stream Assessment Project DC Yes Yes Yes    
Dehcho First Nations
Developing a Community-Based Aquatic Research and Monitoring Program using a Pathways Model DC Yes Yes Yes    
Deline Renewable Resources Council
Community-Based Water Quality Monitoring in Great Bear Lake SSA Yes   Yes    
Ecology North
Water Monitoring Capacity Building DC, AK Yes   Yes    
Hunting, Trapping and Fire Ecology Program AK Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Engaging Fort Resolution Youth in Cumulative Impacts Monitoring and Assessment - Developing and Operationalizing a Framework for Youth Engagement AK Yes       Yes
Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board
Gwich’in Harvest Study GSA Yes   Yes   Yes
Inuvialuit Joint Secretariat
Inuvialuit Settlement Region: Community-Based Monitoring Program ISR Yes       Yes
Lutselk’e Dene First Nation
Cumulative Impact Monitoring in Thaidene Nene: Ni Hat’ni Dene Program AK Yes   Yes Yes Yes
Tlicho Government
Tlicho Community-Based Monitoring of the Bathurst and Bluenose East Caribou WK, AK Yes     Yes Yes
Tlicho Government
Capacity Building for the Kwe Beh Working Group WK Yes   Yes    
Tlicho Government
Marian Watershed Community-Based Aquatic Effects Monitoring Program WK Yes       Yes
Traditional Knowledge
Gwich’in Social & Cultural Institute
Phase II Gwich’in Traditional Knowledge Monitoring: Stewardship of Gwich’in Lands Through Management of Oral History/Traditional Knowledge Data GSA Yes   Yes    
Gwich’in Tribal Council
Traditional Knowledge Workshops to Discuss and Gather Information With Regard to Permafrost Disturbances and Its Effects on the Land and Water Systems in the Richardson Mountains, NWT GSA Yes Yes      
Inuvialuit Joint Secretariat
Community Monitoring of Vegetation and Permafrost in the Mackenzie Delta Region ISR Yes Yes      
Sahtu Renewable Resources Board
Dene Mapping Project Repatriation and Analysis: Understanding Valued Places at the Intersection of Caribou Ecology and Harvesting SSA Yes       Yes
Tlicho Government
Using Tlicho Knowledge to Monitor Barren Ground Caribou WK, AK Yes     Yes  
Tlicho Government
Tlicho Knowledge Research and Monitoring Program: Baseline Data and Protocol Development WK Yes   Yes    
University of Victoria
Using Inuvialuit Observations and Remote Sensing to Monitor Environmental Change in the Mackenzie Delta Region ISR Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wek’eezhii Renewable Resources Board
Pilot Project: Using Tlicho Knowledge to Monitor Cumulative Impacts WK Yes Yes      

NGMP Projects List

Legend for Regions:
Abbreviation Region
KIT Kitkemeot
KIV Kivalliq
QIK Qikiqtaaluk
NU Nunavut-wide
Project Lead Title of Project Region Fiscal Year
Fish Monitoring
Cambridge Bay Hunters and Trappers Association
Establishing a Long-Term, River-Based Monitoring System for Arctic Char in the Cambridge Bay Area, Nunavut KIT   Yes Yes Yes
Pangnirtung Hunters and Trappers Association
Development and Implementation of a Community-Based Fishery Monitoring Programme and Adaptive Co-Management Plan for Arctic Char in Baffin Region, Nunavut QIK   Yes Yes Yes
Water / Aquatic Monitoring
Acadia University
Small Polynyas in Nunavut: Targets for Biodiversity, Climate Change and Contamination KIT, KIV   Yes Yes Yes
Dalhousie University
Nunavut Drinking Water Quality - Source to Tap Monitoring QIK   Yes Yes Yes
Government of Nunavut - Department of Environment
Establishing an Aquatic Monitoring Program for Nunavut – Nunavut Community-Based Aquatic Monitoring Program (N-CAMP) NU   Yes Yes Yes
University of Manitoba
Spatial and Temporal Variations of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Marine Sediments of Baffin Bay, Eastern Canadian Arctic QIK   Yes Yes Yes
Wildlife Monitoring
Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board
Fuel Caching to Support Monitoring and Survey KIV Yes      
Carleton University
Hudson-Strait - Fox Basin Marine Bird Coastal Monitoring Survey - Assessing the Impacts of Declining Summer Sea Ice and Northern Development QIK, KIV   Yes Yes Yes
Government of Nunavut - Department of Environment
An Estimate of Breeding Females in the Beverly Herd of Taiga Wintering Barren-Ground Caribou, Rangifer Trandus Groenlandicus KIV, KIT   Yes    
Government of Nunavut - Department of Environment
Re-Assessment of the Baffin Bay Polar Bear Sub-Population QIK Yes     Yes
Government of Nunavut - Department of Environment
Kitikmeot Muskox Disease Monitoring Program KIT Yes Yes   Yes
Queens University
Toward the Optimization of an Inuit Non-Invasive Polar Bear Survey: Completing the Evaluation of Non-Invasively Collected Polar Bear Tissue KIT   Yes Yes Yes
Université du Québec a Rimouski
Monitoring of Nunavut Large Terrestrial Carnivores: Wolverine, Wolves, Grizzly Bear NU   Yes Yes Yes
York University
Community-Based Monitoring of Ice-Breading Seals and Polar Bear Feeding in the Gulf of Boothia KIV   Yes Yes Yes
Yukon College
Making More Use of What We Know: CARMA's Approach to Building Capacity for Monitoring to Describe Cumulative Impacts and Development on Nunavut's Caribou NU   Yes Yes  
Socio-economic monitoring
Government of Nunavut - Health and Social Services
Enhanced Health Information Collection and Health Monitoring NU   Yes Yes  
Kitikmeot Inuit Association (KIA)
KIA Rotational Shift Work Monitoring Project (Phase 1) KIT   Yes    
University of Laval
Monitoring Educational and Professional Success Amongst Inuit of Nunavut who Have Registered in a Post-Secondary Program NU   Yes Yes Yes
Qikiqtani Inuit Association
Understanding Community Change in the Qikiqtaaluk: Examining communities affected by the Mary River Project through community based research QIK       Yes
General monitoring
Eider Society
Impacts of Hydroelectric Projects on Winter Sea Ice and Wildlife Entrapments in the Hudson Bay KIV, QIK       Yes
Kitikmeot Inuit Association
Kitikmeot Inuit Traditional Land Use and Occupancy Baseline Data Integration Project KIT   Yes Yes Yes
Kivalliq Inuit Association
Restructure KIA Database Web Mapping Application and Environmental Management Application for Management and Monitoring Land Use and Water on Inuit Owned Lands KIV   Yes    
Oil Spill Detection and Modelling Solutions for Hudson and Davis Strait QIK       Yes
Nunavut Impact Review Board
Past, Present, and Reasonably Foreseeable Project Mapping Initiative NU   Yes Yes Yes
Nunavut Planning Commission
Use & Occupancy Mapping NU Yes      
University of Calgary
Improve Access to Nunavut Monitoring Information Using the Nunavut Database NU       Yes
University of Manitoba
Eastern Canadian Arctic Killer Whale Tagging, Biopsy, and Monitoring QIK       Yes

Appendix 2: Program Progress and Priorities

Activity Areas and Associated Goals NWT CIMP NGMP
Progress Next steps Progress Next steps
Facilitate governance and partnerships
Governance and management structures are established and functioning effectively.
NWT CIMP Working Group held three meetings during the year to provide direction and monitoring priorities. As NWT CIMP devolves to the GNWT, a key goal is to encourage and maintain active participation in the Working Group by all partners, including Aboriginal organizations, government, co-management boards and industry. The NGMP Secretariat is not fully staffed due to staff turnover, a situation common to Nunavut. An Information Management Specialist will be joining the Secretariat at the end of the 2013–14 fiscal year. NGMP will meet with the Steering Committee to determine monitoring priorities for 2014–15.
