Northern Contaminants Program

The Northern Contaminants Program (NCP)  works to reduce and, wherever possible, eliminate contaminants in traditionally harvested foods, while providing information that assists informed decision making by individuals and communities in their food use.

The NCP was established in 1991 in response to concerns about human exposure to elevated levels of contaminants in wildlife species that are important to the traditional diets of northern Aboriginal peoples. Early studies found a wide variety of substances, many of which had no Arctic or Canadian sources but which were, nevertheless, reaching unexpectedly high levels in the Arctic ecosystem.

The NCP is managed by a committee chaired by Indigenous and Northern Affairs (INAC)  and comprised of four federal government departments (INAC, Health CanadaEnvironment Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada), the territorial governments  of NunavutNorthwest Territories, and the Yukon, representatives of Northern Aboriginal organizations including Inuit Tapirisat of Canada (ITC), Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC), the Dene Nation and the Council of Yukon First Nations.

The NCP allocates funds for research and related activities in five main areas:

  • human health research
  • communication, capacity and outreach
  • national/regional coordination and Aboriginal partnerships
  • community-based monitoring research
  • environmental monitoring and research

For more information, visit the NCP page on the INAC website.