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 northern Canada, its communities and peoples.


Support collaborative and inclusive research partnerships and educational programming that responds to northern needs and priorities, and inform Canadians about the North.

Strategic Plan

Strategic Direction

    ACUNS is a relevant and sustainable organization that responds to the current and future needs of those involved in northern research and post-secondary education.
    ACUNS actively supports the recognition of Indigenous Knowledge and ways of knowing and promotes Indigenous-led research.
    ACUNS is committed to increasing capacity in northern research through support for student and early career researchers.
    ACUNS contributes to informed decision-making about policies and programs governing northern research and post-secondary education.
    ACUNS serves as a bridge between northern and southern institutions by building relationships and supporting research partnerships.

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)