Research Regulation in the NWT

Why do researchers have to communicate with local organizations before conducting fieldwork in the NWT?

Sep 26, 2011

Communication with local organizations and communities is a requirement of many of the research permitting processes in the NWT. In a sense, this is just like doing research somewhere else in Canada – you would not work in someone’s backyard, or on someone's farm, without talking to the land owner first. The Northwest Territories has both settled and unsettled land claims, and both Crown and Private lands, but virtually every piece of land is deeply connected to an aboriginal group that has been living there for several generations.

Communication about your research presents an opportunity for community concerns and suggestions to be addressed, and for local people to know who you are when they meet you out on the land. There are also instances when NWT residents wish to have an active role in research projects, and the research permitting process provides a means for them to communicate these wishes.

Note that communication after your research is complete is also important – communities usually expect to learn about your results and findings.