Dr. Wanda Wuttunee

Dr. Wanda Wuttunee is an internationally known professor and researcher in the field of Aboriginal Economic Development. Dr. Wuttunee is Professor in the Department of Native Studies and serves as the Director of the Aboriginal Business Education Program (ABEP) in the I. H. Asper School of Business where she has played a critical role in attracting and engaging Aboriginal youth. As Director she has increased access to the Bachelor of Commerce Program. Prior to its inception only a handful of Aboriginal students had gone through the I. H. Asper School of Business and now there have been more than 55 graduates. Dr Wuttunee’s work to train future Aboriginal business leaders will benefit their home communities, Aboriginal business efforts, as well as, the mainstream business community.

In addition to the heavy administrative responsibilities that she carries, for the last 24 years Dr. Wuttunee has devoted her research agenda to understanding how Aboriginal values interact with capitalist values. She considers gender issues arising from economic development as well as the role of culture and tradition. The term “community capitalism” reflects her emphasis on the need for economic development to be in sync with Aboriginal communities. Her work brings to the forefront the many different ways in which Aboriginal peoples are contributing to the economy. She has published two books on the topic, Living rhythms: Lessons in Aboriginal economic resilience and vision and In business for ourselves: Northern entrepreneurs; written numerous journal articles (both academic and popular); and has made countless conference and invited presentations on the topic of Aboriginal economic development. Her work with MBA students for 12 years at the Asper School and her work over the past 8 years with master’s students at Concordia University has increased the exposure of future leaders to Aboriginal economy issues.

She was awarded the Women of Distinction: Education and Training in 2009 and was selected to attend the 2003 Commonwealth Study Conference for leaders. She is a board member of the Institute on Research and Public Policy and First Nations Statistical Institute.