Government of Canada and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) announce new research network to address health priorities of Inuit in Canada

News release

November 2, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

There are approximately 70,000 Inuit in Canada living in 51 communities spread across the Inuit homeland known as Inuit Nunangat. For Inuit, health is intrinsically linked to wildlife, the environment, culture, and other social determinants of health. Inuit are best positioned to define research priorities and carry out research activities that address the needs of their communities and respect their rights.

The Government of Canada is fully committed to advancing reconciliation, strengthening the Inuit-Crown partnership, implementing the Inuit Nunangat Policy, and creating a more prosperous Inuit homeland through meaningful collaboration. Since 2017, we have been working closely with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) and other Inuit organizations through the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee to make important steps toward Inuit self-determination and support Inuit-led solutions to the distinct issues and challenges faced by Inuit.

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, and Natan Obed, President of ITK, announced funding of $6.4 million to establish an Inuit Research Network. The grant, provided through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), will strengthen capacity for Inuit-led research and support existing and new research initiatives that address Inuit needs and foster inter-disciplinary connections.

The Inuit Research Network grant will support the implementation of ITK’s National Inuit Strategy on Research, which aims to enhance Inuit capacity, knowledge and self-determination in research, with an emphasis on improving Inuit health and well-being, within and beyond Inuit Nunangat.

This funding invests in the four Inuit regions and their respective land claims organizations, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Makivik Corporation and the Nunatsiavut Government, to guide research that strengthens Inuit health.


“As we continue our partnership with ITK and Inuit in Canada, we remain committed to supporting and respecting Inuit self-determination in health research. This new research network will support Inuit-led research and knowledge sharing to help improve the health and well-being of Inuit in Canada while strengthening long-term capacity for Inuit-led research and knowledge mobilization across all disciplines.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

“At ITK, we recognize the important role research can play in understanding our needs and building stronger communities. This grant will allow us to develop a new approach to how research is carried out across Inuit Nunangat, and we are excited to guide its growth."

Natan Obed
President, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

“CIHR is proud to be working closely with ITK to bring the National Inuit Strategy on Research to life with this exciting Inuit Research Network grant. Research led by Inuit, for Inuit promises to deliver on Inuit research priorities and be a catalyst for positive change for Inuit families and communities. It is a model that speaks to CIHR’s commitment to living priority C of our Strategic Plan to “accelerate the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples in health research”.”

Dr. Michael J. Strong
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Quick facts

  • Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) is the national representational organization responsible for protecting and advancing the rights and interests of Inuit in Canada.

  • In 2018, ITK released a National Inuit Strategy on Research (NSIR) that identifies areas for partnership and action to strengthen the impact, efficacy, and usefulness of Inuit Nunangat research for Inuit.

  • ITK developed a five-year work plan with CIHR to guide the implementation of the NISR. As key component of the work plan is the creation of an Inuit Research Network, which will be supported with funding of $6.4 million from CIHR.

Associated links


Marie-France Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

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