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Through peace, friendship, and respect : University hosted outreach programs for Aboriginal students… Rayner, Allyson 2012

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Through peace, friendship and respect: University hosted outreach programs for Aboriginal students in the k-12 system  by  ALLYSON RAYNER Hon. B.A., McMaster University (2006)  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTERS OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Human Development, Learning and Culture)  THE UNIVESITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) August, 2012  © Allyson Rayner, 2012  i  Abstract In 2010, UBC had six outreach programs for Aboriginal students at the elementary and high school levels, three of which have been included in this research study. A total of seven staff from these three programs were interviewed. Of these seven, three were full time program staff, three were PhD students in addition to being program staff, and one was a faculty member; four were Aboriginal, and three were not. The interview transcripts were thematically analyzed to understand: why outreach programs are offered at UBC; how their philosophical frameworks are conceptualized; and what the drawbacks and benefits of these program are. This study is rooted in an Indigenous Knowledge framework, and draws upon the Guswentha treaty to help assay concepts which are typically relegated to critical theory frameworks, such as social justice, systemic change, and educational inequities. The Guswentha treaty redirects conversations of justice to relationships of respect, peace, and friendship. The analysis of the interviews shows that the outreach programs are said to exist at UBC in order to introduce more Aboriginal students to post-secondary schooling, to get more Aboriginal students enrolling in post-secondary schooling, to create more space at UBC for Aboriginal students, and to improve the health of Aboriginal people and communities. As well, these programs were said to exist due to the work of a few dedicated people. The philosophical frameworks of these programs are discussed using a wholistic framework, at the level of both the individual students and the larger university institution. The student is: physically supported through such amenities as scholarships and nutritious food; emotionally supported by stimulating an excitement for learning; and intellectually supported by providing access to superior science learning. The institution is: physically affected through the physical presence of more Aboriginal students; emotionally affected by more connections being made between faculty volunteers and the visiting students; and intellectually affected through the professional development of the faculty volunteers. The spiritual realm of both the student and the university was underserved.  ii  Preface This research has been approved by the UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board. The certificate number is: H09-03049.  iii  Table of Contents Abstract .............................................................................................................................. ii Table of contents ............................................................................................................ iv List of figures .................................................................................................................... vi Acknowledgements ......................................................................................................... vii Dedication ....................................................................................................................... viii Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................... 1 Location of the researcher ............................................................................................... 5 Chapter 2 LITERATURE REVIEW AND PURPOSE OF THIS RESEARCH ........ 8 An overview of the Aboriginal education literature ....................................................... 8 Spirit, the first direction ............................................................................................ 10 East, the second direction ......................................................................................... 12 South, the third direction........................................................................................... 15 West, the fourth direction ......................................................................................... 17 North, the fifth direction ........................................................................................... 20 Earth, the sixth direction ........................................................................................... 24 An overview of university K-12 outreach literature ..................................................... 29 Gaps in the research ...................................................................................................... 33 Purpose of this research ................................................................................................ 34 Research questions ........................................................................................................ 34 Chapter 3 THEORETICAL POSITIONING .............................................................. 36 What I have come to understand about Indigenous Knowledge systems ..................... 36 How Indigenous Knowledges will be used in my theoretical positioning.................... 41 The place of social justice and the Guswentha ............................................................. 42 Theoretical positioning: A summary ............................................................................ 44 Chapter 4 METHODOLOGY AND SIGNIFICANCE ............................................... 45 The four R’s .................................................................................................................. 45 Respect ...................................................................................................................... 45 Responsibility ........................................................................................................... 45 Relevance .................................................................................................................. 46 Reciprocity ................................................................................................................ 47 Method and population ................................................................................................. 47 Significance of study..................................................................................................... 48 Chapter 5 ANALYSIS .................................................................................................... 49 Research Question #1: Why are Aboriginal outreach programs offered at UBC? ....... 49 To introduce more Aboriginal students to post-secondary school, specifically science and math opportunities ................................................................................. 50 iv  To get more Aboriginal students enrolled at UBC, and other post-secondary institutions ................................................................................................................. 51 To create space at UBC for Aboriginal students ...................................................... 52 To improve the health status of Aboriginal peoples ................................................. 53 Because of the work of a few dedicated people ........................................................ 54 Research Question #2: How do the programs’ operating philosophies get conceptualized by the program leaders? ....................................................................... 56 The student ................................................................................................................ 57 The institution ........................................................................................................... 64 Both the student and institution focused levels are couched within a network of partners ...................................................................................................................... 68 Summary ................................................................................................................... 71 Research Question #3: What are the perceived benefits and drawbacks of these programs, in terms of both the students and the university?......................................... 72 Benefits for the students............................................................................................ 72 Drawbacks for the students ....................................................................................... 74 Benefits for the institution ........................................................................................ 75 Drawbacks to the institution ..................................................................................... 76 Chapter 6 DISCUSSSION.............................................................................................. 77 Making systemic change ............................................................................................... 77 Microclimates and the swiss cheese model of systemic change ............................... 82 The students’ wholistic education ................................................................................. 84 One dedicated individual .............................................................................................. 87 Gauging success in Aboriginal outreach programming ................................................ 89 Possible cautions and their management ...................................................................... 92 The assimilative potential of outreach programs ...................................................... 92 A lack of spiritually based programming.................................................................. 94 Chapter 7 REVISITING THE GUSWENTHA ........................................................... 97 The framework .............................................................................................................. 97 The Guswentha’s relationship to education and outreach programs .......................... 100 Conclusion .................................................................................................................. 103 References ...................................................................................................................... 105 Appendix A Interview Questions ................................................................................. 113  v  List of figures Figure 1 A modified version of Hampton's (1995) original depiction (p.17) of the six directions and the twelve standards of education. .............................................................. 9 Figure 2 A replica of the framework for the Guswentha Belt, also called the Two Row Wampum Belt .................................................................................................................. 43 Figure 3 A replica of the framework for the Guswentha Belt, also called the Two Row Wampum Belt .................................................................................................................. 97 Figure 4 How the Guswentha structure may apply to education, with the outreach programs operating along the black lines. ...................................................................... 102  vi  Acknowledgements I would first like to acknowledge the Musqueam people and their unceded territory on which UBC currently sits. I hope that one day your land is returned to you. I would like to acknowledge my supervisor, Jo-ann Archibald, and my committee members, Mary Bryson and Tracy Friedel, for their guidance in this graduate school adventure. You have helped me to think in new ways and have made me a better student. My acknowledgements also go to the participants in this study. Your expertise, life experience, and perseverance makes UBC a better place and offers visiting students opportunities to enrich their learning. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I would also like to acknowledge my partner in time, you make life beautiful and you make everything I do better. To my mom, dad, sister and Elaine: thanks for all the Starbucks cards, they made it possible for me to write this! And to my friends: thanks for re-energizing me during all of those in-between times.  vii  Dedication Curtis, you’re better than Batman in my books. I hope universities are better places by the time you get here.  viii  Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION okay we said to this teacher you tell us you are teaching us we see us and we see you but we don’t see the teaching and we don’t hear it or smell it or feel it where is the life of it (Cole and O’Riley, 2002, p. 146) The education system has repeatedly been found to disproportionately fail Indigenous students. In terms of retention, for example, of the total number of Indigenous students enrolled in grade eight classes in British Columbia in the 2002/03 school year, 97% continued to grade nine, 92% continued to grade ten, 81% continued to grade eleven, 67% continued to grade twelve, and only 47% actually completed grade twelve (BC Min of Ed, 2009). These statistics are daunting and become exposed as a gross inequity when compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts: of the non-Indigenous students enrolled in grade eight during the 2002/03 school year, 100% moved on to grade nine, 100% moved on to grade ten, 97% moved on to grade eleven, 91% moved on to grade twelve, and 81% completed grade twelve (BC Min of Ed, 2009). Furthermore, only 58% (of the 47%) of Indigenous students who graduated high school in 2002/03 transitioned to postsecondary education; this can be compared to 71% (of the 81%) of non-Indigenous students (BC Min of Ed, 2009). Retention rates are just one symptom of Canada’s inequitable education system. Other symptoms include: internalized racism, feelings of low self-worth, cultural disconnectedness, high unemployment rates and high suicide rates. Indeed, the education system is rife with inadequacies, and their remediation has become a core issue in Indigenous people’s reclamation of control over their lives, communities, and nations (Castellano, Davis, and Lahache, 2000). There is no “cure-all,” 1  however, for the myriad problems that exist in the education system (Battiste & Henderson, 2000, p. 92). Instead, creating an equitable education system will be the result of multimodal efforts - top-down, bottom-up, preschool foci, university foci, community foci, self-determination efforts, history curricula, math curricula, pedagogical styles, teacher education initiatives, administrative support - the list is near endless. Ball and Simpkins (2004), for example, focus on preschool and state that building a positive cultural identity in early years will have long lasting effects like improving the chances of future academic success, decreasing high school drop-out rates, decreasing clinical symptoms, and improving personal behaviours. Lipka, Sharp, Adams, and Sharp (2007), as another example, revamp math curricula and pedagogy by connecting local Indigenous knowledges to the Western schooling system, creating a complex math space that is cognitively demanding, instead of back to basics. Additionally, Elkins, Elkins and Hemmings (2008), report on Geojourney, an interdisciplinary university semester spent on the road, incorporating and focusing on geology, Indigenous studies, and environmental studies, by visiting national parks, industrial sites, Indigenous communities, and having campfire lectures (Elkins, Elkins & Hemmings, 2008). Indeed, the strategies used to address educational inequities are numerous. One of the ways that people at the University of British Columbia (UBC) have been involved in remedying the educational inequities that exist for many Indigenous students, is by creating and hosting a variety of kindergarten to grade 12 (k-12) outreach programs for Indigenous students. Below is a brief description of the six outreach programs currently in operation at UBC. 1. Cross-Cultural Education through Demonstration, Activity, and Recreation (CEDAR) began in 2004, with the help of the Faculties of Science and Land and Food Systems. It  2  offers a two week long summer day camp program for Indigenous youth aged 8-12 in the Vancouver area, and its primary focus is science-related programming; however, it also includes Fine Arts, Education, and Applied Science. Topics and activities included in the 2009 summer day camp were: kiwi fruit DNA, fungus growth, socceer workshops, traditional Indigenous fishing methods, electricity and robot heads, dairy farming, a trip to the museum of anthropology, a trip to science world, carnivorous plants, math learning, and forest ecosystems. 2. Summer Science is a one weeklong program for Indigenous students in grades 8 to 12. It began in 1988 and is hosted in partnership by the Institute for Aboriginal Health and the First Nations House of Learning. It focuses on cultivating an interest in the health sciences and hopefully post-secondary schooling. 3. Ch’nook Cousins is run as part of the larger Ch’nook Aboriginal Business Education program at UBC, a partnership program between the First Nations House of Learning and the Sauder School of Business. It introduces Indigenous high school students to UBC by bringing them to campus and partnering them with Aboriginal university students currently studying business. Together they collaborate to work on a businessrelated problem. In 2009, for example, they developed television ads for Tim Hortons and Starbucks. 4. Indigenous Math outreach programming is offered to both elementary and high school students in partnership with the Faculty of Math and the Pacific Institute for Mathematics and Sciences (PIMS). This program provides opportunities for Indigenous students, aged 10 to 18, to (a) work one-on-one with faculty members and graduate students, (b) attend after school workshops, and (c) attend math focused summer camps (UBC Science, n.d.). In 2008, Britannia Secondary saw three Indigenous math outreach graduates enter grade 12 mathematics; something that “no aboriginal student in recent memory has made it to” (Britannia doing, 2008). 