Carleton University today conferred a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, on Madeleine Kētēskwew Dion Stout in recognition of her outstanding contributions as an advocate for the rights of Indigenous people, health reform, health education, development of public policy and an improved health care system for all Canadians.
“Now that you have made the grade, we are confident you are ready to puzzle your way through certain life riddles like miýo-paýowin,” said Dion Stout. “Miýo-paýowin is a Cree word that means good turns from changing fortunes. Miýo-paýowin measures our redirection through tough times and hard choices. Miýo-paýowin also minds our responses to one another whether we’re surviving or thriving. Miýo-paýowin compels us to ditch complacency and to pitch commitment instead, for it is always situational, internalized and relational.”
Dion Stout was honoured during Convocation for students in Carleton’s Faculty of Public Affairs, some of the 3,345 undergraduate and graduate students receiving their degrees over four days of ceremonies.
“Today, graduands from Carleton University are grateful for many things and to many people,” said Dion Stout. “Just yesterday theories and critical inquiries occupied your minds; tomorrow you will make them happen in a hungry world.”
A Cree speaker born and raised on Alberta’s Kehewin First Nation, Dion Stout is a leader in the health field.
A registered nurse with a Bachelor of Nursing degree from the University of Lethbridge and a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs from Carleton, Dion Stout now serves on several Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal committees that address Aboriginal health. She is the past president of the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada and in 2007 was appointed to the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
A former Canadian Studies professor at Carleton, she was the founding director of the university’s Centre for Aboriginal Education, Research and Culture. She is the president of Dion Stout Reflections Inc., and adopts a Cree lens in her research, writing and lectures on First Nations health.
Her dedication to her field has earned her numerous awards, including an Assiniwikamik Award from the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada, a Centennial Award from the Canadian Nurses Association, and a National Aboriginal Achievement Award and a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Lethbridge.
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