In 2018, Max Liboiron (Associate Professor, Memorial University) and Liz Pijogge (Northern Contaminants Researcher, Nunatsiavut Government) began a comprehensive, community-based plastic pollution monitoring project in Nunatsiavut, northern Labrador. Their research design is based on community research priorities, emphasizing the monitoring of plastics in Inuit food webs. Arctic char and Ringed seals are the primary species being monitored, as well as surface water, shorelines, ice, and snow. This project is expanding to include birds and heavy metals.

Data is owned and controlled by the Nunatsiavut Government and publications occur only after community review. This project is funded by the Nunatsiavut Government, the Northern Contaminants Program, CINUK, POLAR Canada, Memorial University, and ArcticNet.

What does a good research partnership look like? Liz Pijogge, Northern Contaminants Researcher for the Nunatsiavut Government and Dr. Max Liboiron, professor at Memorial University, tell the story of how they met, how they do research together, and how it’s a model of capacity “sharing” instead of “capacity “Building” to conduct plastic pollution research in Nunatsiavut.

This work is featured in niKet (food), a short, documentary episode in a series about Indigenous culture in Newfoundland and Labrador on CBC Gem.

If you are collecting samples as part of the community freezer or hunter research programs, follow the links for instructions for collecting guts and gathering feathers from samples.

Results have recently undergone community report back (April 2023) and will be posted here soon. If you have questions, please email