5. The Native Youth Program began in 1979 and is run in partnership with the Museum of Anthropology, the First Nations House of Learning, and the Aboriginal Career Community Employment Services Society (ACCESS). The program employs six high school students to work at the museum for seven weeks during the summer. The student-employees get a chance to work with the collections, meet artists and Elders, work with researchers, develop their leadership and team building skills, and learn more about their own cultural heritage. Many graduates go on to attend college, university or gain employment related to their summer work. 6. The Intergenerational Farm Project was started in the Spring of 2009 as part of the Aboriginal Community Kitchen Gardens program at the UBC Farm. It brings grade 7 and 8 students from an inner-city, eastside elementary school to the UBC farm to learn about plants and biology from Elders, volunteers and each other. With the guidance of Elders and community volunteers the students work together to plant a garden, cultivate it and harvest it.  3  In addition to these six program, there are several programs that formally existed at UBC: the PESKA Shad Valley Program which provided intensive science and entrepreneurship programming for exceptional grade 10 and 11 Indigenous students (Enns & Rayner, 2009); the Synala Honours Program which was a six week summer program for grade 11 students who demonstrated post-secondary potential (Enns & Rayner, 2009); and, Forestry summer camps which offered on-campus lessons and field research experiences to grade 8 and 9 students (Enns & Rayner, 2009). Indeed, there are a number of innovative educational outreach programs for Indigenous students at UBC, all of which have been specifically created to cultivate positive educational experiences. The importance of these innovations are potentially immense, for education has been called “the most powerful institution in any society” (Williams, 2000, p. 145). It has the ability to be incredibly destructive or constructive, for it grooms students to assume a future place in the world (Williams, 2000, p. 145). These programs, however, should not be couched within the benevolence of UBC, but instead within an image of UBC that positions it as not living up to its obligation to provide equitable education for Indigenous peoples and nations. Up until the past decade or two, for example, UBC did not exude any feelings of responsibility for changing the way it relates to priorities in Aboriginal education or Indigenous Knowledges. In this research I wish to explore the positionality and constructiveness of the k-12 outreach innovations at UBC.  4  Location of the researcher I am a 31 year old, third generation white Canadian on my father’s side and a fourth generation white Canadian on my mother’s side. Both families immigrated to Canada from England. My ancestors were and are the colonizers of this land. I grew up similar to how many other colonizer-descendants grew up: in the suburbs, ignorant of the heaps of privilege I carried. My mother was a stay-at-home mom, my father was a high school geography teacher, and I played in little-league baseball every Tuesday and Thursday. My peers and I grew up with school curricula that Battiste (2004) states is “sanitized to ensure that the picture of the government, the settlers, and their policies ... are not clouded with dispirited facts” (p. 12). I became “educated” (became ignorant) within this curriculum. Cole and O’Riley state (2002) that “we [they are speaking as two Indigenous adults] only want our children to have a better chance than we got” (p. 146); similarly, I would also like the future generations of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children to receive a better education than the colonial, ignorance-laden one that I and my peers received. I am a queer white woman. One who performs her gender in a way that deviates from the hegemonic femininity that is the norm in North American society. I have short short hair, walk with a swagger, and love bowties. My gender-performance is not for shock-value which many people believe; but instead is who I am, and is typical of the queer culture of which I am a part. People stare. Children ask me intimate and inappropriate questions about my gender and sexuality. Elderly people are often dismissive. It is not rare for me to be the recipient of homophobic taunts shouted from within passing cars. When seated in large lecture theatres, it is also not uncommon for  5  there to be at least two seats free on either side of me no matter what row I sit in, or on what side of the lecture theatre. I embody an internalized homophobia, constantly trying to monitor feelings of embarrassment and shame about looking “too much like a lesbian.” Societal discrimination is indeed prevalent in my life, and as a result I am able to relate to feelings of social marginalization. I am a queer, white, ally who has been working in Indigenous academia and organizations for several years. I am a graduate of McMaster’s Indigenous studies program, which Dr. Dawn Martin-Hill created in partnership with her community, Six Nations, and McMaster. It was there, in 2002, that I really first learned of Turtle Island’s colonization and the attempted genocide: (a) the cultural oppression of Indigenous peoples by the Canadian government (e.g. the outlawing of Indigenous ceremonies and customs); (b) the assimilative tactics of residential schools that existed to ‘kill the Indian and save the man’; and, (c) the racist views of missionaries and European settlers that placed Indigenous cultures as inferior and savage (Wesley-Esquimaux & Smolewski, 2004). I operate from a place that recognizes that these historical acts of colonization have created a situation that forces Indigenous peoples and communities to not only have to cope with institutional and entrenched racism, but also with a disproportionate rate of physical and mental illnesses associated with the “unfavourable economic and social conditions that are inextricably linked to native peoples’ history of oppression” (Macmillan et al., 1996, p. 1577). I locate myself in this thesis as an ally and strive to adopt what Bishop (as cited in Class Action, 2001) refers to as one of the keys to becoming an ally: “understanding oppression, how it came about, how it is held in place and how it stamps its pattern on the  6  individual and institutions that continually recreate it” (p. 1). Helping me to understand oppression and how it stamps its pattern on an individual and society is 1) an education from Indigenous academics -- Dawn Martin-Hill, Theresa McCarthy, Rick Monture, Chris Anderson, Sadie Buck, Jo-ann Archibald, Madeliene MacIvor, Tracy Friedel -- not white anthropologists, and 2) personally understanding discrimination as a queer woman with a queer gender that violates and destabilizes dominant notions of gender, one of society’s most pervasive norms. Peter Cole (2004) states that: nonaboriginal indian experts cannot decolonize they can only do another white rewrite (p. 27)  they cannot aboriginalize  and research by outsiders disempowers us colonizes us assimilates us (p. 28) With this as a reference point, I approach this research very cautiously. I approach this research even with these damning words as I feel it would be equally problematic to not actually do anything with all of the teachings I have heard and the perspective I have acquired over the past several years. I approach this research believing that white people actively attempted to dispossess Indigenous peoples of their rights, nationhood, cultures, and land, and were/are the creators of the systems that create the problems currently being experienced by Indigenous communities, and thus need to be part of the “solution,” as long as we approach it with a good mind and a good heart. “This journey [the healing journey] cannot be achieved by Indigenous peoples alone, but has to be collective collaborative work” (Battiste, 2004, p. 9).  7  Chapter 2 LITERATURE REVIEW AND PURPOSE OF THIS RESEARCH An overview of the Aboriginal education literature The literature is vast with regards to Aboriginal education and so too are the suggestions for addressing the education system’s inequities and inadequacies. The best framework I have come across to help organize and clarify my understandings of Indigenous Education is Hampton’s (1995) pattern of The Six Directions. Hampton’s (1995) framework, a copy is depicted below in Figure 1, is an organizing principle that helps to understand a variety of characteristics of Indigenous Education.  8  Spirit West- Fall 7. History 8. Relentlessness  North- Winter 9. Vitality 10. Conflict  South-Summer 5. Transition 6. Respect  East- Spring 3. Diversity 4. Culture  1. Spirituality 2. Service  Earth 11. Place 12. Transformation  Figure 1 A modified version of Hampton's (1995) original depiction (p.17) of the six directions and the twelve standards of education.1  Hampton’s framework describing characteristics of Indigenous education cycles through the six directions: 1) beginning with a connection to the spirit, followed by, 2) the springtime of origin in the east, 3) the summertime of prosperity in the south, 4) the  1  The ways in which my depiction differs from the original is that Hampton includes extra descriptor words for each direction, more than just the 12 standards. I omitted these extra descriptors as I wanted to clearly focus on the twelve standards.  9  autumn-time of struggle in the west, 5) the wintertime of conquest and subjugation in the north, and finally 6) a transformational connection to the earth. Within each of these six directions Hampton describes two elements of Indigenous Education, altogether describing twelve characteristics of Indigenous education. These twelve elements characterize Indigenous education as: 1) having a spiritual core, 2) having a purpose of servicing its people, 3) recognizing the plurality of knowledges, 4) coming from a cultural place, 5) continuing from, but not duplicating, historical traditions, 6) emphasizing a notion of respect between autonomous, yet interconnected, individuals, 7) recognizing the contemporary and intergenerational repercussions of colonization, 8) being relentless in its fight for wanting healthy Aboriginal children, 9) having a vitality that is evident in the myriad of new educational programming, 10) recognizing that there is a conflict or dissonance between Indigenous education and mainstream/white education, 11) emphasizing the importance of an Indigenous sense of place and land, and finally, 12) recognizing a need for a transformation in the relationships between Aboriginal peoples/communities and white peoples/governments. Each of these twelve characteristics of Indigenous education is expanded upon below, providing a solid and comprehensive context from which to proceed with this research study on Aboriginal outreach programming.  Spirit, the first direction Spirit, Hampton (1995) states, is related to “the great mystery - the ultimate source,” and is where the process of understanding Indigenous education should begin. It includes the first two standards of Indigenous education: spirituality and service.  10  Spirituality, the first characteristic of Indigenous education Hampton (1995) states that Indigenous education has at its centre a “respect for the spiritual relationships that exist between all things” (Hampton, 1995, p. 19). At this spiritual centre, Hampton (1995) continues, are individuals who recognize that they are related to all that exists. He discusses education in terms of recognizing that every being is “related to all that is,” and recognizing that everyone is an “autonomous individual in union with and able to work for [her/his] people” (p 19). This interrelatedness, and the recognition of it, is what Hampton places as the spiritual centre of Indigenous education. Cajete (2005) echoes this recognition of spirituality in Indigenous education, for he lists “the spiritual” as one of his seven foundations for traditional Indigenous education. Spirituality, as Cajete (2005) asserts, is both “a foundational process and a field through which” Indigenous education occurs (p. 76). The intense neoliberalism and secularism that is found in many contemporary schools and their curricula is out of sync with this notion of spirituality being at the core of Indigenous education. Twylah Hurd Nitsch (1999), a Seneca Elder, speaks of how contemporary “city schools … are not quite connected to the Earth, they are more connected to a physical feeling than to a spiritual feeling,” and there needs “be a balance of both to become whole” (p. 87). Striving to achieve this balance that Twylah Hurd Nitsch emphasizes, is centralized in Hampton’s (1995) notion of Indigenous education.  11  Service, the second standard of Indigenous education Hampton (1995) states that Indigenous education should “serve the people” and not be for “individual advancement or status” (p. 21). Indeed, Indigenous education is typically not described as an individualist project, but is instead one that emphasizes communality and reciprocity. LaFrance (2000), for example, asserts that “for us [she is speaking as a Mohawk woman], the final success of education is the production of socialized citizens who meet the needs of the community” (p. 103; emphasis added). Additionally, as Pidgeon (2008) relays, one indicator of success used by many Indigenous university students is how their degrees and university experiences enable them to give back to the larger Indigenous community: “As [one] female student from Central-U believed, ‘I know I’m successful when I’m helping’ [to] improve the health not just of her own community but also of all Aboriginal peoples” (Pidgeon, 2008, p. 153). Another example of service can be found in MacIvor (1995), who calls for a redefinition of science education because Indigenous communities are in need of Indigenous peoples to steward their resources as opposed to always having to outsource to white or nonIndigenous people; that is to say, science education for the sake for service, not science education just for the sake of education. Indeed, this notion of “giving back” and “service to” is evident in much research on Indigenous education.  East, the second direction The second direction in Hampton’s (1995) framework is the east, which symbolizes the “time of origin” or “a time when the world was young” (Hampton, 1995, p. 16). It connotes a beginning, springtime, greenery, and growing things (Hampton,  12  1995). The two standards of Indigenous education that this direction embodies are diversity and culture.  Diversity, the third standard of Indigenous education The recognition of the diversity and plurality of Indigenous nations and knowledges can be traced “to the dawn of time” (Hampton, 1995, p. 24). There is no one, objective, positivistic, truth that Indigenous Knowledge systems and Indigenous education are trying to uncover and teach. Instead, there are multiple perspectives. Indeed, each Indigenous nation has developed a different knowledge system over the centuries of living with their land and its ecology (Barnhardt and Kawagley, 2005). Education is not separate from this plurality of knowledges, for epistemological and philosophical beliefs guide educational practices, both in the teacher’s pedagogy and in the students’ learning (Hodgson-Smith, 2000). Indigenous education does not often strive for discovering a universal best, but instead finding out what particular practices work best for a particular group of students at a specific moment in time when taking into consideration their nations and past experiences.  Culture, the fourth standard of Indigenous education Hampton (1995) states that Indigenous “cultures have ways of thought, learning, teaching and communicating that are different from, but as valid as, those of white cultures” (p. 28). “These thought-ways,” Hampton (1995) continues, “stand at the beginning of Indian time and are the foundations for our children’s lives” (p. 28). Some of the ways the Elders in the book In the words of Elders described how their nation’s  13  traditional education took place was: through storytelling (George Blondin, from Slavey/Dogrib, p. 394); by Elders sitting “around maybe outside with a fire … tell[ing] stories … for hours and hours just to learn their kids” (Albert Ward, Micmac, 1999, p. 59); by accompanying parents on different activities (Pauloosi Angmarlik, Inuit, 1999, p. 274); by imitating parents through play (Elizabeth Penashue, Innu, p. 207); and by sitting with grandparents (Liza Mosher, Odawa, 1999). Kulchyski, McCaskill, and Newhouse (1999), the editors of the same book in which all of the above Elders are included, characterize traditional teaching as: being personal, humorous and involving intuition; stressing respectful listening, observing and waiting; looking for the hidden meaning of experiences; emphasizing personal awareness and responsibility; and ensuring that the learning is of a good mind (p. xv). How Aboriginal cultural practices are reflected in Canada’s contemporary formal education system seems to be through two ways. The first is through the creation of “cultural-survival schools” which “function as alternatives to [Canada’s] public schools and are based on an Aboriginal philosophy of teaching and learning to provide students with an affirmation of their traditional and spiritual roots” (Kulchyski, McCaskill, and Newhouse, 1999, p. xxiii). Mohawk Elder, Ernest Benedict (1999), speaks of the “cultural-survival school” in his community and talks about how important these schools will be for the survival of Aboriginal languages specifically. The second way Aboriginal cultures seem to be reflected in Canada’s contemporary formal education system is through what is called “culturally responsive curricula”: “a perspective of education that is based on the students’ culture, language, and traditions, validating who they are and at the same time offering solid basis for further education” (Athie-Martinez, 2010).  14  One example of how culture can guide education is found in LaFrance (2000). She implemented a science curriculum that was guided by the Haudenosuanne Thanksgiving Address. The Thanksgiving Address is the central prayer for the Haudenosuanne people which: asks for the people to come together with peaceful thoughts and a good mind; acknowledges the earth and all of her gifts; talks of the beings above - the birds, the four winds, the thunders; thanks the Creator; and, calls for people to remain peaceful between ourselves, in our minds, and to help and protect all of creation (Thomas, 1992, p. 10-11). LaFrance (2000) has used this rubric in her science education class, qualitatively shifting her science education to something different than the typical Eurocentric one. Indeed, many Indigenous education initiatives and conceptualizations incorporate and rely on culturally specific ways of “thought, learning, teaching, [and] communicating” (Hampton, 1995, 28).  South, the third direction The southern direction of Indigenous education is understood in terms of summertime characteristics: a time of flourishing for Indigenous cultures and education, the time before the colonizers came to Turtle Island (Hampton, 1995). The two Indigenous education standards this direction includes are: tradition and respect.  Tradition, the fifth standard of Indigenous education Indigenous education is often rooted in tradition. However, as Hampton (1995) states, although Indigenous education “maintains a continuity with tradition,” this does not mean that Indigenous education is static and frozen in history (p. 29). It is not an  15  exact duplicate of historical tradition, but instead continues from it and is a contemporary manifestation of it. “It is the continuity of a living culture that is important to Indian education, not the preservation of a frozen museum specimen” (Hampton, 1995, p. 29). McConnell (2002), discusses this theme in her article: Where are the roots I rise from? How do they hold me as I teach? Whose past am I connected to in this present moment in this future moment How do I respect the season of planting the phase of the moon the climate of my classroom? What violence am I performing on understanding when I do not hear/smell/feel/remember these? (p. 149) Indeed, Indigenous education is mindful of whose traditions are being honoured in the classroom and in the larger educational system.  Respect, the sixth standard of Indigenous education Hampton (1995) states that Indigenous education “demands relationships of personal respect,” respectful relationships between autonomous, yet connected, individuals. As Cole (2002) describes: and how did the conversation get shifted into the western category of “rights” including aboriginal rights we never had “rights” before contact we had relationships we had community talking about aboriginal rights is a way of moving an aboriginal relation al conversation away into a western legal discourse give me relationships mr prime minister and the opportunity to practice my culture on my own land and you can keep your native rights (p. 456)  Participating in and honoring these relationships of respect, Cajete (2005) states, is where “true learning occurs” (p. 71). Indigenous children, parents, and Elders, however, have not typically been able to partake in a respectful relationship with the education system; non-Aboriginal teachers, curriculum writers and administrators usually dominate the  16  relationship between education and families, one-sidedly determining the workings of the educational system (MacIvor, 1995).  West, the fourth direction The fourth direction, West, is symbolic of autumn, the precursor to the winter (Hampton, 1995). The invasion of the explorers and the introduction of western forms of education is the autumn of traditional Indigenous education (Hampton, 1995). The two Indigenous education standards this direction includes are history and relentlessness.  