A panel of the Working Group consisting of representatives from Aboriginal organizations and government held a three-day meeting to discuss and prioritize program issues. NWT CIMP will continue to improve the two priority areas identified by the panel. The NGMP Steering Committee and the Secretariat had successful meetings to discuss monitoring priorities between partners.  
The panel established and worked towards improving two priority areas:
- funding for Aboriginal participation in the Working Group
- inclusion of Traditional Knowledge (TK) in the program
NWT CIMP will begin consultation with partners on program objectives to develop a 2015 Strategic Plan.    
Monitoring networks are formally established and functioning effectively.
NWT CIMP is actively collaborating with Northwest Territories monitoring partners, such as land and water boards, to fill key information gaps. NWT CIMP will continue to engage Northwest Territories monitoring partners to fill key information gaps. Members of the Steering Committee including the network of key partners agreed to a collaborative approach to monitoring in Nunavut. NGMP will continue to expand and grow partnerships through outreach and engagement activities including workshops and presentations.
A key example is the Inventory of Landscape Change, in which NWT CIMP is playing a coordinating role amongst multiple partners to develop a robust disturbance dataset for the NWT.   Outreach events grew the network of NGMP partners and expert advisors.  
Several government partners have been reluctant to collaborate with NWT CIMP due to their uncertainty about devolution and reductions to their funding.   NGMP funded projects have brought together new partnerships.  
Key monitoring questions and priorities are identified and adopted.
A decision-maker survey and workshop were delivered in 2011 to establish NWT CIMP's broad water, fish and caribou monitoring priorities for 2010–15. NWT CIMP will continue to work with partners to identify and refine monitoring priorities. NGMP issued a Blueprint Monitoring Compendium, which summarizes each Value Component’s monitoring gaps and priorities to be addressed in formal RFP submissions. NGMP will continue to answer key monitoring questions in the NGMP Blueprint Compendium.
NWT CIMP has provided financial and technical support for initiatives to establish regional research and monitoring priorities. For example, the Gwich’in Renewable Resource Board annual priority-setting and the work of the Sahtu Environmental Research and Monitoring Working Group. Next year, NWT CIMP intends to work with Renewable Resource Boards to review wildlife monitoring priorities and to engage with the NWT Board Forum to update their research and monitoring priorities.    
A monitoring blueprint for barren-ground and boreal caribou was developed, in conjunction with GNWT-ENR, in 2012.      
Support the collection, analysis and synthesis of information
Protocols for monitoring and analyzing data have been developed and tested for key priorities, questions and Valued Component areas.
NWT CIMP and the Aurora Research Institute published "Working Together Towards Relevant Monitoring and Research in the NWT", a protocol for scientists working with communities to ensure that monitoring is relevant to community needs. NWT CIMP will continue to fund projects that focus on the development and testing of standardized monitoring protocols for priority VCs. NGMP developed a standardized reporting and uptake form for VCs, known as the Summary of Knowledge Reports. NGMP will continue to use the uptake form for VCs.
NWT CIMP and land and water boards collaborated to develop a draft GIS attribute data template to monitor human developments. NWT CIMP will promote the use of published standardized protocols through partnerships and funding agreements. NGMP supported specific sub-projects that examine how to optimize monitoring protocols (Blueprint Monitoring Compendium). Through partnerships, NGMP will develop a water quality monitoring framework for Nunavut that will serve as a monitoring and management tool.
NWT CIMP provided funding to DFO to produce a protocol that identifies critical salmonid habitat in NWT streams.   NGMP developed a socio-economic monitoring framework, which is now being implemented and utilised within socio-economic monitoring groups (i.e. Socio-Economic Monitoring Committees established in the three Nunavut Regions and chaired by the Government of Nunavut).  
