How has ACUNS helped your northern studies?

Over the years, the ACUNS awards program has supported hundreds of post-secondary students in their educational and research endeavors. Here, some of our recipients tell us about their scholarships in northern studies.

POLAR Northern Resident Award Scholarship
“ACUNS has done a great job of supporting students doing their research in the North and building a community amongst those students. The POLAR Northern Resident Award Scholarship has made a big difference for me financially going back to school to pursue my PhD. I appreciate that ACUNS supports northern residents in their studies, making it easier for me to balance the high costs of living in the North and also traveling between university and home. As someone studying in the social sciences in the North, there are less scholarships available, and ACUNS has opened up opportunities to access funding. The ACUNS student conference was a great way to meet other northern scholars, share my work in a supportive environment, and start building a network amongst early career northern researchers.”

Alison Perrin, PhD Candidate
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
Carleton University

From Canada to France

“For a three-year period (2014-2016) while doing my postdoctoral research, I was privileged to receive an ACUNS award that enabled me to carry out my work during several field seasons in the Canadian Arctic (Nunavut) as well as attend both national and international conferences. Not only were my research findings published in international journals, but I was also able to develop a network of collaborators in areas of interest, among these the permafrost, lakes in the Canadian Arctic, the functioning of greenhouse gases and general climate change in Northern Canada. This experience proved so impressive on my resumé that I was subsequently granted a research contract in French as part of the ‘Make Our Planet Great Again’ initiative launched by the French President in 2017. My entire journey thus far, including the support I received from ACUNS, was nothing but positive.”

Frédéric Bouchard, Ph. D.
Chercheur / Researcher
GEOPS – Géosciences Paris Sud
Université Paris Saclay

POLAR Scholarship
“ACUNS recognizes the critical role of rigorous social sciences methodologies in transdisciplinary environmental research in Inuit Nunagat, which has led to the creation of unique funding opportunities for those of us working closely with remote communities. After receiving the ACUNS-POLAR scholarship, ACUNS ensured I was meeting my obligations to the donor in terms of progress reporting, which was very helpful as I was in the field during much of that time. They also shared the news of my award widely, helping me build new connections within my field of research, and provided me with a range of opportunities for sharing the results of my work in various fora.”

Megan Sheremata, PhD Candidate
Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences
University of Toronto

Dr. Jim McDonald Scholarship

“Over the past three years I have been working in collaboration with Whapmagoostui First Nation to conduct an oral history project about the Journey of Nishiiyuu. The Journey of Nishiiyuu was a social movement in which Cree and Inuit youth from Whapmagoostui, Québec travelled 1600 km by foot to Ottawa, Ontario to demonstrate strength and solidarity among Indigenous Nations during the winter of 2013. The Journey of Nishiiyuu is a profound example of how Indigenous youth are enacting their own visions of self-determination on the ground and leading the way towards more socially just and environmentally flourishing futures. Community centered research requires building meaningful, mutually beneficial, long term, and reciprocal relationships with community. The Dr. Jim McDonald scholarship has empowered me to continue to work in partnership with the community, to honour the relationships that make this research possible and extend beyond it. For example, with the assistance of ACUNS I was able to attend the Whapmagoostui First Nation’s annual cultural gathering last August where I visited with and offered updates on my research to the community. This summer I will be returning to Whapmagoostui to give presentations, share final drafts of my dissertation, and work towards a final product that I hope honours those who walked in the Journey of Nishiiyuu.”

Meaghan Weatherdon, Ph.D candidate
Department for the Study of Religion/Department for Environmental Studies
University of Toronto