History, the seventh standard of Indigenous education Hampton (1995) states that Indigenous education “has a sense of history and does not avoid the hard facts of the conquest of America” (p. 32). Colonization has had severe physical, mental, and spiritual effects, such as high rates of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and material poverty (physical), erosion of self-concept and denial of self worth (mental), and the imposition of Christianity and the outlawing of Indigenous ceremonies (spiritual) (Hampton, 1995). Felicity (2006), a participant in Cole’s (2006) doctoral dissertation, discusses some of the “hard facts of the conquest of America”: F: Why are our people in jails, on the streets, on drugs and alcohol? Why are our people abusing? They learned it from the system - abuse you are not born withyou are taught it. ... F: Civilize us? You can change the way we dress; act, and talk, but you can’t change the color of our skin and hair. You may beat the language right out of us. You took the traditions away, stole and raped our children. Did we beat you for speaking your language? Did we molest your children when they were helpless and nowhere to go. Did we force you to learn our language? P: fat chance of that  17  F: did we force you to learn our culture, do we shove an eagle feather into your faces, and force you to pray our way? Is this how you teach your children to live? Now we must try and pick up our people. Must we be afraid when we see a shadow in the night; must we fret when we try to speak our language? Do we run with embarrassment when our relatives come with a buckskin hand drum? (as cited in Cole, 2006, p. 208-9)  All of these repercussions of colonization have impacted and continue to impact the current state of Indigenous students and the education to which they have access. Colonization and its severe repercussions is not just a thing of history, but instead it is very much alive. Martin-Hill (2008), for example, states that Indigenous peoples often “live in the shadow of colonization” (p. 6). Indigenous education, as Hampton (1995) asserts, does not try to ignore this history, but instead recognizes it. The role that education has played in colonization has been significant. Smith (1999) asserts that education was the most prominent agent for “imposing positional superiority over knowledge, language and culture” (p. 64). Education was one of the primary vehicles through which Canada tried to enforce Aboriginal children to adopt a Eurocentric culture and to sever the people’s relationships to each other, to the spirits, to the land, to their languages, and to their memories of home (Battiste, 2004; Smith, 1999). Indeed, schools are often seen to be continuing on this trajectory: What I am concerned about is whether these distinct nonwhite cultures are becoming assimilated in public schools and universities forced to become white on the inside is the role of publicly funded education to bleach fabric soften tumbledry and press people who do not fit a white straight ‘able-bodied’ preshrunk mold to make them write think act feel white/euro white/canuck privileging western everything” (Cole, 2004, p. 23)  18  The hidden Eurocentric curriculum of contemporary schools is still a component of North American culture: individualistic, competitive, secular, hierarchical, assimilative, and separate from nature (Grande, 2004).  Relentlessness, the eighth standard of Indigenous education Hampton (1995) states that Indigenous education “is relentless in its battle for Indian children” (p. 32). It always struggles “against attacks on identity, intelligence, way of life, [and] essential worth” (Hampton, 1995, p. 35). The fact that Indigenous innovations in education persist after decades and centuries of assimilative tactics is a testament to the relentless commitment of Aboriginal Elders, parents, educators, and community leaders (Castellano et al., 2000). As Cole asserts: Even now, my ideas and those of my relations are queued, waiting re/lease rather than manufacture by other (Cole and O’Riley, 2002, p.141) First Nations people do not need to be empowered by others we can empower ourselves we are not deficient in knowings needing filling of a laconian lack we have 15,000 years of knowings with this land now we have to know both their and our knowings to live in the world (Cole and O’Riley, 2002, p. 147)  Colonization and its myriad repercussions, Martin-Hill (2008) states, “is not what we [Indigenous peoples, Mohawk peoples] are but what we must overcome” (p. 7). The relentlessness found in Indigenous education is palpable, especially considering the examples of the innovative educational programming described below in the ninth standard of Indigenous educational: vitality.  19  North, the fifth direction North, the fifth direction, is symbolic of the winter. It refers to the continuance of the “conquest and subjugation” of Indigenous nations (Hampton, 1995, p. 33). The north connotes survival, endurance and wisdom (Hampton, 1995). Its lessons can be hard and it is not enough to be good, or smart. The north demands knowledge (Hampton, 1995, p. 33). The two Indigenous education standards this direction includes are vitality and conflict.  Vitality, the ninth standard of Indigenous education Hampton (1995) states that Indigenous education “cultivates what lies hidden within personal and tribal suffering and oppression.” He asserts, that “suffering begets strength” and no measure of infant mortality or alcoholism captures the vitality of Indigenous nations and education. The best way I can find to explain the vitality of Indigenous education is to describe some examples of the currently existing innovative programs: Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP), Native Access to Engineering Program (NAEP), and Innovative Learning Centre (ILC). Below I explain each briefly. ANSEP is affiliated with Fairbanks University in Anchorage, Alaska and was created in order to begin addressing the systemic problems faced by Alaskan Indigenous students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. The program’s stated objective “is to effect a systemic change in the hiring patterns of Indigenous Americans in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by increasing the number of individuals on a career path to leadership in STEM  20  fields” (ANSEP, n.d.). Its programming is multidimensional in the sense that they offer programs at several different access points: high school, the summer before starting university, and at the university level. There are four high school components - Computer Assembly, Tablet Tutoring, Junior Academy, and Engineering Jump Start. Below, I will elaborate on one, the computer assembly program, as it is an outreach type program like the programs included in this study. The Pre-College Computer Assembly program begins in the sophomore and freshmen years of high school and gives students a chance to own their own computer by participating in a “build-your-own” program. All participating students must enroll and complete chemistry, physics, and trigonometry high school courses, as well as enrolling in the lab where they do the actual assembling of their computer and learn how to use STEM software such as GIS, giving them a head start for university level classes. This program “catalyzes an interest in high school trigonometry, chemistry, and physics; connects students with professionals in industry and academia; provides industrial partners with a technologically trained workforce; and develops the enabling infrastructure necessary to sustain the effort long term” (ANSEP, n.d.). Currently, 62% of the 540 students who have enrolled in the Computer Assembly program have successfully completed the STEM courses and the computer-building lab ” (ANSEP, n.d.). NAEP is affiliated with Concordia University in Montreal. It started in 1993 with the goal of increasing the number of Indigenous students in engineering undergraduate programs by offering university level courses (NAEP, n.d.). Since 1993, they have changed to focus on K-12 science education for Indigenous students in order to catch 21  students before they fall too far behind. NAEP runs summer camps, career days, developed curriculum resources, and have hosted professional development conferences for math and science teachers (NAEP, n.d.). In 1998, NAEP began creating and distributing science curricula that were intended to engage, and be relevant to, Indigenous students (NAEP, n.d.). Every three months NAEP published a newsletter, worksheet and teacher guide for their subscribers. Currently there are 25 available teacher guides which are intended to engage Indigenous students specifically, topics include geomatics, water, energy, flight, agriculture, and sound (NAEP, n.d.). No statistics or testimonies were available regarding the usage of these curricula materials, but the decade long continuance of producing these resources might imply that they are being downloaded and used. The ILC is affiliated with the University of Winnipeg. It offers elementary and secondary level programming for Aboriginal students, new Canadians, and inner city students. All levels of their programming incorporate and are built upon the Annishnabek’s seven sacred teachings and are designed to nurture and respect Indigenous sciences (ILC, n.d.). The elementary level programs they offer are: Eco-U Summer Kids Camp, Eco-Kids on Campus, and Eco-Kids after school. The highschool level programming is: Enviro-Tech, Shine On, and Model School. Eco-U Summer Kids Camp and the Enviro-Tech programs are explained below as two examples. 1. Eco-U Summer Kids Camp is a day camp for Aboriginal and inner-city students that has offered approximately 1700 students the chance to learn science by tending a community garden, participating in ceremonies, and listening to storytellers (ILC, n.d.).  22  2. The Enviro-Tech program is offered to grade 10 students for high school credit. The course promotes Indigenous science and “a shared responsibility for caring for people and our planet” (ILC, n.d.). So far approximately 50 students have successfully completed this course, and some of these graduates have given back to the ILC by working with and mentoring the participants in the Eco-U Summer Kids Camp. These above three examples are just a few of the many currently existing programs for Indigenous students, which demonstrates the vitality of Indigenous education that Hampton (1995) discusses in his framework.  Conflict, the tenth standard of Indigenous education Hampton (1995) states that Indigenous education “recognizes the conflict, tensions, and struggles between itself and white education as well as with education generally” (p. 35). Canada’s mainstream education system is steeped in Eurocentric ideologies. As Battiste and Henderson (2000) state, “schools still represent the hegemony of dominant Eurocentric knowledges, values, and expectations” (p. 91). The system suffers from systemic racism and is rooted in Eurocentrism which denigrates Indigenous Knowledges, and privileges positivism, neoliberalism, and meritocracy. The repercussions of being entwined within this system for many Indigenous students is one of invisibility: For most Indigenous students in Eurocentric education, realizing their invisibility is like looking into a still lake and not seeing their reflections. They become alien in their own eyes, unable to recognize themselves in the reflections and shadows of the world (Battiste & Henderson, 2000, p. 89).  23  “The self doubt, inferiority complexes, and confusion created by public and federal schooling” are indicative of the conflict Hampton (1995) discusses (Battiste & Henderson, p.91). Similarly, many of the characteristics that Indigenous education implicates may be seen as threatening to mainstream education. The spiritual and interrelatedness that is central to Indigenous education, for example, is particularly problematic for a neoliberal system which fashions itself to be staunchly secular, “aspiritual.” Additionally, wrestling with notions of education for service sake is in conflict with “knowledge for knowledge sake” which has typically characterized Canada’s and North Americans system. The plurality of knowledges which Indigenous Education recognizes, is also in opposition to the objectivist, positivistic truth that Canada’s system often promulgates. Finally, recognizing Canada’s historical acts of colonization is fundamentally incompatible with the notions of manifest destiny and naturalized “settling” which are usually taught in classrooms. Indeed, there is a fundamental conflict between the characteristics of Indigenous education as outlined by Hampton (1995) and the many elements which typically characterize Canada’s mainstream system of education.  Earth, the sixth direction Earth, Hampton’s (1995) final direction, is the “sustainer and source of rebirth” (Hampton, 1995, p. 19). There is a sense of belonging tied to the land which in-turn creates an “intensely personal relationship” (Hampton, 1995, p. 39). Cole (2006) states: oh yes we had our frameworks and they were mostly temporary like us except in the long run we returned to the earth we never left (p. 14)  24  The two standards of Indigenous education this direction includes are place and transformation.  Place, the eleventh standard of Indigenous education Indigenous education, Hampton (1995) states, “recognizes the importance of an [Indigenous] sense of place, land, and territory” (p. 40). “[T]here are some things that can only be said from an [Indigenous] place”: “a place where one is free to relax from the conventions of white society and be one’s Native self, [which] is essential to well-being” (Hampton, 1995, p. 39). Pidgeon (2008) discusses this idea in her dissertation, stating that the First Nations Centres (FNCs) at universities act as safe spaces for Indigenous university students. FNCs are “places of resistance to assimilation and facilitators of agency across the institution”; they resist assimilation “by fostering the cultural integrity of students” (Pidgeon, 2008, p. 100). One student in Pidgeon’s (2008) study stated that: It is necessary for an institution to ensure that the Aboriginal students that attend here have a place and a venue for everyone to be comfortable and to celebrate their different cultures and identity. I think that is really important -- because that really promotes the strength and integrity of the individual, and I think we really need that support and development in an academic world. (Student, Northern-U as cited in Pidgeon, 2008, p. 166) Indigenous place allows for Indigenous education. They are not spaces of segregation, as Hampton asserts (1995), but safe, comfortable, supportive spaces that foster and cultivate educational endeavors.  Transformation, the twelfth standard of Indigenous education Indigenous education “recognizes the need for transformation in relations between Indian and white as well as in the individual and society” (Hampton, 1995, p. 41). Both  25  Indigenous and non-Indigenous students “need a place to stand,” need to accept each other’s “right to be,” and need to recognize past and current misunderstandings (Hampton, 1995, p. 41). Below are some of the recommendations with regard to the transformation of education found in the literature: 1. Schools must acknowledge their own Eurocentrism and their own role in the dehumanizing history of Indigenous peoples (Battiste 2008; Battiste, 2004). 2. Schools must respect and connect to Indigenous languages, heritages, communities, Elders, and wholistic learning (Battiste, 2000). 3. Schools must “make a conscious decision to nurture Indigenous Knowledge, dignity, identity, and integrity by making a direct change in school philosophy, pedagogy, and practice” (Battiste, 2002, p. 30). 4. Schools need to “force the general population to engage with realities other than their own, to increase their capacity to empathize with others” (Alfred, 1999, p. 132). 5. Schools must “re-establish family connections to learning and reconnect the child to who he or she is as a native person” (Armstrong, 2000, p. 38). 6. Schools must ground education in “the ecology of place,” by understanding that education must be considered across generations, that knowledge is context-bound, the interrelatedness of all things, that education must change appropriately with respect to fitting times and places, and that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” (Kawagley and Barnhardt, 1998, p. 12-3). 7. Education must be acknowledged as “a core area for the exercise of Aboriginal selfgovernment” (RCAP, 1996, 3.5.1).  26  8. Innovative curricula which reflects “Aboriginal cultures and community” needs to be developed in collaboration with “Aboriginal governments, organization and educators” (RCAP, 1996, 3.5.5). 9. Elders need to be reinstated “to an active role in the education of Aboriginal children and youth in educational systems under Aboriginal control and in provincial and territorial schools” (RCAP, 1996, 3.5.28).  Summary of the six directions and twelve standards of education Hampton’s (1995) framework indeed helps to elucidate the myriad of characteristics of Indigenous education: it has a spiritual centre which recognizes the interconnectness of all things; it exists in order to service Aboriginal peoples; it recognizes a plurality of knowledges; it comes from a place of culture; it grows out of tradition, but does not replicate them; it holds a high level of respect for each learner; it does not ignore the history of colonization and its repercussions; it is relentless in its advocacy for Aboriginal children; it has a vitality which is evident in the myriad of innovative programming; it recognizes the conflict between it and mainstream education; it requires an Indigenous sense of place; and it recognizes a need for a transformation in the relationships between Aboriginal communities/people and white government/peoples. Understanding Indigenous education at this broad sense provides a solid base for the ensuing research on outreach education. Several of the twelve standards of Indigenous education uniquely implicate university hosted outreach programs. Universities are entrenched in white, nonAboriginal ways of conceptualizing knowledge and have a long racist history of  27  constructing “others”; thus, outreach programs might be particularly implicated by the tenth standard of Indigenous education, conflict. The third standard of Indigenous education - paying reverence to the plurality of knowledges - may particularly invoke intense conflict as universities typically revere objectivist and positivistic ways of constructing knowledge. Similarly, including or referencing a spiritual centre may also be particularly conflictual within a university setting, specifically for science related departments, as they typically tout themselves to be secular and laud empirical evidence which can often exclude and belittle spiritual processes and reference points. University outreach programs may, however, be particularly well situated to focus on the twelfth standard of Indigenous education, the transformation of relationships. By their very location within universities, they are in a relationship with a white/nonIndigenous education system, and therefore, can work from inside the system to transform the way relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal systems/people are enacted. Uniquely aiding these transformations in a university system may be an Indigenous sense of place, the eleventh standard. At UBC, this sense of place would probably be the First Nations House of Learning, and by utilizing this place as a retreat from White culture, where the garnering of a critical mass for transformation may take place. One of the problems with Hampton’s (1995) framework, or how I have interpreted it, is that it seems to be useful in describing or thinking about Indigenous education, but it does not provide a solid rubric for enacting Indigenous education, or fostering instances of Indigenous education. It provides the theory, but does not provide the practical considerations for translating these standards into actions. For instance it  28  does not discuss how to think about curricula, or rather if a formal curricula should be included at all; it also does not discuss how Aboriginal education programs can negotiate the expectations created by dominant modes of thinking regarding education -- that it happens in a school, with a teacher, with only one age group of children, one subject at a time, etc. The how-to’s of enacting concrete educational activities that consider the twelve standards of education are not addressed by Hampton (1995). It is a good rubric to couch a literature review, but it may not be an ideal rubric for developing an outreach program. The literature review below on K-12 outreach programming may provide more context regarding the how-to’s of educational programming. Accumulating a knowledge base in both the Aboriginal education literature and the outreach literature should provide a rich context to ground this research project.  