University of Winnipeg
Tamara Dionne Stout
A global, interdisciplinary, professional program, the MDP at UWinnipeg builds the skills required to do development differently. At the University of Winnipeg, Indigenous knowledge and experience are at the core of an innovative curriculum that cuts across health, management, natural and social sciences. By centering the curriculum on Indigenous experiences and worldviews, the UWinnipeg MDP program reframes the challenges and opportunities of sustainable development, opens up creative conversations on reconciliation and considers the ways in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can work together for our collective good life. The program uses an educational model that emphasizes collaborative, experiential and individual learning, practical skill development, cultural competency and apprenticeship.
The program is course-based, with students earning a total of 54 credit-hours over two years. Students have the opportunity to pursue participatory, action-based research under faculty supervision. The program begins with an innovative Orientation, part of which takes place on the territory of a Manitoba First Nation community. Students learn first-hand from traditional knowledge keepers, Chief and Council, and community members about the importance of culture and historical context in development planning and witness creative, Indigenous-led solutions to development challenges.
Students complete two field placements during the program, one in Canada and one internationally. Winnipeg is ideally suited as a city, to offer this unique program since the city has the largest urban Indigenous population in Canada and second largest in North America, after Anchorage. MDP students benefit from our strong relationships with many creative Indigenous-led organizations in the city and across the country. Students learn about the ways in which Indigenous communities’ development experiences differ and in what ways they are similar around the world, through our field placement host partners, international faculty and global curriculum.
All MDP students at the University of Winnipeg are strongly supported in their career transition by a dedicated career counselor specializing in the development sector. Our graduates are skilled integrators who build bridges between cultures, peoples and sectors to achieve inclusive and healthy societies.