The University of Victoria and NWT CIMP have published an easy-to-use community-based vegetation monitoring protocol.      
Baseline information has been established for all priority Valued Component areas.
Baseline environmental information continues to be collected for priority VCs and regions through the RFP process. NWT CIMP will continue to fund, facilitate and coordinate the collection of baseline information. NGMP prepared Summary of Knowledge reports for all VCs. The report is available through the NGMP Secretariat. NGMP will update Summary of Knowledge reports and disseminate reports.
NWT CIMP staff directly coordinate the design and implementation of seven key monitoring programs that meet decision-makers’ priorities. NWT CIMP will continue to focus on the synthesis of large datasets to provide regional environmental background information to decision makers.    
Several projects that consolidate, analyze and synthesize information have been completed including a 20-year synthesis of water quality data for the Peel and Mackenzie Rivers, a compilation of water quality data in the North Slave region, and an analysis of nutrients in Great Slave Lake.      
Funding is distributed annually to priority monitoring initiatives that build community capacity and fill key knowledge gaps.
In 2012–13 $1.7M was distributed to 31 projects in a competitive RFP process and $1.8M in 2013–14 to 31 projects. NWT CIMP will continue to fund projects through a competitive RFP process based on established priorities and blueprints. Monitoring priorities may change in 2015 with the release of a new Strategic Plan. NGMP distributed $1.165M in funding to 15 projects in 2012–13 and $1.365 for 19 projects in 2013–14. NGMP will continue to fund projects through a competitive RFP process based on established priorities and monitoring blueprints.
The proposal process was updated to encourage researchers to provide more information on their project’s relevance to decision makers and connections with communities.      
Develop and maintain an information management system
Environmental / socio-economic monitoring information is centrally accessible online through an information management system.
NWT CIMP continued to populate the NWT Discovery Portal with the results of NWT CIMP-funded research and monitoring. NWT CIMP will continue to invest in the increased functionality of the NWT Discovery Portal. NGMP implemented an information management (IM) framework and developed an inventory of monitoring initiatives. Developed an agreement with the Canadian Polar Data Network to manage and centralize (for public dissemination) data collected from NGMP funded projects. Continue to develop partnerships and support territorial organizations in data collection activities and dissemination of monitoring data.
NWT CIMP, in collaboration with the GNWT, funded upgrades to make the Discovery Portal easier to use. The Discovery Portal now links with the Polar Data Catalog to provide even more monitoring information. NWT CIMP’s long term goal is to provide easier access to land and water board public registry and spatial data and to key landscape disturbance datasets. NGMP is working in concert with the Government of Nunavut to develop a tool to analyse socio-economic information collected by territorial and federal organizations. Help the Government of Nunavut promote the newly developed socio-economic data analysis web-tool, an NGMP lead initiative.
    NGMP’s website went live April 2013. Continue developing NGMP website.
Report and communicate
Key information on environmental monitoring is reported annually and contributes to the quality and timeliness of management decisions.
NWT CIMP co-hosted the three-day Northern Environmental Research and Monitoring Results Workshop with our monitoring partners in Yellowknife. NWT CIMP will continue to facilitate networking and collaboration between researchers, and present monitoring results directly to decision makers and communities. NGMP produced an annual Summary of Knowledge report. NGMP will continue to investigate how information is used in policy and programming decision making. Continue to update Summary of Knowledge reports.
All NWT CIMP results are posted on the NWT Discovery Portal. NWT CIMP will focus on regional results workshops to ensure that monitoring design and results are shared with local decision makers and community members   NGMP will continue outreach and engagement and the development of partnerships to work collaboratively in establishing monitoring priorities in Nunavut.
NWT CIMP co-hosted a one-day Sahtu Regional Results workshop in Tulita.      
In 2012–13 NWT CIMP funded 10 projects that directly impacted a current NWT decision-making process.      
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