An overview of university K-12 outreach literature K-12 outreach programs, typically hosted by universities, have been created because of the existing gaps in the mainstream schooling system. Swail (2000) calls it the “finger in the dike” method: providing programming which fills the holes in the educational system where certain populations of students typically flow out of. These programs are not usually able to effect systemic change directly, but they can serve to point out ways in which mainstream schooling could be modified to better cultivate the success of the students it usually fails (Gandara, 2001; Hagedorn & Tierney, 2002; Swail & Perna, 2002). Outreach programs can start as early as grade seven or as late as grade twelve, and they typically supplement and/or complement the mainstream schooling system (Tierney,  29  Colyar, & Corwin, 2003). They can focus on academic and/or social programming, emphasize any subject area, and occur during either the summer months, after school hours, or school hours (Tierney, Colyar, & Corwin, 2003). They usually cultivate college-related skills, knowledge, and aspirations by focusing on a variety of smaller goals (Perna & Cooper, 2006). In fact, a list of programs’ most common goals was developed from a large national survey in the United States; the most prominent goals being college attendance, college awareness, improving academic skills, and building student’s self esteem (Swail & Perna, 2002). Outreach programming, with their myriad goals, is needed at both the high school and elementary school levels, however, if one wishes to effect long term change, intervention is recommended to begin at the late elementary school levels (Gandara, 2001; Perna & Cooper, 2006; Swail & Perna, 2002). Most of the “educational damage” has already been done by grade eight, thus, one must begin outreach programming before this stage, the earlier the better (Tierney, Colyar & Corwin, 2003). Additionally, students’ goals for their future, such as college aspirations or otherwise, are usually formed at an early age due to a number of factors, such as familial encouragement, teacher expectations, self-efficacy, and peer attitudes, therefore early intervention is again highly recommended (Tierney, Colyar & Corwin, 2003). Rigorous academic preparation, for example, should be offered to students no later than middle school (Tierney, Colyar & Corwin, 2003). There are numerous access points universities can use to create educational programming that address systemic inequities, a few of which are articulated by Patricia Gandara (2002, p.94):  30  1.  “After-school and weekend programs geared to academics, tapping community “funds of knowledge,” stimulating pride in home culture.”  2.  “Access to high tracked courses, academic enrichment before and after school, weekends and summers; intensive counseling focused on college.”  3.  “Provisions of high achieving peer groups and activities with students that build bonds; send cohorts of students to college together.”  4.  “Parent involvement programs; parent workshops to provide information about postsecondary options, mentors to supplement the parent role, scholarships or financial counseling.”  The most relevant to UBC’s current programming seems to be the offering of academic enrichment programs and the stimulation of cultural pride. Regardless of the chosen access point however, good programs have been said to be ones that “help students raise their aspirations, maximize their assets, and expand their goals” (Gandara, 2002, p. 96). The most effective programs begin early and provide: a mentor-like figure, high quality and student-centered instruction, long-term investments and opportunities, financial assistance, culturally specific and cultural strengths-based programming, opportunities to build a peer group that supports academic aspirations, opportunities for family involvement, and opportunities to network with other outreach programs (Gandara, 2001; Perna & Cooper, 2006; Wilder Research, 2007). The most crucial factor is said to be the mentor-like figure who regularly interacts with the student throughout their journey in the educational pipeline, providing one-on-one guidance and motivation (Perna & Cooper, 2006). Areas of weakness and concern are listed to be: attrition rates, low male enrollment rates, the small number of participants that each program is able to include due to programs being labor intensive, the lack of continuous  31  programming due to each programs isolation from each other, and the lack of longitudinal record keeping (Gandara, 2001). Even though the above strengths and weaknesses are touted in the literature, there is scant empirical research/evaluations supporting the general effectiveness of these programs (Hagedorn & Tierney, 2002). From the few evaluation studies that have been conducted, however, several individual successes can be identified. The rate of outreachprogram-participants attending post-secondary education, for example, increases, most drastically for those participants who: 1) have low educational expectations upon their admittance, and 2) come from both low-income families and be a first-generation college student (Perna & Cooper, 2006). For example, one high school focused outreach program was found to specifically increase the rate of student-participants going on to attend four year college programs2, as opposed to two year college programs (Myers et al., 2004 as cited in Perna & Cooper, 2006). The same program was also reported to increase the number of completed high school credits and the rate of enrollment in honors and advanced courses for their student-participants (Myers et al., 2004 as cited in Perna & Cooper, 2006). Additionally, students from another science focused outreach program indicated that it had a positive influence on their grades in advanced science classes and their decision to pursue a career in a science related field (Markowitz, 2004). Indeed, outreach programs prove to be promising, specifically in closing the university/college access gap. When examining Indigenous related k-12 early interventions projects, there is even less “evidence/research” in these areas, yet cultural considerations are far from 2  This study was conducted in the United States, where four year college programs are analogous to Canadian universities, and two year college programs are analogous to Canadian community colleges.  32  negligible. Jun and Colyar (2002), state that academic success hinges on a program’s ability to affirm their students’ culture and identity. Students’ learning takes place on three levels - academic, cultural, and personal - and students will continually strive to improve in all three areas (Jun & Colyar, 2002). If the program is void of “cultural integrity,” - that is, if the program does not reflect the students’ culture in the development of the programs’ pedagogy or learning activities - the students are likely to not respond positively as they may feel as though the program was not actually designed for them or to meet their needs (Hagedorn & Tierney, 2002; Jun & Colyar, 2002; Tierney with Jun, 1999). A program’s focus on cultural integrity allows the students’ culture to become recognized as a critical component for their being successful, not a negative or neutral factor (Tierney with Jun, 1999, p. 14). Culturally specific programming is not a nominal consideration.  Gaps in the research From the resources used above, there are several gaps mentioned in the literature for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous outreach programming. 1. The lack of empirical evaluations of outreach programs (Perna & Cooper, 2006; Swail & Perna, 2002; Tierney, Colyar & Corwin, 2003) 2. How programs implement individual components and strategies effectively, such as familial involvement (Perna & Cooper, 2006) 3. How partnerships can develop between individual programs to provide more continuous programming (Perna & Cooper, 2006; Swail, 2000) 4. What theories of action – “the relationship between what [programs] do and the kinds of problems they are attempting to amerliorate” - individual programs adopt (Gandara, 2002, p.86)  33  5. The lack of research with culturally specific, or in this case Indigenous, outreach programs (Niles, 2007). In this study, I will explore the second, forth, and fifth gaps mentioned above.  Purpose of this research The larger problem that this research attempts to address is how the people at the University of British Columbia address the educational gap that many Indigenous students experience in the k-12 system. My proposed research seeks to explore and develop an understanding of some of the educational outreach opportunities that UBC hosts for Indigenous k-12 students. It will consider the underlying philosophies and ideologies from which these programs operate; and it will try to understand the educational gaps these programs are intended to fill and how they fill them. In undertaking this research I hope to begin creating an understanding of the spectrum of programming UBC provides for Indigenous k-12 students, and how these programs complement or differ from the suggestions in the literature. University hosted programs, are becoming increasingly common, -- two years ago Ch’nook Cousins was created, last year the UBC Farm project was created, and next year one is to be created in UBC Forestry -- thus, creating a better understanding of existing programs will possibly benefit both their future development and the creation of any new programs.  Research questions Why are k-12 Indigenous student outreach programs offered at UBC? How are the philosophical frameworks and practices of these programs conceptualized by the  34  programs leaders? What do the programs’ leaders perceive as the benefits and drawbacks for the student-participants and UBC as an institution?  35  Chapter 3 THEORETICAL POSITIONING I know you will be respectful to the shapes and textures scents resiliences resonances zoning bylaws stones native flora ‘driftwood’ mores ethics of the places we visit I know that you know how to act in someone else’ s home (Cole, 2002, p. 448) I begin my theoretical positioning chapter with the above quote from Cole, as I see how one positions herself theoretically as the origins of being a respectful researcher and being cognizant of the “zoning”, “bylaws,” and “stones” of the “places we visit.” My theoretical positioning is based on Indigenous Knowledge systems and I articulate below: 1) what I have come to understand about Indigenous Knowledge systems; 2) how Indigenous knowledge systems will be used in my theoretical positioning; 3) the place of social justice in this research; and, finally, 4) a summary.  What I have come to understand about Indigenous Knowledge systems the framework then - is not identical from nation to nation to nation nor the rituals involved including the means of harvesting our relations the willow if indeed it is the willow we speak of (some employ other members of the tree nations especially as willow is not universally present in all geographies ) on the willow grow ofttimes our spiritual sisters and brothers our relations the fungus nations we do not take for granted that we can dislodge these spiritual medicines from their home (Cole, 2002, p. 452) In the above quote, Peter Cole (2002) embeds notions of plurality, spirituality, the land, interrelatedness, and respect, all of which are significant aspects of Indigenous Knowledge systems. In this research I centre Indigenous Knowledge systems, and their accompanying values and principles, as I have come to understand them from the lectures  36  and guest speakers to which I have listened, the conversations in which I have engaged, and the books and papers I have read. I do this with reference to Pidgeon (2008), who states that one of the ways research and researchers become decolonized is by privileging Indigenous ways of knowing and centering Indigenous Knowledge systems in the research process. Marie Battiste (2004), a renowned Indigenous scholar who focuses on Indigenous Knowledges, states that little is actually understood about Indigenous Knowledges. It is an exceedingly complex “concept,” for there is no one definition; each Indigenous nation, as separate and distinct people, will manifest and develop different Indigenous Knowledges (Battiste & Henderson, 2000). In fact, the need for defining Indigenous Knowledges, Battiste and Henderson (2000) state, is a Eurocentric demand. It is the western systems of analyses that necessitate a universalizing, precise, and reliable definition, which does not correspond with the plurality of Indigenous Knowledges (Battiste & Henderson, 2000). Many Indigenous scholars operating within academia recognize and pay homage to this incongruity, and proceed to offer their conceptualization of Indigenous Knowledge systems. There are a number of different scholars who attempt to explicate Indigenous Knowledges, but the two that I rely most heavily on are Marie Battiste and Dawn MartinHill. To extend my understanding of Indigenous Knowledges, however, I also draw from the writings of Gregory Cajete, Peter Cole, Angayuqaq Oscar Kawagley, and Ray Barnhardt. Aspects of Indigenous Knowledges that are repeatedly highlighted in the resources I use are: the centrality of land and one’s relationship to the land (Battiste,  37  2002; Cajete, 2000; Kawagley & Barnhardt, 1998; Martin-Hill 2008); spirituality, and the notion that Indigenous Knowledges are not secular (Battiste, 2004; Martin-Hill, 2008; Kawagley & Barnhardt, 1998); and holism, the notion that everything in the world is interconnected and interrelated (Battiste, 2002; Kawagley & Barnhardt, 1998; MartinHill, 2008). I explore these facets below.  The centrality of the land and one’s relationship to the land Indigenous Knowledges, as Kawagley and Barnardt (1998) explain, are founded upon a group’s “long inhabitation of a particular place,” for knowledge develops as a result of a people’s long interaction and relationship with a specific geographical landscape. Indigenous Knowledges’ inseparability from a particular landscape is the reason why they do not necessarily transcend nation boundaries. For example, traditional medicine will change from place to place for the plants and ecology will differ between locales; ceremonies will also vary in different landscapes, for different places and spaces will demand different rituals; additionally, different landscapes will demand different food gathering practices — relatively immobile agrarian customs, for example, or relatively transient hunting practices — which will in turn grossly affect a nation’s social ways of being. Indigenous Knowledge systems are indeed inextricably linked to the land, and in particular, specific landscapes that peoples have developed a deep, entrenched relationship with over the centuries. The utmost importance of land to the survival of Indigenous nations can be seen in the myriad land claims with which Canada is currently contending. Chief Bernanrd Ominayak of the Lubicon Cree, a nation which has been fighting for their land claim for  38  over thirty years, states that “everything is tied back to the land” and without the land, Indigenous nations are like a baby without her mother (as cited in Martin-Hill, 2008, p. 90). Similarly, the council of the Chiefs of the Haudenosuanne, Grand River territory (2006) state that the “land is sacred to [them]” and that “it defines [their] identities, belief system, languages, and way of life” (as cited in Martin-Hill, 2008, p. 37-8). As Cole (2002) asserts: “the land languaged us” (p. 455).  Spirituality, and the notion that Indigenous Knowledges are not secular Within Indigenous Knowledge systems, spirituality is directly related to the land. Deloria (1992), states that spirituality and sacredness is embodied in particular landscapes. He continues to say that through a group’s interaction with a respective landscape, the people come to know its inherent sacredness, which in-turn, prompts the adoption of certain ceremonies which reaffirm that sacred relationship to the land (Deloria, 1992). This is very different from western conceptions of spiritual places, for in western societies, places and spaces are often deemed spiritual not because of any inherent quality, but because someone has placed a statue upon it, built a church or synagogue upon it, or appointed a religious meaning to it in some way (Deloria, 1992). Sacredness, in terms of Indigenous Knowledges, however, is inherent and rooted in specific landscapes, which Indigenous nations have come to discover (Martin-Hill, 2008). Land and spirituality are entangled together, just as they are with Indigenous Knowledge systems. In fact, Martin-Hill (2008) asserts that removing spirituality from Indigenous Knowledges is akin to the “destroy[ing] its very soul” (p.10). Indigenous Knowledge  39  systems, indeed, construct one’s entire life to be a sacred ceremony, infusing spirituality throughout everyday practices (Kawagley & Barnhardt, 1998).  Wholism and reciprocity the notion that everything in the world is interconnected Indigenous Knowledges’ foundation in spirituality and specific landscapes leads to the next pervasive characteristic of Indigenous Knowledge systems: the interconnectedness and holistic nature of all things. As Kawagley and Barnhardt (1998) state, Indigenous Knowledge systems view the universe as “a holistic, integrative system with a unifying life force”; very different from Western forms of compartmentalization, where objects are “reduced to progressively smaller conceptual parts” (p. 4). Indigenous Knowledges view people as fundamentally interconnected with each other, with the land and its animals, and with the spirit world and ancestors. Cole states (2002), for example, we were and are not speci/c/ally different from salmon steelhead rainbow silver trout oolichan sturgeon dolly varden (p. 455) As such, reciprocity becomes a fundamental principle of Indigenous Knowledge systems, for maintaining reciprocal relationship with everything better ensures that the land and its people remain healthy.  Further considreations regarding Indigenous Knowledge systems Indigenous Knowledges, although rooted in a long historical relationship with the land, are not static, but are indeed dynamic. They “have been adapting to the contemporary world since contact with ‘others’ began, and [they] will continue to change” (Bielawski, 1990 as cited in Kawagley & Barnhardt, 1998). As Cole and O’Riley (2005) state,  40  we have always been traditional we have always been modern it’s what happens when you only have a present tense until it gets translated into english (p. 19)  One must note here that the keeping of Indigenous Knowledges is not done in libraries or in academia to age and become out of date, or to become too old to reference. They are “embedded in the cumulative experiences and teachings of Indigenous peoples” (Battiste, 2008, p.87). They are kept in Indigenous languages, in ceremonies, in stories, in one’s relationship to the land, and by Elders and other knowledge keepers such as Clan Mothers or Medicine People. They are passed on to the next generation through: the language, the oral tradition, modeling, ceremonies, problem-solving, and animation (Battiste, 2008, p. 87). Indigenous Knowledges are lived.  How Indigenous Knowledges will be used in my theoretical positioning Theory, Smith (1999) states, helps to identify priorities, make predictions, and it also contains methods for arranging, selecting, and legitimating what we see and do. In this research I will rely on Indigenous Knowledge systems to identify priorities, make predictions and guide my method of arranging, selecting and legitimating the “data.” I place Indigenous Knowledge systems as the theoretical core that will guide, build, inform and transform this research on educational outreach opportunities. Scholars who draw upon Indigenous Knowledge systems often forefront a variety of its values and principles in their theory and theoretical positioning. Archibald (2008) highlights respect, responsibility, reciprocity, reverence, wholism, interrelatedness and synergy in her discussion of Indigenous storywork; Hampton (1995) uses spirituality, service, diversity, culture, tradition, respect, history, relentlessness, vitality, conflict, place, and transformation when discussing Indigenous education; and Parent (2009) emphasizes  41  transformation and wholism in her examination of youths’ conceptualization of Indigenous Knowledges. The primary aspect of Indigenous Knowledge systems that is forefronted in this research is wholism, attending to the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions of the students and UBC as an institution.  