Corporate Legal

Policies and Corporate Legal

R6 – Research in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut

Originator: Director, Research and Planning
Approver: President’s Council
Effective: May 10, 2005
Replaces: New


All RRC Polytech researchers who intend to conduct research in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut must be licensed. This includes work in indigenous knowledge as well as in the physical, social and biological sciences.

Information about license requirements for research in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut may be obtained from: Manager, Research Services, Aurora Research Institute, Box 1450, Inuvik, Northwest Territories, XOE OTO, Internet address:

Types of Research

The following is provided as a general guide only for researchers (researchers should always consult the Aurora Research Institute). For purposes of obtaining a license, research is defined as an endeavour to study or obtain knowledge through the use of a systematic approach with the intent of clarification. This includes activities which attempt to discover new facts, information, or new applications of existing knowledge.


  1. What is clearly not research under the licensing process:
    • Journalism (including public surveys, photojournalism or audio video documentaries);
    • Exploration (including mineral prospecting, and land or water adventure travel); and
    • Administrative Documentation (to be used for internal purposes, year-end reports, and/or as the results of hearings, workshops, or other public inquiries).
  2. What is clearly not licensed under the NWT Scientists Act:
    • Research involving land animals or wildlife habitats (requires Wildlife Research Permit);
    • Research studies in archaeology (requires Archaeologists Permit).
  3. Licensed research includes both basic and applied forms of research:
    • Basic Research is a curiosity driven activity that has the purpose of discovery and the advancement of knowledge.
    • Applied Research aims to discover the best ways of using this knowledge in the practice of a profession.
  4. Licensed research includes the gathering of western scientific knowledge and/or traditional, indigenous and local knowledge.
  5. Licensed research includes the gathering of primary research material as well as secondary research material.
  6. Licensing must take into consideration the social context of the proposed research.
  7. Categories of research administered under the NWT Scientists Act include but are not limited to the following:
    • Biology
    • Contaminants
    • Geology
    • Physical Sciences
    • Environmental Sciences
    • Engineering
    • Health
    • Social Sciences
    • Economics, Business
    • Traditional/Indigenous Knowledge
    • Anthropology
    • Fossils
    • Tourism

    The total range of research activities requiring a license is not easily summarized, but in any case where peoples’ behaviour, health, or non-public records containing personal or private information is involved, the Aurora Research Institute must be consulted to determine license requirements.

  8. One of the intentions of the research licensing process is to improve communication and understanding of research in the Northwest Territories. This should be initiated while the research program is still in the development stage.

Ethical Principles

Research in the North is governed by a set of ethical principles (see Ethical Principles for the Conduct of Research in the North, Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies 2003). Communities in the North are fully advised on their rights with respect to research on their land; e.g., Negotiating Research Relationships: A Guide for Communities (prepared by the Nunavut Research Institute and Inuit Tapirisat of Canada 1998).

College Researchers should consult these documents prior to planning research in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Related Policies

H1 – Research involving Human Subjects
H2 – Integrity in Research and Scholarship
H3 – Animal Care and Research
A9 – Intellectual Property and Copyright

RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

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