A Perspective from the Community Economic Development diploma program delivered in Pukatawagan, northern Manitoba, Canada by the University College of the North.
The University College of the North (UCN) currently delivers the Community Economic Development (CED) diploma program in northern Manitoba via two full-time face-to-face synchronous learning modalities: 1) on the main campuses (The Pas and Thompson) and 2) as a pilot project in the UCN community-based Regional Centre in Pukatawagan. In the traditional campus-based CED program delivery, students come to the class, often relocating themselves from homes within the UCN catchment area; by contrast, in the community-based CED program, it is the instructor who moves into the community.
Accessible only by twice weekly rail service and daily air service, the community of Pukatawagan (population 4000) is the home of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation where the UCN Regional Centre began delivering the CED program in the fall term of 2016.
As Ralph Caribou, regional coordinator of UCN Pukatawagan, stated at the inaugural meeting of the CED cohort, “There are not enough jobs currently in town.” Given the current political situation of a conservative provincial government, the downturn of the resource-based economy of Manitoba, and limited economic development on the MCCN reserve, the existing fully-staffed government bodies (provincial, MCCN band, etc) are unlikely to take on more labour. It would be up to the private sector to generate employment opportunities. The intention of the campus-based delivery of CED is to foster entrepreneurship among the CED students.
A dozen adults in the CED cohort, 100% Indigenous treaty members, commenced with the instructor (Janice Seto) informing them on Day 1 each student will bring economic growth to their community by individually writing their own way to economic independence.
They could be living proof of economic development – or as some would say, “Living the dream by writing their own script.”
To read more about this article for the IACD click the link provided.The ‘Write’ Way to Community Economic Development in northern Manitoba by Janice Seto 20180418
Reference list: Janice Seto. 2018. Retrieved from The ‘Write’ Way to Community Economic Development in northern Manitoba by Janice Seto 20180418