The place of social justice and the Guswentha In addition to Indigenous Knowledge systems, I also found the lure of using critical theory very compelling, for I found the inequities experienced by many Aboriginal students in the education system to demand an investigation of power and inequities. Research focusing on Indigenous education often draws upon both critical theory and Indigenous Knowledge systems in its theoretical framework (e.g. Cochrane, 2008; Parent, 2009; Pidgeon, 2008), and I considered drawing on both as well. In fact, critical theory has many complimentary elements to Indigenous centered research, including: its struggle for the emancipation of oppressed groups, its focus on power imbalances, its ideological critiques (such as that laid on positivism), its understanding that knowledge and values are intimately related, and its perspective that “emic” research is both valuable and valid (Bredo & Feinberg, 1982; Smith, 1999). Although there are all of these commonalities, using critical theory in conjunction with Indigenous Knowledges is problematic. Critical theory’s goal may be social justice, but it still has its roots in western theories and western ideologies. It is, for example, as Grande (2004) asserts individualistic, anthropocentric, rational, progressive, secular, and is rooted in a western approach to literacy (Grande, 2004). Relying on critical theory predetermines a goal of greater and more equitable access to the power structure of  42  contemporary society. In this struggle, Indigenous Knowledges’ centrality of the land, spirituality, and interconnectedness becomes extraneous instead of the driving force. Other significant factors of Indigenous Knowledges, such as orality and communality, would also move to the background. Critical theory seeks a transformation through equity, whereas Indigenous theorizing seeks transformation by centering Indigenous Knowledge systems, and all the values and principles they implicate. To help me negotiate the terrain of equity, power and social justice within an Indigenous Knowledge framework, I have used the Guswentha treaty/belt, also called the Two-Row Wampum, Figure 3, and all of the values and principles it encapsulates.  Figure 2 A replica of the framework of the Guswentha Belt, also called the Two Row Wampum Belt. An exact image of the belt could not be inserted due to copyright issues.  I first learned of the Guswentha treaty in my undergraduate degree within McMaster’s Indigenous Studies program; a program that draws heavily upon Haudenosuanne philosophies and experiences as most of the program’s professors are from the nearby Six Nations, Huadenosuanne reserve. In this program I learned that the  43  Two Row Wampum belt was a treaty established in the 1600’s between the Haudenosuanne nation and the European visitors. Just as critical theory emphasizes social justice and power, so too does the Two Row Wampum treaty by laying out a framework for just relationships. The Guswentha positions peace, friendship and respect as being the roots of justice and just relationships. Articulating and understanding this approach to justice from an Indigenous Knowledge framework such as this, allows me to ground social justice in a place that does not implicate the individualistic, anthropocentric, rational, progressive, and secular roots of critical theory. Instead, the reciprocal, respectful, and relational roots of Indigenous Knowledges remain. The Guswentha framework will be described more in-depth in the Discussion section of the thesis. Although the Guswentha is typically constructed as belonging to the Haudenosuanne people, I use it here because I also see it as being my treaty. The treaty was made between the Haudenosuanne people and the European peoples of that area, and that is where my family and I are from. As such, I see it and the values entrenched in it as also being my treaty.  Theoretical positioning: A summary I adopt a perspective that acknowledges my position as a white researcher, and I begin with and centralize an understanding of Indigenous Knowledge systems so they can be used to inform, build and transform contemporary educative realities for Indigenous students. I also include notions of social justice as understood through the principles relayed in the Guswentha, in order to better analyze the inequities between Aboriginal students and non-Aboriginal students in the educational system  44  Chapter 4 METHODOLOGY AND SIGNIFICANCE I have approached this research by utilizing Indigenous methodologies for research, relying upon the four R’s of research to guide the process: respect, relevance, reciprocity, and responsibility (Kirkness and Barnhardt 1991). My reference point for translating these research ideals into actual research protocols is grounded in Pidgeon’s (2008) dissertation. I discuss each of the R’s below.  The four R’s Respect Pidgeon (2008), states that respect in Indigenous research is actualized when a) Indigenous Knowledges are made to be a critical component of the research itself; and b) researchers are reflective and non-judgmental of what they are seeing and hearing. In this research I have centralized Indigenous Knowledges, thus making them a critical component of this research. Additionally, I have continually strived to be nonjudgmental, by being an attentive listener and being attuned to my own biases throughout the research process. If any judgment does enter the discussion, it is considered within the context of structural and historical inequities. Thus, the overarching emphasis on respect remains.  Responsibility Researchers have a responsibility to: a) be ever aware of the dynamics of power and their personal role in these dynamics and orient “themselves toward effecting  45  progressive change”; b) ensure that their conclusions are supported by Indigenous Knowledge systems; and c) make sure that any lessons learned and related training opportunities are brought back to the community with which the researcher worked. Additionally, the lessons learned should not be just those learning opportunities that can be considered superficial “pamphlet knowledge,” but also those “which inform the way knowledge and information are constructed and represented” (Pidgeon 2008, p. 72). This research is rooted in trying to affect change by articulating how UBC outreach programs support Indigenous K-12 students and what this may offer other programs for enhancing learning opportunities for Indigenous students. Additionally, the lessons learned, both in “pamphlet” or deeper form, will be communicated to other programs through this thesis as well as “community reports”3 sent to each program.  Relevance Research is relevant when the community with which the researcher works contributes to the overarching goals of the research (Pidgeon 2008). The initial impetus for this research came from two directions: 1) an Aboriginal Forestry project, with whom I worked as a research assistant for about a year, wanted to start an Indigenous k-12 Forestry program; and, 2) Jo-Ann Archibald, the Associate Dean for Indigenous Education at UBC mentioned that there had been a keen interest articulated (at a Deans’ meeting) for research on UBC’s k-12 programs for Indigenous students. Indeed, the overall trajectory of this research seems to be needed. Additionally, I also met with key 3  “Community reports” was a method that Archibald and Pidgeon (2010) used to communicate the core findings of their Aboriginal Transitions project to their participants and anyone else in a non-academic setting wishing to know more about the project. Each report was about four pages and length, and consisted of plain language descriptions of their findings. I will use these as a template for the community reports I will write after the completion of my thesis.  46  people from the First Nations House of Learning (Madeleine MacIvor, Associate Director and Linc Kessler, Director) to better ensure that the trajectory of this research will be relevant.  Reciprocity Research that is reciprocal is something that 1) benefits everyone involved in the research process; and 2) reciprocates for the teachings that the community has shared (Pidgeon 2008). This research has been reciprocal in the sense that as a “pay-it-forward” thank-you, I donated $150 dollars in the name of the participants to an inner-city grade 6/7 class fieldtrip in which over 50% of the attending students were Aboriginal. Furthermore, I sought approval and feedback from each participant for the quotes (both direct and paraphrased) that I borrowed from their interviews, and I have also kept each participants apprised of the different stages of my thesis.  Method and population I asked three programs to participate in this research: Summer Science, CEDAR, and the Math project. These three programs provided an ideal cross section of programs that are related in subject area, but have varied ways of focusing on learning in this area, and these programs have existed for varying lengths of time, thus providing a diversity of perspectives. I used a semi-structured format (Richards & Morse, 2007) to interview a total of 7 participants: three were from program-1, two from program-2, and two from program-3. For each of the three programs I interviewed the Director, and then one other primary  47  collaborator referred to me by the Director. For program-1, three participants were interviewed because the first two interviewees were relatively new to their position, and I wanted to gain a longer-term perspective. I therefore interviewed one of the past directors for that program. Of these seven people who participated in this study, three were full time program staff, three were PhD students and part-time program staff, and one was a tenured faculty member; four were Aboriginal, and three were not. Additionally, one of the full-time program staff had their PhD. The ethical considerations for this research were fairly standard as everyone involved in the research process was over 18; additionally, all participants were UBC employees and therefore were familiar with the context of inquiry, and also somewhat familiar with research protocols. Furthermore, the information I gathered was not of a nature that would cause participants deeply personal or emotional harm.  Significance of study This study contributes to a small literature base on Indigenous k-12 outreach programs, therefore, broadening the base from which existing and future outreach programs can draw from to develop to improve upon programs for Indigenous students is important. This study might be particularly useful to UBC, as it provides much needed research and information specific to their programs. Most importantly, however, it provides the outreach programs themselves with research, the results of which they see fit.  48  Chapter 5 ANALYSIS The key findings from the interview data are organized below in terms of the three research questions. Of note with regards to what is described below, is that most of what is said is of a positive nature, which may be a remnant of the methods and questions used in this study: only proponents of the outreach programs were included in this study, and the interview questions were not from a critical lilt.  Research Question #1: Why are Aboriginal outreach programs offered at UBC? The interviewees4 described five prominent reasons for why Aboriginal outreach programs are offered at UBC. Four of these reasons are goal oriented: 1) to introduce more Aboriginal students to post-secondary education, specifically science and math opportunities; 2) to get more Aboriginal students enrolling at UBC or other postsecondary institutions; 3) to create more space at UBC for Aboriginal students, and 4) to improve the health status of Aboriginal peoples. In addition to these four goal-oriented reasons explaining why these programs exist here at UBC, there is one additional underlying reason: because of the work of a few dedicated people at UBC who were unsatisfied with the educational opportunities that Aboriginal students in the k-12 system receive. More detail with regards to how the participants discussed these five reasons is provided below. 4  Each participant was assigned a pseudonym instead of a participant number. The decision to use pseudonyms was made after the completion of the interviews, therefore, the participants were not able to choose their own pseudonyms.  49  To introduce more Aboriginal students to post-secondary school, specifically science and math opportunities Many of the interviewees stated that K-12 outreach programs, like the ones included in this study, are created in order to get the visiting Aboriginal students to “see the institution and become comfortable with it” (John). Many interviewees did not see post-secondary schooling as typically being part of the visiting students’ “lifeworlds” (Ryan). One participant said that “a lot of them [the students] don’t even think about universities or colleges … [so] for them to get the experience to come here and experience it first hand, it kind of opens up a world for them” (Dan). Another participant thought that too many Aboriginal students grow up not thinking about university and post-secondary school, and outreach-type programs help “to familiarize kids with university, especially for those kids who don’t have a family history with university” (Mike). The programs included in this study are all science and math focused and work to introduce their students to a variety of different sciences and maths. As one participant said, she wants her students “to see the reality, the concreteness of science, and [to] what it is applicable” (Susan). Another participant stated that he hopes his program “get[s] Aboriginal youth interested in possible health science careers” (John). However, although the direction of these programs is aimed at science and math education, they do not proselytize science and math: Is it actually getting students into the sciences? I always say that it doesn’t have to be that way. The whole idea is … to try to open a whole new world. So sometimes I hear students saying, “well I went to [program-1], and I realized science isn’t for  50  me. (Dan) [One of our program’s goals is to get Aboriginal students to graduate from high school] with the requirements to do whatever they want to go into, it doesn’t necessarily need to be science. Some of them, even though they are here and are checking it out, they might go into film-making. And some may come in here thinking I’m not really into science, but I’m in to checking it out, and Health too. (Susan) The idea of focusing on science and math is not to discourage students from becoming interested in another discipline, but is instead intended to inhibit students from “turning off” sciences and maths: “If we can help them [Aboriginal students] get to the age of 12 with not turning off from the sciences or academics, then we have a fighting chance of them returning to math and science classes the next year, and the next after that” (Ryan). Sarah, for example, attempts to help Aboriginal students not turn-off from mathematics by creating math curricula which is infused with mathematics found in Aboriginal artifacts and cultural traditions.  To get more Aboriginal students enrolled at UBC, and other post-secondary institutions Associated with introducing more Aboriginal students to post-secondary school as discussed above, is actually getting more Aboriginal students enrolling at UBC and other post-secondary institutions. Ryan discussed and lamented the extremely low-enrollment rate of Aboriginal students in university level math and science degrees; he stated that “what we are trying to do with most of the outreach programs that are targeting K-12 is to increase those numbers” (Ryan). George said as well that with his program he hopes “to find ways to basically ensure that Aboriginal students will be graduating with principles of math 12 at a sufficient level to be admitable to the Faculty of Science of Applied  51  Science” (George). However, just as these programs do not proselytize science and math, they also do not proselytize UBC: “We are not holding onto each student we touch and saying, ‘you’ve got to come to UBC.’ We want them to have that experience where they keep on telling their relatives, ‘yeah, UBC is great’” (Ryan). Another participant, similarly, said ideally we want to recruit students here to UBC, but the reality is, for various reasons, that students might not want to or decide to come to UBC … they might go to community college [instead], we just want them to go to post-secondary. (Susan) The programs delicately balance the recruitment of Aboriginal students to UBC science and math, with a broader goal of recruitment of Aboriginal students to any postsecondary institution in any field.  To create space at UBC for Aboriginal students These programs are also offered here at UBC in order to create more space5 for Aboriginal students at the university. Ryan states that we work with a lot of volunteers that come in from undergraduate and graduate programs, and we want them to rub shoulders with these [Aboriginal] kids. … [The undergraduate and graduate student volunteers] are going to be the future profs and the future administrators in universities and its business, and we want them to see that, “hey these [Aboriginal] kids are smart, I’m involved with this program, and they are Aboriginal kids, and there isn’t a lot to choose from [between] them [the Aboriginal students] or other kids…” . We want to colonize their [the volunteers] minds and worldviews with this idea that they can now include Aboriginal people as potential colleagues. (Ryan) Ryan adds that the contact between UBC personnel and the visiting Aboriginal students “leads to [the] UBC personnel getting to know Aboriginal people as people.” 5  “Space" and “place” were never clearly defined by participants, and as such, I have used the literature and the rest of the interviews to understand “creating space and a sense of place” for Aboriginal students to mean: welcoming Aboriginal students, Indigenous knowledges, Indigenous values, and Indigenous methodologies into the university and allowing them to flourish there in ways that are congruent with relevant communities. I discuss this topic further in Chapter 6.  52  Additionally, Ryan asserts that “these programs create a place for students within UBC”; the visiting students “feel like they belong – they begin to relate to UBC students, staff and faculty as human beings who embrace them at some level” and “UBC becomes a place that is open to them and they feel like space is being created where they can feel comfortable within.” These programs are not “working on a deficit model” Ryan states, “so it’s not all being put on the kids.” “We’re not saying,” he continues, that “we’ll bring these kids in and we’ll fire them up, and they will become these marketing units that will bowl through school and end up in university. We are [not] going to change those kids and make them little university students,” although he admits, “to some degree that, sure, is part of the case.” However, the point is, is that these outreach programs are not just intended to introduce the visiting Aboriginal students to post-secondary schooling and encourage their enrollment, but they also work to make Aboriginal students part of the university’s worldview. It is about “creating space for these kids, and developing a sense of place. Not just for the kids that we are bringing in, but for the university itself … ” (Ryan).  To improve the health status of Aboriginal peoples The interviewees constructed their own programs, as well as outreach programming for Aboriginal students in general, to be part of a bigger context, one which Aboriginal peoples, communities, and allies strive to achieve social justice for Aboriginal peoples. One participant, for example, stated that “we [the outreach programs] are part of a bigger movement in Aboriginal communities to have more Aboriginal care-providers and to have better health” (Susan). She continued to say that outreach programs endeavor  53  to “get more Aboriginal people as health-care providers working in Aboriginal communities so our health care and our health status will improve” (Susan). John echoed this sentiment when discussing his work in terms of “rais[ing] the health status of Indigenous peoples.” Indeed, these programs are not in operation just for interest sake, or for any negligible, inconsequential reason; they exist in reference to a larger system of inequities and in reference to a larger network of initiatives striving to achieve social justice for Aboriginal peoples and communities.  