Nunavik Research Centre

“Research Responding to the Needs of Inuit”

NRC1The Nunavik Research Centre was created in 1978 after the signing of the James Bay & Northern Quebec Agreement initially to monitor and collect land use & ecological data in the Nunavik region.
The Nunavik Research Centre is operated under the Resource Development Department of Makivik Corporation. The Centre employs a director, a wildlife biologist, analytic toxicologist, wildlife parasitologist, fish ecologist and three wildlife technicians.
Research is undertaken on the quality of country foods, environmental studies and wildlife management.


Pathology Laboratory

The Nunavik Research Centre monitors wildlife diseases that affect animal health or can infect humans. The Trichinellosis Prevention Program tests walrus meat following guidelines established with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Results are available and transmitted to Nunavik’s Public Health officer within 24 hours of receiving samples from the walrus hunting communities.

Other wildlife diseases are monitored in cooperation with university researchers and government agencies. NRC’s Wildlife Parasitologist coordinated an Arctic-wide research program on zoonotic diseases during the recent International Polar Year.

Population Studies

PopulationStudiesStaff work closely with federal and provincial biologists to gather information necessary for the management of country food species. NRC’s wildlife technicians have a wide range of experience aging fish and various marine mammals. Colleagues at universities and government agencies work with NRC on ecological studies of arctic charr, beluga whales, muskoxen, marine benthos and waterfowl.

Marine Studies

For marine studies, the NRC is equipped for seabed mapping and benthic sampling. The Centre operates a small launch for inshore studies. An extensive survey of blue mussel distribution has been undertaken previously. Staff depend on the local hunters for most of their samples and information, but engage in specialized studies such as seabed mapping and hydro-acoustic surveys.

Environmental Issues

The Research Centre conducts in-house studies and provides expertise on a contractual basis to organizations operating within Nunavik. Studies are often conducted under collaboration with university and government researchers, most notably NCP, ArcticNet, IPY, Health Canada, MRNF, Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment Canada.

Trace Metal Analytical

The facility is the first of its kind in the eastern Arctic. Two atomic absorption spectrometers measure heavy metal levels in country foods. The laboratory is equipped for trace-level analysis. Under the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP), levels of mercury, cadmium and other metals have been measured in fish and marine mammals through a community sampling network that extends throughout the Canadian Arctic. Metal levels in country-food species sampled for other studies are routinely measured. NRC supplies the Nunavik Board of Nutrition and Health and other agencies with metal contaminant data. NRC’s analytical toxicologist operates the analytical lab.

Cartographic Services

CartoWorking closely with Research Centre staff, the Cartographic Section conducts land-use studies and environmental assessments, maintains and creates GIS databases, and provides mapping services. Equipped with latest GIS technology, the Service produces color maps and posters for field studies and presentation purposes. Its clients include the Nunavik Mineral Development Fund, the Kativik Regional Government and the Nunavik Tourism Board.

For more information please contact :
P.O. Box 179 
Kuujjuaq, Quebec , J0M 1C0 or Call toll free: 1 (877) 625-4845

Please click hereto download the Nunavik Research Center Brochure