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Category: Relevant Research

Community-based access to apprenticeship: An Indigenous work-integrated learning model

Source: Michael Cameroni Assiniboine Community College, Brandon, Canada. Deanna Rexe, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada

Summary: Fresh approaches to trades training are essential for decolonizing educational access and success for Indigenous people. Holistic approaches to supporting student success are needed for the unique learning needs and contexts of Indigenous learners. Community-based training presents opportunities for this type of innovation. Using a Canadian case study and an Indigenous storytelling approach of witnessing, this paper introduces an Indigenous work-integrated learning conceptual model to support apprentice access and success through a community-based program. This student-centered approach ensures the apprentice is grounded in culture and Indigenous ways of knowing, doing, and being. Key features are described in a medicine wheel, which includes community, training providers, funders, and industry, and has the apprentice at the core.

Education in the Post-Pandemic Era: Indigenous Children

Source: The International Indigenous Policy Journal Volume 11, Number 3, 2020, p. 1–11
Special Section: The COVID-19 Pandemic and Indigenous Peoples

Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic crisis resulted in more than 100 countries legislating school closures in March 2020. In response, provincial ministries and their respective publicly-funded school boards have implemented online learning platforms to avoid disruptions to student learning. For students already ostracized in public education, on-line learning may serve to further embed them in the proverbial margins. This editorial speaks to the urgency for educators at all levels to prepare for the potentially devastating outcomes on Indigenous student learning and progress in post-pandemic public schools and classrooms. The preparation for these realities has to be both immediate and retrospective given the complexities of these unique circumstances that have created interwoven layers of marginalization for Indigenous students.

Indigenous Post-Secondary Learners and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Source: Indspire

Focus: Post-secondary researchers

Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic hit post-secondary learners hard in the Spring of 2020. In the final weeks of their term, faculty members were suddenly required to pivot to online learning. Students who relied on on-campus supports and IT facilities were scrambling as services were shut down. In the Fall of 2020, Indspire continued to hear from Indigenous learners that the pandemic was affecting them in unique and acute ways. Facing extra costs, delays in administrative processes, and shifts in access to supports, Indigenous post-secondary learners were navigating a new system in an already complex experience of pursuing post-secondary education.

Repercussions of COVID School Closures on the Indigenous Child’s Right to Education

Source: Human Rights Watch

Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic, and related school closures, has negatively affected children’s right to a quality education around the world. Indigenous children—both those living in and outside of Indigenous communities—frequently faced additional barriers to distance learning alternatives. Often these barriers are due to historic marginalization, exclusion, and systemic discrimination that resulted in disparities prior to the pandemic, and which can manifest in lower-incomes, lower levels of education within families, failure to adequately accommodate Indigenous languages, and under-investment in necessary infrastructure such as the internet. As an education official in the Pueblo of Jemez, a Native American community in the United States, said: “This pandemic has exacerbated the inequities that exist.”

Indigenous peoples and communities

Source: Government of Canada

Summary: “Indigenous peoples” is a collective name for the original peoples of North America and their descendants. Often, “Aboriginal peoples” is also used.

The Canadian Constitution recognizes 3 groups of Aboriginal peoples: Indians (more commonly referred to as First Nations), Inuit and Métis. These are 3 distinct peoples with unique histories, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.

More than 1.67 million people in Canada identify themselves as an Aboriginal person, according to the 2016 Census. Aboriginal peoples are:

  • the fastest growing population in Canada – grew by 42.5% between 2006 and 2016
  • the youngest population in Canada – about 44% were under the age of 25 in 2016

Cultural Infusions and Shifting Sands: What Helps and Hinders Career Decision-Making of Indigenous Young Adults

Source: Dr. Deepak Mathew. Trinity Western University, Ria K. Nishikawara. University of British Columbia, Dr. Alanaise O. Ferguson. Simon Fraser University, Dr. William A. Borgen. University of British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Career Development/Revue canadienne de développement de carrière, Volume 22, Number 1, 2023.

