Source: A research study commissioned by the Board of Trustees of Seven Oaks School Division, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Summary: The Seven Oaks School Division extended, to all staff, an invitation to participate in a research project exploring Aboriginal perspectives in education (March, 2006). From this, a group of 18 teachers, school administrators, superintendents and student support staff from the Seven Oaks School Division formed a study/research committee. The committee was comprised almost equally of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal members.
For the first two years the work of the committee consisted primarily of reviewing research literature that focused on Aboriginal education as well as the research and educational experiences of Aboriginal peoples. This, of course, included readings about the residential school experiences and the long term impact colonization has had upon the Aboriginal peoples of Canada.
The committee members studied and engaged in dialogue around issues related to ethical research methodologies that are respectful of Aboriginal cultures and that contribute positively to the Aboriginal community. It was concluded that it was important to have Aboriginal epistemologies along with community voice and cultural advisors to guide this research.
The research purpose was defined: To identify from the perspectives of former Seven Oaks School Division Aboriginal students, factors which have contributed positively to their school experience. The report resulted from this initiative.