Established in the late 1980s by the Lakehead University Board of Governors, the Centre for Northern Studies (CNS) has directly contributed through its speaker series, grants, and publications to the university's international reputation as one of the main centres for northern studies in Canada. Our activities in this area have added a distinct dimension to Lakehead's identity as a university "of the North, in the North."
The CNS has been one of the university's main centres of individual and collaborative research activity for over twenty years. Through the activities of the Centre's researchers, Lakehead has established a reputation for excellence through its publications – over 80 books, occasional papers, and research reports – which are found in specialist research centres across the world. The CNS serves the needs of Northwestern Ontario through international and regional conferences, research projects, publications, and a visiting speaker series. This occurs primarily through support of international and regional conferences, research projects, publications, and a visiting speaker series.
The CNS also provides opportunities for Lakehead faculty and students to undertake research and attend conferences about northern issues in northern parts of the province, the country and the circumpolar world. In 2004 the university embarked on the fulfillment of one of the CNS' original goals, to establish undergraduate programming in both the sciences and arts in northern studies. The mandate of the Centre was adapted to make one of its key priorities to facilitate partnerships with international organizations such as the University of the Arctic. The CNS administers an HBA in Northern Studies and an HBSc in Northern Studies. Currently, the CNS is both a Senate approved Research Centre under the purview of the Vice-President Research and offers an HBA and HBSc program reporting to the Vice-President Academic.
The CNS currently operates under the following organizational structure (approved by the Office of Research). The Director and the Executive Committee is elected by the Advisory Committee composed of researchers associated with the centre. Annual calls for membership in the centre occur annually, and the decision is made by current members based on demonstrated excellence in northern Canadian and circumpolar research excellence (peer-reviewed publications and research grant success).