Western Education's  MPEd | Field of Leadership in Indigenous Education

Master of Professional Education in the Field of Leadership in Indigenous Education is a course-based graduate program leading to an MPEd degree. Students proceed through the program together as a cohort and complete seven designated courses and a capstone project over six terms (two years). Student choice is encouraged through a process that allows individuals and groups to tailor course assignments, case studies and projects to meet their learning and professional goals.

  This is a hybrid (online & in-person courses) graduate degree program.

Integrate Indigenous knowledge at work

Understand educational politics and policies

Solve real-world problems

Create meaningful change

Manjeet Dhillon

What I like about my MPEd program is the way all the courses have connected directly to my professional and personal life. It has also allowed me to grow as an educator in many positive ways. Our online experience has been great as everyone in the programs is open, respectful and take price in sharing their personal experiences.

My MPEd degree program helped me think critically about gender equity, social justice, aboriginal education and more within my everyday teaching practise. It has allowed me to make great connections with peers and professors who have taught me so much. All that I have learned in this program will stay with me as an educator and person throughout the next chapters of my life.

- Manjeet Dhillon, Graduated 2020

Beyond the program details



  • A four-year degree (20 full courses or equivalent) from an accredited university.
  • Minimum "B" standing (70%) or equivalent in the final two years of study.


  • Minimum one-year full-time teaching experience, or experience within the field of education.

Notes & Exceptions:

  • Bachelor of Education and Additional Qualification course grades aren’t used in calculating admission averages.
  • Applicants with three-year degrees will be considered on a case-by-case basis if seats are available in programs. Successful experience as an educator in a professional setting may be considered in the selection process.
  • Probationary status: If an applicant doesn’t meet all of the minimum admission requirements (e.g. average below 70% and/or has only a three-year degree plus B.Ed.) the applicant may be offered admission as a Probationary Student with Conditions.
  • Conditions: Applicants will be required to maintain a 75% average in each of these courses to clear conditions.
  • The successful completion of an MPEd degree doesn’t lead to certification with the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT).

Please visit this link for Admission Requirements.


Tuition amounts are set each year by Senate and then published on the Office of the Registrar's Fees Schedules web page. Fees are assessed once each term (Fall, Winter, Summer).

Current students can access fee information by logging into the Student Centre (use your Western email log in and password). Students are notified each term once fee amounts have been posted in the Student Centre; it is each student's responsibility to log into the Student Centre and pay fees by the due date indicated. Failure to do so may result in a late payment fee or deregistration.

For questions about fees, including how to pay fees and the methods of payment that are accepted, students should go to the Student Financial Services pages of the Office of the Registrar's web site or contact Student Financial Services (Office of the Registrar) at 519-661-2100.

The Graduate Student Affordability Calculator was designed for you to get a better estimate of what it will cost to attend one of Western's graduate programs for one year. The calculator is not a promise of funding or a place to access scholarship support or financial aid; rather, it is intended to provide you with an accurate estimate of how much money you will need to pay for your tuition, fees, housing, food, and many other necessities for a 12-month (three-term) academic year.


The Faculty of Education recognizes the financial commitment required to pursue professional graduate studies.

As the majority of our programs are fully online, we offer students flexible learning that allows them to fund their education by remaining in their current employment. Some employers offer subsidization or time release opportunities for the professional learning of their employees. As a result, internal funding is not available for these programs.

There are also many external funding opportunities for competitive candidates in our professional programs. Download this PDF file for an additional list of over 30 external awards (see more information below). Also, visit online sites that contain numerous award opportunities.

Please note that students must apply for these awards individually. Read the qualifications carefully, and contact the award provider for more criteria and award information. Some application support is available from the Research Office for research-based awards only.

Many private financial institutions offer financing options (with particular rates and payment plans) to full-time students. Please contact a representative of your preferred financial institution for more information.

Provincial governments offer a variety of loan programs to help students finance their studies. Ontario residents may be eligible to apply for OSAP.

The Government of Canada's CanLearn website provides a listing of contact information for the offices of all government student financial assistance programs. Please visit CanLearn to find your province or territory listing. The Government of Canada implemented the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) to encourage higher education and training. The LLP allows you to withdraw up to $10,000 a year from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance training or education for you or your spouse or common-law partner. For further information on this plan, visit the government's LLP website


Instructors of onsite courses use the Sakai OWL platform, although it is not required.  Access to a course in Sakai OWL is typically opened the first business day of each term. Please note that although your own access may be granted prior to the first business day, course content may not be posted until closer to the scheduled term start. Your Western University login and password is required to access the course (your Western email without the @uwo.ca and its accompanying password). Access to the learning management system is found here: Sakai OWL.

