As you are probably aware, NWT and federal laws and policy require permits and licenses for research. As the timelines for many processes are in the range of several months, we urge you to contact the appropriate regulatory bodies as soon as possible. For many IPY projects operating in the NWT, a number of approvals will be required. Many licensing or permitting processes require adequate community consultation. There may be federal, territorial, land claim, and community requirements for each project or each component of a project. Doing Research in the Northwest Territories: A Guide for Researchers (hereafter called the “guide”) should be downloaded. This guide should be reviewed prior to embarking on the licensing process. Contact information for licensing questions is provided within the guide. Some general guidelines and issues are identified below, but please note that the guide has comprehensive information not included here.

We ask that you start the permitting and licensing process as soon as possible - at ther very least please read the guide and then contact the appropriate regulators to ensure they can plan for times when the licensing load will be particularily heavy.

Scientific License from Aurora Research Insitute

All research will require a Scientific Research License. Researchers are strongly advised to apply at least three months prior to their anticipated research start dates. Research licenses are issued through the Aurora Research Institute via our  online application for a license. Aurora Research Institute will forward the application to the relevant community organizations on your behalf.

Wildlife Permits

Wildlife research and wildlife habitat research will require a wildlife permit from the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) Department of Environment and Natural Resources. This process is similar to the Scientific Licensing process in scope. Fisheries and marine research will require a fisheries permit, through the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Other Research: Forests and Archaeological Sites

Forestry-related work will require a permit from the GNWT Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Archaeological work will require a permit through the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, which will need to be applied for by the end of March. Please see the guide for more information on these permits.

Environment Canada Lands

If you are working on land administered by Environment Canada – for example, lands protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act (sanctuaries such as the Kendall Island Bird Sanctuary) or the National Wildlife Act (national wildlife areas) you will need an access permit. Several steps will be required in obtaining the permit, including a Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) screening. Please see the guide for more information.

Canada Wildlife Survey Lands

Researchers who wish to work inside a NWT Migratory Bird Sanctuary or National Wildlife Area will require a Bird Sanctuary Permit or National Wildlife Area Entry Permit from the Canadian Wildlife Service. Researchers wishing to conduct studies that involve taking, salvaging or disturbing migratory birds will require a Scientific Permit from the Canadian Wildlife Service. If your research will involve the banding of birds, you will also require a Migratory Birds - Bird Banding Permit.

Inuvialuit Settlement Region

For research to be conducted in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region: on Crown Land in the ISR you are required to undergo an environmental screening by the Environmental Impact Screening Committee (EISC), which is a co-management body established by the Inuvialuit Final Agreement. Applications must be submitted at least 30 days before the next screening meeting to be considered at that meeting. The requirements for submitting a proposal to the Screening Committee can be found on their web site.

Additionally, if work is proposed to occur in locations within the bounds of private/settlement lands in the ISR, a Land Use Permit from the relevant settlement lands administration office will be required. Extra permits (such as those from Land and Water Boards) may also be required depending on the size of your research team and number of days spent in the field. Check with the guide for appropriate contact information.

Work in other land claim areas may also require other permits, depending upon the activity, location, and number of people. The guide provides contact information for each region. Work within National Parks will require a permit from Parks Canada. This process, including CEAA and YESAB approval and EISC Screening, as well as other steps, may take in the neighbourhood of 4 months. Parks Canada has an online application. Please see the guide for more information.

Working with Communities

You are also encouraged to respect the spirit and intent of the comprehensive land claim agreements for the respective areas you intend on visiting by hiring contractors and other service providers in those areas. You can do so by contacting the respective Aboriginal governance bodies, for example the Gwich’in Tribal Council, Sahtu Secretariat, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Tłįcho Government, Akaitcho Territory Government, and Deh Cho First Nations. These bodies may have a business policy for you to consult.

Foreign Research Partners

All Foreign Nationals visiting Canada to conduct research require permits. Please have all Foreign Nationals anticipating travel to the NWT and affiliated with your project contact Canada Border Services Agency in Yellowknife or go to the embassy or consulate closest to their home.