Because of the work of a few dedicated people Perhaps the most poignant reason underlying the programs’ existence at UBC is because of the work of a few dedicated people who cared about improving the educational opportunities for Aboriginal students. For example, one program came to exist, not because resources had been previously allocated to outreach work, or because the faculty had a particular mandate, but instead because of an informal meeting where Ryan thought out-loud and said, “wouldn’t it be nice if [we could offer a summer day camp to Aboriginal students].” Before Ryan knew it, he was committed to running a camp for which he did not have resources, nor a developed program plan. Something similar also happened to Sarah; she had an idea about starting a camp and mentioned it to someone else, who “immediately started contacting people saying, ‘[Sarah] was doing the summer camp’.” “I didn’t even have the money and I started to stress out,” Sarah continued, but the camp eventually came together and was offered that summer. This willingness to get involved in the programs’ creation seems to come from a place of personal connection. One participant stated that he got involved in the creation  54  of his respective program because “the issue was close to [his] heart,” which changed his typical “academic response” from “no, I don’t have time,” to “yes, what is the next step” (Mike). Another participant said that he gets involved because “[he] is interested in doing these types of things” (George). “Parts of these issues,” he continues, “come at me from [different] parts of my life, so it just becomes important to me” (George). Another participant said about her involvement: “this was not my career of choice, this is something that happened because I saw that there was some issues with my kids going to school” (Sarah). Without that original emotional connection to the larger issues it is possible that many of these programs would not have been created, as no one would have been driven enough to invest all the energy required to start an outreach program. The energy and effort it sometimes takes to establish one of these programs is demonstrated in the actions of a few of the program creators. One, for example, volunteered her time for years, and donated scholarship money from her own bank account, because she believed in the program’s work (George). Another participant said she went to the level of knocking on peoples doors, waiting outside classrooms, and visiting other Aboriginal organizations in order to start her program. Another participant organizes professional development dinners with a few teachers he works with during his evenings (George). As well, another interviewee, when describing some of his prior work, stated how he used to go to road shows to talk to Aboriginal students about his line of work, and even went so far as to secure scholarship money for students, all of which fell outside his job description (Mike). Regarding this willingness to get involved, one participant said: if we just imagine that [low Aboriginal university enrollment] isn’t our problem, then we are just going to sit here forever and all philosophically talk about the place  55  of Aboriginal peoples in this province and in this country, and I don’t find that acceptable. (George) He paralleled the inclination to not get involved with the “tragedy of the commons”6 (George). He stated that it is all too easy for people not to get involved by saying “oh we have a department that does that, who is labeled as having that responsibility,” however, he said, “it is all of our responsibility” (George). “We have these issues that we have to be able to deal with, and it is not just that these are issues for the guys down the road” (George). And, in fact, when you look to the programs here at UBC, you find that they exist because a few dedicated people did not say “oh that is not our responsibility, that is for the people down the road”; they became accountable for creating them, sometimes even before all the resources were in place.  Research Question #2: How do the programs’ operating philosophies get conceptualized by the program leaders? The outreach programs included in this study seem to operate at two prominent levels: the first being focused on the student(s), and the second being focused on the university/institution. Furthermore, both levels and each program are situated within a larger network of programs and initiatives that work alongside each other to provide the range of services available to Aboriginal communities and students. I will explain below the programs’ operating philosophies at both levels, and how these connect to the larger network of programs at UBC. 6  Briefly, the tragedy of the commons refers to a situation where a public resource gets overused because individual users do not take full responsibility for his or her use; essentially, each individual’s irresponsibility becomes palatable to themselves and others, because everyone else is doing it. The term is used here to describe a situation where no one assumes the responsibility to begin addressing educational inequities, because everyone else’s inertia becomes diffused in a larger pool of inertia.  56  The student The best framework that can be used to elucidate how these UBC outreach programs operate at the level of the student is a wholistic one, considering the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual realms of the students and their needs. Although, as Susan said “all of these dimensions are in everything,” so categorizing the programs’ operations into the four different realms may be counterintuitive in terms of wholism; I recognize this limitation, and proceed to describe each practice below in terms of the dimension that seemed to make the most sense to me.  Physical The physical needs of the students are attended to through the provision of a variety of supports, such as nutritious food, physical activity, financial support and quiet time. The emphasis on nutritious food and activity is highlighted when one participant stated: We were always trying to make sure that they weren’t just eating junk food. Good eating habits. When snack time came around we tried not to provide them with any chips or pop, so we always provided them with fruit and stuff. And then the concept of working out, and working out every morning. Or in the evening because some of them would want to go swimming in the evening. It was summer so we always used to take them over to the pool. So that would help them change. (Dan) Another mentioned the inclusion of a scholarship: “you give the kids breakfast, you give them lunch, you give them a scholarship, they do math, they do English and they do sports” (Sarah). Additionally, not only is activity considered, but so too is quiet time: “and I think what helps is that in the evenings they have quiet time, so they can unwind from the day on their own, or with a friend if they want” (Susan).  57  On another level of physicality, the programs attend to the students’ cultural safety, easing some of the stress that the students may otherwise experience in a culturally incongruous environment. Although the easing of stress may be considered more in the emotional realm, I include it here in the physical section as stress and anxiety have such immediate physical repercussions. One participant states that her program heavily depends on the First Nations House of Learning (FNHL) as “it’s a place of safety, cultural safety if you will, within the university, I think that is really powerful, and I think that makes a big difference to our experience here” (Susan). Dan echoes this sentiment when he states that the longhouse “play(s) an important role.” “I think” he continues, “that it provides the cultural component. It just lets students know that Aboriginal students are welcome here” (Dan). Creating this sense of familiarity and cultural safety for the students will work to ease some of the stress their body and mind may otherwise experience; the hypervigilance and anxiety that an Aboriginal student may experience in a predominately white, colonial institution can be averted and real learning can take place.  Emotional The emotional realm of the students is also attended to in a variety of ways: by stimulating their excitement, by connecting the teachings to the students’ identity, by respecting each student, by recognizing the students’ accomplishments and letting them know their contributions are valued, and by talking explicitly about the emotions the students are experiencing. Each of these methods of emotional support is discussed below.  58  As one participant said, these programs are “not just about introducing them [the students] to the maths and the sciences, but it’s about getting them excited about it” (John). John’s program attempts to excite the students by engaging them in high-quality, hands-on workshops, the kind of science learning that might entice students to reevaluate any preconceptions of science being boring. The visiting students, for example, get to participate in a type of science and math learning that takes the form of racing robotic cars, dropping an egg from four floors up, visiting the garden and making a salad out of harvested vegetables, and growing samples in petri dishes (Susan). In fact, when describing the reactions of the previous year’s students, Susan assures that they “loved it!” The midwifery workshop stood out as being particularly exciting as afterwards many of the students said that they now wanted to become midwives (Susan). Also stimulating the students’ excitement for learning, and for the sciences and maths, is how the programs try to connect the two subjects to the students’ identity. One participant, for example, said that when she teaches she emphasizes the Aboriginal contributions to maths and sciences in order to cultivate a sense of pride in the students: “it is important for the child, especially for their cultural pride … [to] see themselves reflected in the curriculum” (Sarah). She talks to the students about the “top of the line” mathematical theorizing done by the Mayans and she can see them getting proud (Sarah). Another participant reiterated this perspective: students get “really excited about math” when you “posit math as an Aboriginal thing,” and talk about, for example, “the Mayans and Aztecs and [their] great mathematics” (John). Susan in fact, exclaimed that just after a one hour Aboriginal math session, her students left saying how much they all liked math now, “after one hour!” (Susan). To engage the students’ interest more in his  59  workshop, Dan stated how he wants to rework his presentation this year into one that emphasizes the Aboriginal practices and advances in health care: “if we could present it in that way to Indigenous students, then I think indigenous students would be more interested” (Dan). To additionally cultivate a sense of excitement, lessons are taught in a way that is connected to their lives: “If you connect it [the teachings] somewhere to themselves [to the students], to their self, people get excited” (John). John discussed this idea fervently, and stated that “learning has to be tied to identity before people can get into it. People have to really be able to connect. They have to see what they are learning in relationship to themselves” (John). Furthermore, John asserted, mainstream education typically neglects to make this connection to Aboriginal students’ identity, and “it’s a turn off, it disconnects people.” Sarah said, “the Aboriginal child doesn’t see himself reflected in the curriculum on a daily basis, and there is no reason for that … we should have some Aboriginal content … for all the kids to see and appreciate.” Connecting the teachings to the students’ lives was construed by the interviewees to be pivotal to the students’ learning; once that connection is established, John said, the students become “self promoting” and they “turn on and they learn rapidly” (John). Cultivating this connection, this reconnection, to sciences and maths is one of the prominent goals of these outreach programs. The programs also meet the students’ emotional needs by showing a level of respect for them as learners. As one participant said, “I have very high expectations of these kids. I don’t give them lower level math. No. For me, the books that I choose,  60  everything, I expect them to perform as well as anyone else ” (Sarah). She continues to say: you start challenging … the child until the child believes. A child can always sense if you are being paternalistic. So for me I don’t say, “Oh that is great *high patronizing voice*” I don’t use these … its like, “Hey, come on, let’s see what you can do, let’s see what you are made of.” And they [the students] look at me like, “oh wow.” Just engaging them and getting at the same level as I am, and working with them. (Sarah) Another participant said about respect that, that is one of the things we always taught them to be. Even the instructors or faculty members would say “Yeah your kids are so polite. Every time we have other kids, they are chatting and chatting,” but they would say that “these kids would come in and sit by the desks and not say anything and are quiet and polite and they don’t make any noise, like the other high school students would.” … I said that that is how we treat them. In order for them to earn respect they have to respect others first right? So I would say it impacted the high school students that way too right. (Dan) The visiting students are treated with dignity and respect, both in terms of their learning abilities and their person, which may be far different than the norm in many schools. George for example, says how he “was stunned by how quickly every Aboriginal kid in some schools are labeled learning disabled [or] learning problemed!” Another way in which these outreach programs emotionally support the visiting Aboriginals students is by recognizing the students’ accomplishments in the program and by valuing what they have to offer. One participant said “and that is the other thing I like too, [that] they actually have a grad ceremony for the students, just to honour the students for being brave enough to come to the program” (Dan). Honouring the students’ accomplishments may not only stimulate feelings of pride again, but also shows the students that what they did at UBC is important. Additionally, as one participant said about the programs’ very existence, as well as their activities: they show the students, and  61  the faculty, that Aboriginal students are needed and wanted here, that their contributions are valued (Susan). Emotions are also sometimes explicitly talked about in these programs. One of the programs, for example, brought someone in to run a workshop specifically on emotions, talking about what an emotion is in general and what the students were feeling (John). In another way, emotions are often explicitly discussed in the talking circles that are included in some of the programs’ agenda: “the Elder would have a closing talking circle with [the students] and sometimes she would pick an emotion and say ‘who is feeling this or when have you felt this?’” (John). Additionally, in the talking circle the students “speak from their hearts” which helps them to be “really in touch with [their] emotions, where [they are] at, [their] emotional pulse if you will” (Susan). In sum, these programs work to make UBC feel like a safe and welcoming place for the students. As one participant said, we want [the students] to go away with a good successful feeling, that they can achieve, that they are welcome here at UBC, and that they could be comfortable here at UBC, and that they are supported here, that there are Aboriginal peoples here that understand, that it is a safe place. (Susan) These programs help students to “say UBC is an OK place to be,” and to help the “kids to develop a sense of safety here, wonder, excitement, [and] possibility” (Mike).  Intellectual The students are stimulated intellectually by the very nature of the programs. In two of the programs included in this study, every morning and afternoon the students attend a workshop by a different department. One participant said that “workshops we go to and participate in are the mental [intellectual]” realm (Susan). These programs give  62  students the chance to explore a variety of sciences, a chance to try on the different sciences and discover if they are something that the students are interested in pursuing further. Additionally, not only do students get a chance to learn about different sciences, but they also learn about university and post-secondary school (Mike). Susan said that her program “makes it [university] real for them. They come here and they’ve been to university already for a week. They have lived here like a student, we give them a taste of what it’s like to be a student here.” Having these learning opportunities in the summer also attempts to address the June to September learning gap that, one participant says, disproportionately affects Aboriginal students: “[Program-name] is aimed at making a dent in the huge gap, summer gap, which impacts Aboriginal kids more than it does most other groups” (Ryan). He continues to say that Aboriginal students are more likely to come from a low socioeconomic status, which correlates with lower access to summer camps or summer sports, both of which offer varied learning opportunities. Most of “our kids,” Ryan states, are “not learning anything new” from June to September, which he admits is “not true across the board, but it’s a class thing” (Ryan). As two of the outreach programs explicitly target low-income students, they are offering students some learning opportunities that more affluent families might take for granted.  Spiritual The spiritual needs of the students are attended to more infrequently and sporadically than their physical, emotional, and intellectual needs. In fact, only one program mentioned its inclusion, and they have done it through the presence of an Elder,  63  and through the prayers and discussions the students partake in with the Elder (Susan). The Elder, for example, might explicitly “talk about spiritual principles and being a spiritual person” and bring the students’ attention into that line of focus (John). Other ways this program works in the spiritual realm is by visiting the sweathouse area, talking about ceremonies, and smudging the spaces in which students spend a lot of time in order to “help with the transition here [to UBC], on a spiritual level” (John; Susan).  The institution The second level of the outreach programs’ operations is centered on the institution and institutional change. UBC was constructed by the interviewees to be “a bastion of colonialism” (John), “a bit behind the times” (John), and have classes that can be a little “heavy handed” and “lack sensitivity” (Susan). UBC was also, however, said to be “much better than it was 20 years ago,” but “other institutions are [still] ahead of UBC in terms of their Indigenous awareness” (John). When asked if he thought his outreach program helped to elicit some of UBC’s changes over the years, John responded with, “I do, absolutely.” He continued to say that one person in particular at UBC has been “real[ly] responsible for the change”; “she has been here a long time, and she has quietly and consistently and steadily worked for changes, and to make people aware and she does it in a very kind and beautiful fashion” (John). Like this one person that John highlighted, I believe the outreach programs facilitate systematic change in a quiet, persistent, educative, and kind way. Just as I discussed the student-focused level in wholistic terms, I will also discuss the institutional level in wholistic terms, elucidating  64  how these outreach programs work to change the institution physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.  Physically On a physical level, these programs bring Aboriginal students to UBC and to a variety of different faculties and departments. For a couple of weeks each summer, a number of different UBC staff and faculty interact with Aboriginal students, therefore their personhoods cannot be ignored or their needs sloughed off to be met another day, or like George stated, be made out to be someone else’s responsibility. Everyone with whom the visiting Aboriginal students interact, align the notion of more Aboriginal students being present at UBC; Aboriginal students become more visible and their presence becomes more standard. Not only do these programs change the physical composition of UBC for a couple of weeks, but they also send the message that Aboriginal students are wanted here, now and in the future: as one participant said, these programs also “send a powerful message [to both students and faculty] that we want Aboriginal students here” [Susan]. These programs work on “creating space for these kids, and developing a sense of place. Not just for the kids that we are bringing in, but for the university itself” (Ryan).  