Two Aurora College Bachelor of Education students receive $5,000 scholarships for their Indigenous research

Karen Lepine, left, and Joni Tsatchia have received scholarships for their Indigenous research (photos courtesy of Aurora College)

Two Aurora College students have won Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) scholarships worth $5,000 apiece.

Joni Tsatchia and Karen Lepine, both from the Bachelor of Education program at the Thebacha campus in Fort Smith, are two of ten recipients from the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

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.

Lepine, originally from Fort Chipweyan, Alberta graduated this year and was her class valedictorian.

Tsatchia, from the Tlicho community of Wekweeti, has one more year of college to go.

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, states the college in a 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,” according to an ACUNS news release. “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 offers up to 18 scholarships and awards annually to Canadian post-secondary students to support northern research in all disciplines.

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.



About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.