Contaminants are chemicals that don’t break-down very easily, enter the environment, and make their way into food sources. Some contaminants occur naturally, while others are the by-product of human activities, such as industry. Both can negatively impact the environment and human health.
In recognition of the harmful impact of contaminants in sensitive Northern regions, five Regional Contaminants Committees were established to better understand contaminants and support decision-makers on issues concerning the environment and human health. Each regional hub provides advice to an oversight organization called the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP), under Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC). The NCP coordinates Canada’s action on northern contaminants—including persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and mercury—both nationally and internationally. The NCP is a multidisciplinary initiative—funded by the Government of Canada—addressing health, science, and communications issues related to contaminants in Canada’s Arctic. The NCP provides secretariat support to the regional committees, releases annual contaminants research and communications, conducts monitoring, and provides funding through an annual call for proposals.
Established in 1992, the YCC identifies information gaps and community priorities related to environmental contaminants research, and exchanges information on contaminants-related research activities and their results. The YCC also reviews and facilitates the development of proposals for contaminants-related research in the Yukon.YCC members includes Yukon First Nation community representatives; the Office of the Yukon Chief Medical Officer; Government of Yukon staff (from Department of Environment and the Office of the Science Advisor); and various contaminant research project leads and community partners. The Committee is chaired by the Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) and CIRNAC’s Yukon Regional Office.
If you have a proposal idea for research on contaminants in the Yukon, we would like to hear from you. We can help you better understand community priorities and protocols, as well as navigate the proposal process.