The Government of Canada invests to protect Tuktoyaktuk from coastal erosion

News release

Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, July 27, 2023 — Today, Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories, His Worship Erwin Elias, Mayor of Tuktoyaktuk, and Duane Smith, Chair and CEO of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, announced a federal investment of more than $53.7 million to mitigate current and future impacts of climate change on the shoreline of the Inuvialuit community of Tuktoyaktuk.

Through this investment, armoured rock and other materials will be installed along the shoreline most impacted by erosion and in front of Tuktoyaktuk Island to reduce the force of the waves that are washing away the land that this community is situated on. The island provides some natural protection from further erosion, but requires built infrastructure to ensure it keeps serving that function. In addition, as a preventive or pre-emptive measure, improvements to existing concrete slab protections will be made, along with other upgrades to the barrier beach at the south end of the community. This will help the community prepare for future climate change scenarios.

Arctic communities in the Beaufort Region have become more vulnerable to the effects of climate change with declining sea ice, warmer temperatures, and increased frequency and intensity of storms. Due to its geographical location, the Inuvialuit Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk is particularly affected by rapid coastal erosion of up to one metre each year, flooding, and permafrost thaw. Inuvialuit and residents are at great risk of losing the very land where they live, work and play as well as the services on which the Hamlet relies, such as the health care centre and the local college.

In recent years, several homes have had to be moved inland due to erosion. This new mitigation infrastructure means that Inuvialuit and local residents of Tuktoyaktuk will be more resilient to the impacts of climate change. Through collaborative work and ongoing engagement with Indigenous communities, this project will ensure future generations can continue to live in this community, preserving the rich history and tradition of the region. The construction of this project will be carried out in partnership with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and local Inuvialuit businesses, thereby creating local jobs for Inuvialuit and northerners.

By investing in infrastructure, the Government of Canada is growing our country’s economy, building resilient communities, and improving the lives of Canadians.


“We are working together to keep northern communities safe. Residents of Tuktoyaktuk are at the forefront of building a more climate resilient future. Today’s investment supports the community in managing and adapting to the increasing severity of the climate impacts they are facing now and into the future.”

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

“Climate change affects coastal communities, particularly here in the Northwest Territories, in profound ways. The Government of Canada is helping Tuktoyaktuk with critical infrastructure to mitigate and protect the community and future generations from the impacts of erosion due to climate change. We are addressing climate change, increasing the resiliency of the community of 1,000 people for years to come, allowing youth the ability to grow up in the same homes and community as their ancestors.”

Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories

“Thank you to Infrastructure Canada and to our partners, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and Government of the Northwest Territories to see this project become a reality. Added protection of our community shoreline and the Tuk Island will provide much more time for the community to prepare for a possible relocation or to move upland away from rising waters and a shrinking shoreline. This three-year project will also provide many local jobs and opportunities for businesses to participate in our local economy. The Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk will work diligently over the next number of years to see this project complete.”

His Worship Erwin Elias, Mayor of Tuktoyaktuk

“From time immemorial, Inuvialuit have been stewards of our lands. The Inuvialuit Settlement Region has long been preserved and protected by Inuvialuit. Its history forms an important part of our individual and collective identity. The Federal government’s support of this project demonstrates both its responsibility to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change and its ongoing commitment to reconciliation. This project will provide an opportunity for all parties to live up to their obligations under the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, and will further demonstrate the resilience, strength and commitment to community of all Inuvialuit.”

Duane Smith, Chair and CEO, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation 

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is investing $53,717,032 in this project through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF).

  • The DMAF supports projects that include new construction of public infrastructure or the modification or reinforcement of existing public infrastructure that help communities withstand natural disasters and climate-related risks.

  • On November 24th, 2022, the Government of Canada released Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy: Building Resilient Communities and a Strong Economy. It commits $1.6 billion in new federal funding to help address both immediate and future climate risks to Canadian communities.

  • As part of the Government of Canada’s Adaptation Action Plan, released alongside the National Adaptation Strategy, the DMAF received an additional $489.1 million in funding.

  • Since 2018, the Government of Canada has committed over $3.3 billion through the DMAF. To date, over $2.3 billion has been announced supporting 84 infrastructure projects that help communities better prepare for, and withstand, the potential impacts of natural disasters, prevent infrastructure failures, and protect Canadians.

  • Federal funding is conditional on the signing of contribution agreements.

  • Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) provided $2,745,999.53 to the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk through its Climate Change Preparedness in the North program to support the design of the coastal erosion adaptation measures.

  • CIRNAC’s Climate Change Preparedness in the North program supports Indigenous and Northern communities as well as other Northwest Territories’ regional right holders and stakeholders to identify climate change impacts and implement adaptation measures. 

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Jean-Sébastien Comeau
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn
Web: Infrastructure Canada

Lucy Kuptana
Senior Administrative Officer
Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk

Media Centre
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

Kyle Allen
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor     

Media Relations
Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Join the conversation about the North:

Twitter: @GovCan_North 

Facebook: @GovCan – North 

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