Emotionally Ryan states that one of the effects of these programs is that the faculty and student volunteers get to “rub shoulders with the kids” (Ryan), an event from which I believe an emotional reaction and connection will be evoked. Ryan continues to say that, the faculty  65  volunteers “get to work with kids that share their interests in science and become a big part in helping [to] foster that interest in these kids. The bottom line, [is that] this interaction changes our faculty, staff and students … .” Mike states that the visiting Aboriginal students get to build relationships with program volunteers, and reciprocally, therefore, the departmental volunteers also get to build relationships with the outreach students. The visiting outreach students, as John said “are wonderful students, they are good kids, they are always very moving, [and] they each have their [own] story.” By “rubbing shoulders” with the visiting Aboriginal students, the departmental volunteers “the future profs and the future administrators in universities and its business” as Ryan calls them - have the chance of getting to know the students as wonderful, be moved by them, and get to know their stories; the volunteers get a chance to become emotionally connected to both the individual students and to the larger issue of providing better educational opportunities for Aboriginal students. As the departmental volunteers develop an emotional connection to the visiting Aboriginal students and to the larger objective, the issue may grow “close(er) to their heart,” which as Mike states, is why he is involved with his program at all, why he says “whatever I can do, I’ll do basically.” Recall that one of the reasons for these programs existing in the first place is because one dedicated person cared enough about the issue to go through the struggle of creating the program. Thus, if more people have this “issue closer to their heart,” they may be more inclined to get involved, to, like Mike, change their typical academic answer from “no, I don’t have time,” to “yes, what is the next step.” As George said, when you learn about the issue you get attached to it and you start “casting about for things to do NOW.” You can get “drawn up by a sense of urgency …  66  [when] you know what the situation is, you know how bad it is” (George)7. Becoming emotionally connected to the issue changes the institution in the sense that more people may be compelled to get more involved, or continue to work towards the larger goal.  Intellectually Intellectually these programs give the volunteers a chance to interact with Aboriginal students, and therefore learn about them and their lives, potentially helping to dispel any preconceived stereotypes or misconceptions. Aboriginal students are made real for the program volunteers, just as reciprocally, UBC is made real for the Aboriginal students. As one participant said, we want the staff, faculty and student volunteers to see that “there isn’t a lot to choose from, [between] them [the Aboriginal students] or other kids. We want to colonize their [the staff, faculty and student volunteers] minds and worldview with this idea that they can now include Aboriginal people as potential colleagues” (Ryan). Not only will these programs help to destabilize stereotypes, but they will also help people build the right conceptualizations. As George said about his involvement, “I know myself when I do these things I tend to struggle a lot because I’m just completely learning as I’m going.” He continues to say “It is a constant learning thing, and figuring out how to enter situations in a respectful way … You can’t just go and say ‘Here I am!’ You have to be invited, and have things to offer” (George). In addition to learning about respect, Particiapnt-4 said that he has also been able to gain a real sense of the issue: “it has been very instructive for me to have spent as much time as I have with Elders and  7  He cautions though that even though you are compelled to do something now, you need to be thoughtful and careful, and think in the long term.  67  teachers who teach at reserve schools to get a sense of the breadth of these issues” (George). Building the right conceptualization will be the result of repeated involvement, but as the programs run every year and include the same departments and perhaps the same volunteers, this long-term learning becomes plausible.  Spiritually None of the interviewees discussed how these outreach programs work to change the institution on a spiritual level. All of the spiritual-related experiences that the kids have in the programs are private. The only way UBC is challenged spiritually is by being affiliated with programs that host ceremonies and/or spiritually infused events and discussions.  Both the student and institution focused levels are couched within a network of partners The interviewees included in this study talked about their respective programs in terms of a larger network of programs, all working towards the larger goal of social justice for Aboriginal peoples and communities. One participant said, “The problem is huge and one person ... you can make a difference as an individual, but the important thing is to really create teams and to create the connections [that will] really put things, instruments, in place that will stay” (Sarah). She continued to say that, “[her subject area] is just one problem right? There are all these health issues and all these other things, that is why you need a team.” Furthermore, when you do work in teams, as discussed by Mike, no one resource gets exhausted. The adage, “many hands make for light work,”  68  seems to apply here. Yes there is a core group of people who work very hard to make these programs run, but for those programs that rely on a series of departmental workshops, the departmental volunteers do not get drained as they are only asked to provide a few hours of workshop time a year. Regarding this network and team approach to outreach programming, George said, “so much of this is grassroots/small projects [which] will never be centrally coordinated, and I’m not sure that it [central coordination] is desirable as well.” Two prominent reasons for needing more smaller, partner programs were made prominent in the interviews: 1) more programs result in a larger scope, and 2) more programs can better serve the diversity of Aboriginal students.  More programs result in a larger scope During the interviews a number of ideas for new programs arose – e.g. one where UBC faculty went to the reserve to work with the students, one where UBC would host enrichment high school classes for high achieving Aboriginal students, or one where the graduates of previous outreach programs could become the counselors/mentors for the incoming outreach students – but the goals of these new desired programs were seen to fall outside the scope of the existing programs; another outreach contingent was deemed necessary to take on these goals. As Ryan stated about his program, “our little corporate model doesn’t lend itself to [the incorporation of a new branch of programming].” He continued to say that he was good at delivering his program, but “we need to figure out who can come in and do the other stuff. It almost has to be another unit” (Ryan). The hiring of more staff in the one program would not help as  69  they would get swallowed up in the mechanism of creating something for [the program’s current scope]. You can’t bring someone in because as soon as you bring someone in, maybe X of their job is to work with the other [new] kids, [but] they [will eventually] get consumed by the stuff for [the current students]. (Ryan) It is as if the programs’ established goals are seen to act as a centripetal force for new programming; establishing a new additional direction within an existing program, may be more difficult than to create a whole separate one as one would always have to be battling the gravitational pull of the existing goals. Having a network of separate but connected programs not only bypasses the centripetal force conundrum, but involving more partner programs widens the scope of available resources and expertise. George, for example exclaimed how ideal one of his partnerships was because the partner organization allowed him to go beyond the walls of UBC, a place where he would not otherwise be able to go (George). His partnerships not only allow him to reach students outside of UBC, but it also allowed for their outreach work to incorporate more than just the expertise of UBC staff and faculty. Additionally, regarding program implementation skills, as Ryan said, “It is really hard to get someone who is really good at running a camp that is also good at running a career counseling group.” Utilizing and appreciating partnerships, instead of wanting to maintain control or a monopoly allows the programs to provide a broad scope of programming. One of the programs, in-fact, hopes to create a resource package which outlines their lessons-learned and curricula so that others who wish to start their own program will have a jumping off point (Ryan; Mike).  70  More programs are better able to serve the diversity of Aboriginal students The Aboriginal population is diverse and you cannot expect to create one Aboriginal program and have it apply to all Aboriginal students. Having different programs serve different dimensions of Aboriginality better ensures that the diversity of Aboriginal people gets served. One participant said, when trying to figure out the logistics of having one program for both province-wide Aboriginal students and innercity Vancouver Aboriginal students, that it would be too problematic and it was more pragmatic to offer two separate programs, each specializing the needs and experiences of a single population (Susan; Ryan). With a network of partner programs a multitude of Aboriginal students can have access to these camps, such as: high achieving, low achieving, status, non-status, urban, rural, on-reserve, off-reserve, and everything inbetween.  Summary The outreach programs’ operating philosophies are best understood in wholistic terms on two different levels. The programs operate at the level of the student by supporting their physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs. Similarly, the programs work to make more room for Aboriginal students at UBC by the acting on the faculty, staff, and graduate student volunteers in physical, emotional, and intellectual ways. Both levels of operation however, are couched within a larger network of partner programs so that a larger scope of issues gets addressed and the diversity of Aboriginal students are served.  71  Research Question #3: What are the perceived benefits and drawbacks of these programs, in terms of both the students and the university? There are a variety of perceived benefits and drawbacks to these outreach programs that were talked about by the interviewees. I will discuss them in four sections: benefits for the students, drawbacks for the students, benefits for the institution, and drawbacks for the institution. All four categories are only talked about in terms of perceived benefits and drawbacks as no actual evaluation of any of the programs has been conducted.  Benefits for the students The programs are perceived to be beneficial for the students along a variety of dimensions. The programs 1) motivate the students, 2) excite the students about learning, 3) provide the students with the opportunity to develop a network of supportive friends, 4) allow the students to experience a variety of successes, and 5) get the students used to university. Motivating the students happens when the visiting Aboriginal students see possibilities for themselves, particularly with regards to interacting with current Aboriginal university students. As one participant said, “the kids can see that they [the university Aboriginal students] made it and they [the visiting k-12 Aboriginal students] can too” (Susan). When one cohort of students talked with an Aboriginal person in the faculty of medicine, for example, they responded with “wow there is an Aboriginal person working in the faculty of medicine?!” To this the kids were met with the response  72  of “well you can do anything you want right?” (Dan). These programs help the students say “Hey! I can do this” (Mike). Excite the students about learning was referenced through several anecdotes regarding how students became excited learners. For example, when one student returned home after his completion of the outreach program, his mother called the program’s administrator in utter shock because her son was “doing his homework, and was really excited about finishing school and going to college and university” (Dan). Other students became “excited about math” after having it posited as an Aboriginal thing (John). One interviewee said that “Many of the students said that they never thought they liked math before, but now they do” (Susan). These programs hope to develop a sense of “wonder, excitement, possibility” in the students (Mike). With regards to developing a network of supportive friends, Mike said that “there are connections born when the kids get together that may help them go places.” The friendships that develop between the students can be quite strong, for as Susan said, by the end of the program “most everyone is crying [because] they don’t want to leave their friends.” One former participant that Susan ran into, in fact said how she kept in touch with one of her friends from her particular cohort, and how they both became nurses together (Susan). Experiencing a variety of successes is also one of the beneficial aspects of the outreach programs. Susan states that she hopes her students “go away with a good successful feeling, that they can achieve.” They get to experience different success, such as in one workshop where all the students did some calculations and “were all successful and brilliant, and it was so great.” Additionally, as Dan mentioned, each student gets  73  honoured for their success during a graduation ceremony, marking the accomplishments of each student. Helping the visiting students to become familiar with university was referenced in terms of outreach students being able to say that “they’ve been to university already for a week.” Susan continues to say that “they have lived here like a student, we give them a taste of what it’s like to be a student here;” it gives them a head start (Susan). As Dan states this familiarity may lower their apprehension about going to university. “When I first came here,” Dan states, “I was very apprehensive [about] coming to a university. I thought this university was a city of its own. I never thought universities would be that big” and now, the visiting outreach students get to come here and experience it first hand, lowering their future apprehension.  Drawbacks for the students The interviewees did not mention many drawbacks for the students. One participant, however, did say “that it might be hard to hear, but in some way” these programs could be “assimilating our students” (Dan). He said that his particular faculty, really promulgates a “culture of its own,” one which says that students should not “bring [their] cultural beliefs into the program … students [are instead] forced to learn, to be part of [the faculty’s] culture. So that is where the comment about assimilation comes into it” (Dan). Similarly, the same participant said that “racism is still here, racism and discrimination and ignorance about our culture” (Dan). “We need to be frank with them [the students] about it,” he continues, we need to say to them that “if you want to go to university or college” you have to know that “racism is well and alive out there” (Dan).  74  Dan does this in a variety of his workshops in order to help the students prepare for the discrimination they may experience at UBC. Students sometimes ask him how he deals with it, and he says “I just feel sorry for the people, when they think that way” (Dan). Introducing and encouraging students to be open to a program and/or institution where racism is alive and well, and where assimilative practices exist can have serious consequences for the students.  Benefits for the institution These programs benefit UBC in the sense that they can “put UBC on the map with the other universities” (Dan). UBC, for example, Dan stated was “one of the first universities in Canada that had something like [his respective program]” (Dan). These programs enable UBC to say that they are supporting innovative programming not just for university level Aboriginal students, but also for Aboriginal students in the K-12 system; this is good PR for UBC. Additionally, recall that one of the overarching reasons for the programs’ existence in the first place is to boost the enrollment of Aboriginal students at UBC, thus the number of incoming students will hopefully increase. Demographics show too that Aboriginal populations are growing far faster than any other population (Martin-Hill, 2008), thus it is in UBC’s best interest to not only foster the success of Aboriginal students in the K-12 system, but also make UBC attractive and welcoming to Aboriginal students. UBC is investing in their future by outreaching to a population in which they do not currently have a large stake.  75  Ethically speaking, these programs also benefit UBC in the sense that they help UBC to become a more responsive and responsible institution. As stated above, these programs work to create space at UBC for Aboriginal students, and this is something that is ethically the right thing to do. The institutional change – talked about above in terms of the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual realms – that is slowly occurring benefits UBC in the sense that they will become a better university, one that is no longer described as being “behind the times” or “provincial” (John).  Drawbacks to the institution There were no drawbacks mentioned by the participants with regards for UBC as an institution. The closest thing to a drawback that was mentioned was the ever-present search for funding. Each interviewee talked about how it would be ideal to receive stable and long-term funding for their program, but the repercussion for this would be that the institution would be put under greater financial strain.  76  Chapter 6 DISCUSSSION Although many findings from the above analysis section may warrant further discussion, one of the most pervasive themes that has come out in this study is how outreach programs can create structural change in the university while also attending to the education of individual students. Below I discuss both of these two levels of focus. As well, I will also explore the programs’ roots, as the establishment of each program was attributed to the leadership of one dedicated individual; I did not come across this finding in the literature review, and it deserves further examination. Consideration of “success” is also included in order to begin assaying the efficacy of outreach programs. Finally, some cautionary notes are taken into account.  Making systemic change Academia, as Kuokkanen (2007), states is typically “not a good host” to Aboriginal students (p.3). Universities are described in Aboriginal literature as being: places of “sanctioned ignorance” with regards to Indigenous knowledge systems (Kuokkanen, 2007, p. 6), as places that are often “adamantly and aggressively opposed to indigenous ways” (Alfred, 2004, p. 88), or places where Aboriginal people can become the “object of tenured browsing” (Cole, 2005, p.19). Even when Aboriginal peoples are welcomed into the university and allowed to express their ideas, Kuokkanen (2007) asserts, they are not really heard. Academia too often dictates the terms in which Aboriginal students can be heard, and too often demands the relinquishment of their ontologies and epistemologies (Kuokkanen, 2007). Faculty and staff can also portray a  77  lack of respect for Indigenous students, and have frequently been reported to belittle or patronize Aboriginal students’ “emotional, tribal, and cultural matters” (Mihesuah, 2004, p. 192). It is in these ways, that the university participates in the on-going colonization of Indigenous peoples and perpetuates established systems of privilege (Mihesuah and Cavender Wilson, 2004). With the persistence of such unjustness, there has been a repeated call for systemic change in the academy, and in the education system in general. As Mihesuah and Cavendar Wilson (2004) state, “we are hungry for a change that will bring respect to our rights as Indigenous peoples” (p. 5). Systemic change, however, is a slow process and, as Shawn Atleo (April 22, 2009), a National Aboriginal Chief, said during a panel discussion with John Ralston Saul and Jo-ann Archibald, change should not be too swift, but instead slow, methodical, and sustainable. Part of the initial steps to this slow, methodical, and sustainable change with regards to university settings, seems to be the creation of “space” for Indigenous peoples, values, epistemologies and research. Smith (2009), for example, described her seminal book, Decolonizing Methodologies, as not being an end-point, but instead as merely transitional and something that was intended to elbow-out some room in academia for real Indigenous scholarship. In fact, she said that much of the work done by her larger cohort of Indigenous scholars was with the goal of creating and fortifying a space for future Indigenous scholarship (Smith, 2009). Similarly, Cavender-Wilson (2004) also speaks of carving out a space in academia for Indigenous research: “our task is to challenge the academy as an agent of colonialism and to carve a place for our own traditions as legitimate subjects of scholarly study, but on our own terms” (p. 73). One participant in this study echoed this sentiment, when he stated that his program is about  78  “creating space for these kids, and developing a sense of place, not just for the kids that we are bringing in, but for the university itself” (Ryan).  