RCMP in the Arctic coast hamlet of Paulatuk say they are working to identify a set of remains discovered on the nearby Hornaday River on Monday.
In a news release published on Tuesday, police said their investigation into the unidentified human remains could take months or more than a year.
Police said they would not elaborate further on what was discovered.
"RCMP are working with the NWT Coroner Service on identifying the remains. The chief coroner has requested forensic examination on the remains," read Tuesday's statement.
“RCMP are aware of the interest of the public and concern of families that are hoping for answers in this discovery," said RCMP spokesperson Marie York-Condon.
"Our members are working with the NWT Coroner Service to bring comfort and closure to those concerned. We thank the public for their assistance and patience."