Summary: Indigenous young adults experience disproportionately high rates of unemployment, which are exacerbated by systemic factors such as poverty and oppression (Britten & Borgen, 2010). Despite these challenges, many Indigenous young adults do well in their educational and employment pursuits (Bougie et al., 2013). This study explored what helped and hindered the career decision-making of 18 Indigenous young adults in Canada who see themselves as doing well in this regard. Using the Enhanced Critical Incident Technique (ECIT), a qualitative research method which focuses on helping and hindering factors (Butterfield et al., 2009), 13 categories were identified: (a) Family/Relationships & commitments, (b) Setting goals/Taking initiative/Focusing on interests, (c) Support from community/mentors, (d) A healthy way (physical, mental, social), (e) Finding meaning/motivation & contributing, (f) Networking and who you know, (g) Systemic/External factors (institution, job-market, sexism, racism, interpersonal aspects), (h) Financial situation, (I) Knowledge/Information/Certainty, (j) Experience (work/life), (k) Educational opportunities/Training & specialized education, (l) Indigenous background/Cultural factors, and (m) Courage & self-worth (vs. fear/doubt in self/others). These categories highlighted the systemic, interpersonal, and experiential processes in  career decision-making for Indigenous young adults in Canada.

Implications for career counselling practice and future research are also discussed.

The Challenge of indigenous education: practice and perspectives

Source: UNESCO Digital Library Person as authors:  King, Linda and Schielman, Sabine

Summary: There are Indigenous Peoples living in many countries, all over the world. They  include  the  Indians  of  the  Americas,  the  Inuit  and  Aleutians  of  the circumpolar region, the Saami of northern Europe, the Aborigines of Australia, the Maori of New Zealand, and other peoples spread across the world, from the Arctic to the South Pacific. There are about 5,000 different Indigenous   and   tribal   peoples,   numbering   about   300   million   individuals altogether.

It  is  estimated  that  about  4,000  to  5,000  of  the  more  than 6,000 languages still spoken in the world are spoken by Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous Peoples live in widely varying environments, many in rural areas, and most  have  retained  their  specific  cultural  identity,  languages,  customs and traditions, social organization, economy, practices, and spiritual beliefs.

A Critical Perspective on the Canadian Education Gap: Assessing First Nation Student Education Outcomes in Canada May 2021

Source: Strategy Core Institute of Public Policy and Economy

Summary: Understanding the impacts of education institutions on First Nation communities requires consideration of both the history of education and its role in the erasure of sociocultural and spiritual practices, as well as its ongoing shortcomings to meet reconciliation goals and address the gaps in educational achievement. This paper aims to unpack the history of First Nations education in Canada, provide an overview of recommendations over the last several decades brought forth by First Nation and government bodies, outline the First Nation student learner outcomes in Canada, associated education gaps, and the key barriers to achievement, and initiate a critical path forward through three key recommendations. These recommendations are premised on the requirement that decision-making be in the hands of each individual First Nation, fully living up to “First Nation control of First Nation education.”

Chapter 4: Indigenous Youth in Canada

Source: Statistics Canada

Summary: Indigenous youth face unique structural inequities. The effects of colonization on Indigenous people in Canada continue to be felt and have reverberated through multiple generations. However, Indigenous youth continue to show resilience. While First Nations, Métis, and Inuit youth are less likely to have an Indigenous mother tongue, many have taken on Indigenous languages as second languages.

This chapter will look at Indigenous youth in Canada by examining their demographic, familial, educational, economic, health, and cultural characteristics. Youth are defined as those aged 15 to 24. Data are largely taken from the 2016 Census of Population and the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, unless otherwise noted.

Indigenous Students: Policy Paper

Source: OUSA – Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

Summary: The Ontario provincial government has yet to make an open commitment to decolonization efforts and supporting Indigenous self-determination. In order to truly commit to truth, reconciliation, and the advancement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous allyship, the provincial government has a duty to openly express support for decolonization efforts and Indigenous self-determination. Each author, contributor, and supporter of this paper has come forward to build the following recommendations to reflect the principles and concerns we believe must be represented, respected, and acted upon by our government in order to ensure that there is not only harm reduction for those in our academic space, but inclusivity and equity. We are thankful and honoured for the support we have seen through the creation of this paper, and we are eagerly expecting the government’s unwavering and deserved support.

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