For online courses, students are required to have access to the following:

  • High speed Internet access
  • Access to a computer that enables connection to outside websites (flexible firewall restrictions)
  • Multimedia playback capabilities (video/audio)
  • WebCam
  • Computer capable of running a recent version of Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox; and/or Cisco MOVI client for PC or Mac
  • Audio headset and microphone for computer

Program information


In addition to offering the core components of the educational leadership stream, the Leadership in Indigenous Education route considers Indigenous ways of leading, knowing, teaching and learning. A specific emphasis on organizational and pedagogical strategies to improve Indigenous student success is included as part of a broader consideration of the social, political and economic context of education.

Graduates of the program will have an understanding of the historical and contemporary conditions of Indigenous education in Canada, a comprehensive knowledge of current scholarship on Indigenous knowledge and research methodologies, and a thorough grounding in theories and practices of leadership.

This Master’s program prepares educators for a range of leadership roles in provincially funded or First Nations schools and school systems, colleges and other adult learning settings, and related agencies and organizations.

Important Note

The successful completion of a Master of Professional degree does not lead to certification with the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT).


The preparation of ethical, socially responsible leaders who are thoughtful practitioners and can demonstrate:

  • a capacity for care and compassion;
  • an open-mindedness and a willingness to learn about and integrate Indigenous knowledge into their professional practice;
  • a critical understanding of educational politics, policies and practices grounded in research and the knowledge of practice;
  • an ability to identify and solve complex problems using evidence;
  • an innovative and change-oriented approach to their work;
  • organizational and administrative competence.


This program of study is a course-based cohort model. For Leadership in Indigenous Education approximately 20 students will be admitted.

This cohort structure will provide ongoing support within the course work, enabling students to develop a professional community of practice. To ensure the integrity of the cohort model, continuous enrollment is required, and will necessitate that students complete all the required courses within the timeframe stipulated.


Summer Term 1
ED 9450 Interdisciplinary Issues and Implications in Indigenous Education

This course introduces students to the historical and contemporary realities of Indigenous education from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives. The impact of colonial frameworks of knowledge on Indigenous education will be critically examined. Using a decolonizing lens, students will investigate holistic, inclusive and respectful approaches to teaching and learning.

ED 9500 Power, Politics and Policy in Indigenous Education: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

This is an introductory course to educational policy making and analysis with relevance to Indigenous contexts. This course examines the various factors that have influenced the development of school systems and recent changes in pedagogy, curriculum and school leadership. The development of scholarly research and writing skills will be emphasized.

Fall Term 2
ED 9456 Leadership in Indigenous Social Contexts

A holistic examination of leadership for Indigenous student wellness and learning within family, school and community contexts. Topics may include the impact of historical trauma; internalized oppression; decolonization; healing and community development; critical selfreflection in professional practice; forms of leadership; Indigenous regeneration and resurgence; influencing change and social responsibilities of leaders in education.

Winter Term 3
ED 9451 Reading Research: Critical and Decolonizing Approaches for Educators

An exploration of educational research with an emphasis on understanding, decolonizing, critically evaluating, and applying research in professional practice settings. Consideration will be given to the relationship between research and practice, methodological issues, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous world views and social theories that inform research design, interpretation and analysis.

Summer Term 4
ED 9452 Becoming Leaders in Indigenous Education

Theories and models of leadership are considered, with an emphasis on emerging scholarship about Indigenous ways of leading. Topics will include education reform, school improvement, community involvement and action, as well as inclusive, distributed, activist and spiritual leadership. Leadership and its practical applications in varied education contexts will be considered.

ED 9453 Developing, Implementing and Evaluating Education Programs

Theories and approaches to program development, implementation and evaluation will be considered, with an emphasis on Indigenous educational contexts in Canada and internationally. Practical applications using real life case studies will provide a major focus for critically examining program planning, action and evaluative processes in Indigenous education settings.

Fall Term 5
ED 9454 Doing Educational Research in Indigenous Learning Environments

Discusses approaches to practitioner inquiry with an emphasis on applications in Indigenous educational learning environments. Working together as critical friends, students plan, develop and draft project proposals based on areas of professional interest and community need. Attention is given to research ethics.

Winter Term 6
ED 9455 Leadership in Indigenous Education Capstone Project - 1 term

A culminating project involving completion of the practitioner inquiry originating from the project proposal initiated in the course, Doing Educational Research. Students work together to demonstrate skills and competencies gained from their time in the Leadership in Indigenous Education program by coordinating activities involving dissemination of research project outcomes to relevant audiences.


Program Coordinator

Brent Debassige 


Renée Bédard

David Barillas Chon

Spy Dénommé-Welch

Erica Neeganagwedgin