June 26, 2019
Fort Smith, NT – The Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) has chosen two Aurora College students to be among its 2019-20 scholarship winners.

Joni Tsatchia and Karen Lepine, both from the Bachelor of Education program, are two of ten recipients from the Yukon and Northwest Territories. ACUNS offers up to 18 scholarships and awards annually to Canadian post-secondary students to support northern research in all disciplines.

The research for which Tsatchia and Lepine received their awards is entitled “Deh Gah Gotine (I am)”. It focuses on a celebration of Northern Indigenous heritage: both women looked to their own cultural upbringing for inspiration to conduct community research into culture and identity.

Valentina de Krom, Program Head of Aurora College’s Bachelor of Education program, says she is proud of Tsatchia and Lepine. “These women represent the future educators of the North. The scholarships are well deserved, and will allow and support their further studies.”

The ten NWT and Yukon resident winners represent the highest percentage of Northern recipients of the ACUNS awards in the program’s 37-year history.

According to an ACUNS news release, the “awards support college and university students who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership and commitment to northern science, and whose research projects contribute to the understanding of the North through the facilitation of collaborative research, knowledge mobilization, and education.” It further states that the high number of Northern resident winners “are a positive indication of the successful academic programs at Canada’s post-secondary institutions and southern post-secondary institutions that have partnerships in the north”

ACUNS is a national, non-profit academic association. Since 1982, it has supported hundreds of students, educators, researchers and scientists in collaborative and ethical research, knowledge-sharing and education.


Aurora College delivers academic upgrading, trades and industrial training, certificate, diploma and degree programs to more than 3,000 full and part-time students at three campuses, 21 Community Learning Centres and other community sites in the Northwest Territories. Community-centred post-secondary programs reflect Northern culture and the needs of the Northern labour market. Aurora College’s research division, Aurora Research Institute, conducts, supports, and licenses research in the NWT. Research centres are located in in Inuvik, Yellowknife and Fort Smith.

For more information, please contact:
Jayne Murray                                                                           
Manager, Communications & College Relations 
Aurora College                                                             
Phone: 867-872-7021