Government of the Northwest Territories Seal Certification Program

Project Spotlight: A program to identify and protect seal products harvested and crafted by Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Territories. 

Indigenous Sovereignty Representation Creating
A picture of dark brown sealskin with an image of the Seal Certification logo overlaid at right.

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) recognizes the importance of seal to Inuit and Indigenous peoples. Since time immemorial, seal have provided food, warm clothing and oil for their very survival. These cultures have immense respect for seal and waste nothing. This subsistence harvest is primarily for food and oil. Crafters make full use of the seal pelt by creating beautiful, warm seal products for their family and the world to enjoy.

In 2021, the GNWT Seal Certification Program was developed to identify seal products that were harvested and crafted by Inuit or Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Territories (NWT). The GNWT Seal Certification Program ensures that designated seal products meet certification standards of quality, sustainability and traceability, from harvest to market, and are exempt from the European Union (EU) seal products ban.

A seal product carrying a GNWT Seal Certification tag and accompanied by a Certificate of Authentication, shall be deemed to comply with Regulation (EC) No 1007/2009, which allows for the export/import of seal products that result from hunts conducted by Inuit and other Indigenous communities in the NWT. It also allows for the import of goods for the personal use of travellers and their families.

This tag of certification is attached to seal products that meet the guidelines set out by the EU seal regime Regulation (EU) 2015/1775. The GNWT is a Recognized Body that can issue this certification and representatives of the Seal Certification Program can label seal products that meet the exception detailed in these regulations.

A front view of the Seal Certification tag featuring an ulu blade and wavy pattern on a dark blue background, next to a back view of the tag with black text on a white background.
Certification Tag Front and Back
An image of the Seal Certification Certificate of Authentication on a white page with black text, with a blue and white border at left and the Seal Certification logo at top centre.
Certificate of Authentication

This story is part of the Northwest Territories Spotlight. View more content from the Spotlight here.