In 1989, The University of Lethbridge Alumni Association established their Alumnus of the Year Award to recognize those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and earned an international reputation in their chosen field.
This year the award goes to an alumna whose reputation is truly “inter-nation-al,” an alumna who is respected and renowned not only outside Canada, but also among the many nations within our own borders: Madeleine Dion Stout, Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Education, Research and Culture at Carleton University and Coordinator of Native and Northern Studies for that university’s School of Canadian Studies.
Madeleine Dion Stout is a Cree from the Long Lake First Nation in Northern Alberta. A member of a family of 12, she credits her earliest role model – her grandfather – with teaching her the value of working hard and producing something that is meaningful to others.
Professor Dion Stout received an R.N. from Edmonton General Hospital in 1968 and came to The University of Lethbridge in 1981, the very first year of the nursing program. She is a member of the School of Nursing’s first graduating class.
The U of L was an eye-opening experience for Professor Dion Stout. Inspired by her instructors and by the strong aboriginal presence at the University, she became self-confident and politicized. Shortly following her graduation, she became special adviser on native issues under Monique Begin, then federal Minster of Health and Welfare. In 1985 she became Director of Health and Welfare’s Indian and Inuit professional health careers program.
Returning to the academic milieu in 1989, Professor Dion Stout entered the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University. She received her Master’s degree in 1993, but even before she had completed that, she had been named the first director of the new Centre for Aboriginal Education, Research and Culture at Carleton. While still a graduate student, Professor Dion Stout also found time to serve a two-year term as the president of the Indian and Inuit Nurses of Canada (now the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada).
In 1993 Professor Dion Stout was appointed an assistant professor in The School of Canadian Studies at Carleton and last year she took on the additional responsibility of co-ordinator of Native and Northern Studies for Carleton’s School of Canadian Studies. Last October she was also appointed by Prime Minister Jean Chretien as one of the 24 members of the National Forum on Health.
Professor Dion Stout is an extremely active and popular speaker and writer on topics ranging from aboriginal health and education issues to self-government to human rights. She was the inaugural speaker for the University of Toronto Visiting Lectureship Program, which was aired on CBC Radio’s As It Happens, and has addressed numerous groups in both Canada and the United States. Her paper on “Indigenous Peoples and Health: the Case of North American Peoples pan American Health Organization,” presented in 1993 at the First Hemispheric Workshop on Indigenous Peoples and Health, remains a highlight of her career.
The Alumni Association is honoure