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Source: Mount Allison University

Mount Allison student receives funding to study Nunatsiavut land claim agreement

October 23, 2006

Harry Borlase, a Canadian Studies student at Mount Allison University and resident of Goose Bay, NL, is the recipient of a Canadian Northern Studies Trust Northern Resident Award, valued at $5,000, from the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS). Funding for the Northern Resident Awards is provided by the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

Harry received a Northern Resident Award, which will fund his thesis study entitled: The Nunatsiavut land claim agreement: towards a culturally sustainable future for the Inuit of Labrador. He explains, "The Inuit of Labrador are entering a period of major political, economic, and social change. This project will look at the principles and stipulations that make up the treaty’s body, and show how its foundations provide for the cultural security of the Inuit people. More specifically, I want to show the evolution of modern Inuit treaties in Canada by emphasizing how Nunatsiavut differs from earlier treaties (like Nunavut)."

Along with his research at Mount Allison, Harry will also travel to Labrador for a week to meet with representatives of the Nunatsiavut government. His research will attempt to explore the foundations of the land claim agreement and how it relates to the needs of the Labrador Inuit, looking in particular at how the treaty acknowledges Inuit concerns for cultural protection in language and education.

Mount Allison’s Centre for Canadian Studies director, Dr. Andrew Nurse, says, "Obviously, Canadian Studies is overjoyed that Harry won this award. His work addresses a particularly important subject for anyone who is interested in indigenous rights or Inuit self-government in Canada. Winning this award allows him to explore this issue in significant detail."

Harry’s interest in Arctic Studies has grown over the years. He has taken several correspondence courses through the University of the Arctic (UArctic), a co-operative network of universities, colleges, and other organizations focusing on higher education and research in the North. Last year he participated in the Arctic Studies Program offered through the UArctic, which sent him to Northern Finland for the year. While he is graduating from Mount Allison this year, Harry plans to continue his studies and would like to work in the Arctic in the future.

The Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) network is a broad spectrum of students and researchers from all disciplines involved in northern scholarship, connecting them with each other and educational and funding opportunities. ACUNS has been in existence for over 25 years and represents over 40 member universities and colleges across Canada.

ACUNS offers numerous resources for research in the north, including a widely-distributed statement of ethical principles for conducting research. The organization also funds student research through the Canadian Northern Studies Trust and other funding programs. ACUNS assists in the co-ordination of a triennial student conference on northern studies, providing a unique opportunity for young researchers to meet and share their findings. The last conference included close to 150 delegates from 10 countries. The 2007 conference will be held at the University of Saskatchewan, in conjunction with International Polar Year.

Harry would like to thank ACUNS and all of its sponsors for this great opportunity, and would also be willing to help other people who may be interested in studying the Arctic. You can reach him at




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