For over forty years, the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) has been an indispensable organization for the advancement of northern scholarship. Established in 1978, ACUNS is a registered charitable organization headquartered in Ottawa, with volunteer representatives at member institutions across the country.


Contribute to the well-being of Canada’s north, its communities and its inhabitants by sharing knowledge gained through leadership in northern research and education.


ACUNS plays a leadership role in promoting a diverse and comprehensive understanding of the North through the facilitation of collaborative research, knowledge mobilization and education.

Strategic Plan


Strategic Direction

  • ACUNS is a sustainable organization that can meet current and future needs of the Canadian northern research and scholarly community
  • ACUNS represents the linguistic and cultural diversity that make up Canada’s north and facilitates collaboration across its stakeholders
  • ACUNS is able to scale its capacity to meet the increasing demands of its stakeholders
  • ACUNS is the ‘go-to’ organization in Canada for information and knowledge about the North

ACUNS Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Statement: Diversity in Northern Studies

It is our mission at the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) to promote a comprehensive understanding of the North through collaborative and Indigenous-led research, partnerships and educational programming. We strive to represent diversity across the linguistic and cultural spectrum, race, gender, age, religion, identity, ability and experience in our membership, scholarship, outreach and advocacy work. Our commitment to the advancement of northern scholarship in a respectful, inclusive environment is the impetus to fostering equity in the movement towards positive change.

Ethical Principles

ACUNS has been capturing the evolution of the conduct of ethical research in the Canadian North for over twenty years, producing and maintaining guidelines for researchers that have been widely adopted. These guidelines are regularly updated to reflect changing social and political context, with an intensive review planned in 2018-2019. The most recent version received recognition from international organizations and circumpolar countries for acknowledging the relationships between scholarship, research, and community. ACUNS’ ethics guide is currently available in English, French, Inuktitut, and Russian translations.




русский (Russian)