Space and place When trying to discern what “creating space and a sense of place” means in this context, I rely on Mihesuah and Cavendar Wilson’s (2004) introduction to their anthology, Indigenizing the academy. They discuss changing the academic institution so that it becomes a place and space: 1) “where Indigenous values and knowledges are respected,” 2) that “supports research and methodologies which are useful to Indigenous nations,” 3) which is "responsive and responsible to First Nations goals of selfdetermination and well-being, and 4) that “acknowledges and acts on our [Indigenous peoples] concerns and shows Indigenous peoples respect” (p. 3-9). From this discussion I understand “creating space and a sense of place” for Aboriginal students to be: helping to make the university environment to be one in which Indigenous values, knowledges, methodologies and people are indisputably respected instead of belittled, and to be one in which self-determination and well-being are actively cultivated. This, Mihesuah and Cavendar Wilson (2004) state, will shake the institution’s foundations, for it can greatly challenge the generations of inbred knowledge validation within academia. The outreach programs included in this study can indeed be seen as assisting in the elbowing out of some space in the academy for more Aboriginal scholarship. Although the programs do not directly address the epistemic violence that has been and continues to be brought upon Indigenous Knowledges, they do seem to try to change the university environment through informal professional development opportunities. The  79  outreach programs have professional development components in both the intellectual and emotional realms, both of which strive to make UBC a more respectful host to Aboriginal students. The professional development opportunities in the intellectual realm occur when the non-Aboriginal faculty volunteers get to interact with the visiting Aboriginal students. As one of the participants in this study stated, these outreach programs “lead to [the] UBC personnel getting to know Aboriginal people as people” (Ryan). The faculty volunteers are able to learn from the visiting students and perhaps challenge some of their own assumptions. These interpersonal interactions can have the effect of dismantling a monolithic or colonial perception of “Aboriginal students” which can get created by newspapers, reports, conversations or books. Aboriginal students are no longer, for example, a theoretical entity completely separate from the faculty volunteer’s lifeworld, but instead become a very real and diverse group of students. Faculty volunteers are not only able to foster their own intellectual growth, but their professional development could reverberate into such things as curriculum revisions. Simultaneously, professional development in the emotional realm takes place by again starting with the physical presence of the visiting Aboriginal Students. This presence gives non-Aboriginal faculty volunteers the chance to interact with the visiting students, presenting the volunteers with the opportunity to emotionally relate and connect to the visiting students and Aboriginal educational issues. The faculty volunteers get to know the students as wonderful individuals, be moved by them, and get to know their stories; and, as one participant stated, this opportunity allows for Aboriginal education to have the chance to “grow closer to their hearts” (Mike). As seen in the analysis section,  80  having an issue “close to your heart” is often related to continued work and growth in that area, causing further change in the university through a proliferation of programs. Both of these professional development realms can be placed in a cycle where every year these small professional developments become compounded with what happened the previous year before, all culminating in the intent of making UBC a better place for future Aboriginal students. Non-Aboriginal faculty volunteers, for example, will hopefully be less emotionally divested from educational inequities and rights, and more responsive to the diversity of Aboriginal students. Whether or not these programs actually do have an outcome of making UBC a safer place for Aboriginal students, Aboriginal research and Indigenous Knowledges is yet to be seen; although, when one participant was asked if he thought his outreach program helped to make UBC a safer place, he responded with “I do, absolutely” (John). Much emphasis in this model of change is placed on the interaction between faculty volunteers and Aboriginal students in reference to Roslyn Ing’s (June, 22, 2010) witness speech at the opening of the Critical Research in Health and Healthcare Inequities research institute. She stated in this presentation how inequities and misconceptions in health and healthcare endure partly because non-Aboriginal medical students who have never interacted with First Nations peoples are graduating form medical school, meaning that graduates have “no idea what First Nations people are like, but are supposed to doctor them.” Ing (2010) maintained that it is difficult for the healthcare system to transform when First Nations people are being omitted from the healthcare professionals’ education and lifeworld.  81  The cycle of change resulting from professional development opportunities discussed above is a simplified, but it provides a rudimentary place to begin thinking about it and highlights how change can stem from small, incremental steps that can have an effect over a long period of time. Once the programs have been created, a process which would seemingly also facilitate systemic change8, the cycle begins with the physical presence of more Aboriginal students, which in turn prompts 1) UBC to become a responsive environment through the professional intellectual development of faculty members, and 2) Aboriginal outreach initiatives to grow strong and plentiful as a result of the faculty volunteers increased commitment through an emotional connection. Both of these steps theoretically lead to the creation of a faculty and staff that will act as better hosts for Aboriginal students, which will hopefully, in-turn, lead to an increase in the physical presence of Aboriginal students at UBC. I emphasize theoretically here, as these Aboriginal outreach programs are a relatively new component of UBC’s history, and staff, scholars, participants, and community members are currently trying to determine the benefits and ramifications of these programs as they proliferate and progress. Interviews with the faculty volunteers would show what kind of impact their participation in these outreach programs had for themselves.  Microclimates and the Swiss cheese model of systemic change Indeed, the manner in which these UBC outreach programs operate is small in scale, and some may posit that systemic change does not result, but instead an isolated 8  The process of creating these programs within departments, and the process of receiving faculty buy-in and institutionally based funding, are the processes of systemic change. This level of investigation on program creation falls beyond the scope of this study. Further studies regarding the process of program creation and how faculty become better sensitized to cultural and colonial impacts would be useful to illuminate impacts on systemic change.  82  microclimate of differently structured education gets created. Although these programs may do good things, the effects of the one program can get consumed and folded back into the larger inequitable university institution, and no real change has actually occurred. However, when many small initiatives act at the same time, many holes can begin to develop in the larger system, disrupting and destabilizing it until the system has more holes than structure. Small initiatives can accumulate to reach a critical mass, or as Westley, Zimmerman and Patton call it, a “phase transition point,” where real change can begin to be seen. At UBC, Aboriginal outreach programs act in concert with many other small initiatives. For example, the Teaching and Academic Growth centre is offering faculty members a professional development opportunity with their new course entitled, “Working in socially and culturally diverse classrooms: Teaching Aboriginal issues” (TAG, 2010). Additionally, Aboriginal peoples and/or issues now also have a presence in several research units, for example: the Aboriginal Fisheries Research unit, the Human Early Learning Partnership Project’s Aboriginal research agenda, and eHealth’s Aboriginal Community Engagement subgroup. Many undergraduate and graduate courses have also been created among faculties and departments such as the Faculty of Education, Women Studies, the School of Population and Public Health, Forestry, and Mining Engineering to name a few. Furthermore, there is also a physical presence of Aboriginal infrastructure such as the First Nations House of Learning, the Xwi7Xwa library, and even Edgar Heap of Bird’s “Today your host is …” art installation signs 9  9  Heap of Bird’s installation consists of 12 signs placed throughout UBC’s campus, each of which says “AIBMULOC HSITIRB; TODAY YOUR HOST IS [Name of BC First Nation, such as Lil’wat]” (http://www.belkin.ubc.ca/outdoor/). The signs are intended to “make reference to the relationship between  83  found around campus. Other types of Aboriginal initiatives and services include Aboriginal student representatives in many different faculties, a UBC wide Aboriginal recruitment strategy, a First Nation Studies undergraduate degree, a variety of diplomas focused on Aboriginal topics, Institutes, and an Aboriginal teacher training program (Aboriginal Program and Services, n.d.). These small initiatives can act together to perhaps not create the alternate system, but instead create an accumulation of Aboriginal initiatives and people that will eventually lead towards sustainable systemic change.  The students’ wholistic education Although structural change was one of the outreach programs’ goals, their primary focus remained with the students, on 1) their education and 2) their relationship with education. Attending to the students’ education seemed to be primarily addressed through the fulfillment of their intellectual needs, as previously described in the data analysis section: exploring different types of sciences, learning about post-secondary schooling, and providing learning opportunities during the summer months. The students’ relationship with education however, seems to be primarily cultivated by meeting the students’ emotional, physical, and spiritual needs: providing scholarships, providing culturally safe spaces, connecting the teachings to the students’ identities, respecting and valuing each student, allowing the students to have the opportunity to connect with Elders, and facilitating a space for spiritual connection. By attending to these extra-  First Nations and British Columbia,” and to prompt the viewer “to consider and to potentially question [signs’] authoritative power” (http://www.belkin.ubc.ca/outdoor/).  84  intellectual needs of the students, Aboriginal students stand a better chance of having positive experiences with education which can be decisive to a person’s perseverance in the education system. Peoples’ actual experiences with education, Ogbu and Simons (1998) state, are crucial with respect to their continued participation in education. Ogbu and Simons (1998) assert, for example, that it is the experiences of minority students “with education and with the opportunity structure or rewards of education that influence their behaviour much more than abstract beliefs about the importance of education” (Ogbu & Simons, 1998, p. 173). It is not, therefore, enough to tout “stay in school” slogans, but instead there needs to be a creation of educational opportunities that promote positive experiences with the opportunity structure or reward system of education. When the visiting Aboriginal students of the outreach programs experience education in the supportive and wholistically relevant environment that the outreach programs create, they can accrue positive educational experiences, which will in-turn cultivate their participation with future educational opportunities. Additionally, the successes experienced by the students in these programs are combined with the visibility of successful Aboriginal staff, faculty, and volunteers, allowing the visiting students to be able to ground the opportunity and reward structure of education that Ogbu and Simons (1998) discuss, in real world events, not theoretical beliefs about education. Although it is arguable that continued participation in the larger education system is a good thing, these outreach programs do strive for continued participation, and as such the analysis begins here.  85  In the cultivation of positive experiences with education, the outreach programs in this study pay extensive attention to the emotional needs of the students. As outlined in the analysis chapter, the programs included in this study operate in the emotional realm by cultivating the students’: excitement, cultural identity, feelings of worth, and emotional self-awareness. This type of emotional support and exploration is indeed essential to the development of a positive relationship with education as per Ogbu and Simons (1998); but it is also critical to the students’ scholastic attainment. It has been found for example, that “at-risk” students in classrooms with high emotional support achieve academic scores that are equal to their “low-risk” peers (Hymel et al., 2006). “Creating a caring and safe educational environment,” Hymel et al. (2006) state, “is the foundation for … academic achievement” (p. 10). The programs included in this study couch education for the visiting Aboriginal students within emotional support, and therefore, help to repair the historical and often contemporaneous damage done by Canada’s racist and emotionally traumatizing education system with respect to the experiences of many Aboriginal students. Indeed, the programs’ primary focus is to provide good educational opportunities for the visiting Aboriginal students. They provide the students with intellectually superior opportunities, and also cultivate the students’ relationship with education through the provision of extra-intellectual supports and by exposing them to the positive side of the opportunity and reward structure of education. Much energy is placed on creating an emotionally supportive learning environment for the student, which is particularly crucial for the accumulation of positive experiences with education, and also foundational to scholastic achievement. With this matrix of programming, the outreach initiatives work  86  towards their goal of improving the health status of Aboriginal people and communities by creating more ways for them to access the health benefits that correlate with postsecondary schooling.  One dedicated individual All of the successes experienced by the programs’ attending students and all of the ways in which the programs aid system-level change are the result of the foundational work done by individual staff and faculty members. The creation of these outreach programs was not something mandated from the upper echelons of UBC who might decree that they want a program created by the end of the year and dedicate some funds to its creation. Instead, the organizational challenge of creating an outreach program was taken on by one person, or a small team of persons, whom decided that they would work toward creating more equitable educational opportunities for k-12 Aboriginal students. The individual roots of outreach programs was not found within my initial literature review, and as such, this topic should be given further study within Aboriginal education. Upon a recent and random interaction I had with complexity theory, however, I discovered that complexity theory investigates the importance of the individual within the system and how they are positioned to initiate change; as such, future studies utilizing complexity theory may help to better understand the positionality of the individual. Westley, Zimmerman and Patton (2006), three complexity theorists, relay several stories where social change began due to the passion, historical experiences, and resources of one individual. The authors’ state: “social innovation begins where the individual and the system meet. It takes courage to engage and stay engaged; it takes courage to act in the  87  absence of certainty and clarity. But to not engage … simply reinforces the walls inside and outside us” (Westley, Zimmerman & Patton, 2006, p.19). To better understand the power of the individual to make change, I also utilize Haudenosuanne philosophy. Although the Huadenosuanne nations are a collective, they bestow great rights to the individual. John Mohawk (1992), a highly esteemed SixNations community member, states that their traditions recognize the “dignity and the rights of the individual and the rights of the individual against the powers of the state” (p. 26). He continues to state that individuals have responsibilities to each other, to the future generations, and to create institutions that “reflect on the rights and the sacredness of the individual” (Mohawk, 1992, p. 27). Oren Lyons (1992), a faith keeper of the Onondaga nation, states that the Huadenosuanne tradition maintains that “it was the nature of free men to defend freedom” (p. 33). Indeed, great power is attributed to the work of individuals. The Peacemaker, a great spiritual being who brought the Haudenosuanne people the Great Law of Peace a long time ago, was in-fact, just one individual who worked for, some say, a hundred years to restore peace to the once warring, merciless, and fierce Haudenosuanne nations (Lyons, 1992). The gravity and importance of individual work cannot be overlooked. With this Haudenosuanne perspective of individuals and the work that they can do, one can see that those who assume responsibility for working towards peace and justice can be effective or powerful, and their labours which eventually may turn into established programming should not be taken for granted or overlooked. Additionally, UBC as an institution may currently be an exceptionally fertile environment for the cultivation of such individual efforts with regards to Aboriginal initiatives as UBC’s TREK 2010  88  documents state that UBC will work to “develop programs that will assist [in] increasing [the] numbers of Aboriginal youth [who] enroll in undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs at UBC” (Trek 2010, 2000). Additionally, the UBC Aboriginal strategic plan (2008), states that: [outreach programs] for Aboriginal youth should be coordinated and assessed. Successful existing programs should be stabilized and, in some cases, expanded. New opportunities should be investigated. Partnerships with selected K-12 schools with high Aboriginal enrolments should be developed to provide universityoriented curriculum and support for Aboriginal students. Opportunities for partnerships with urban Aboriginal organizations to develop mentoring and community service learning opportunities should be actively explored. As such, support and respect for those individuals who work in this area may be forthcoming.  Gauging Success in Aboriginal outreach programming The way that the programs have been positioned in this study is from a place which assumes they do good things, however no actual evaluation has been conducted. A necessary next step would be to conduct an evaluation where student voices were forefronted, as well as other key stakeholders in Aboriginal education initiatives, such as Aboriginal scholars, Elders, community members, faculty liaisons, and graduates. Incorporating a diversity of perspectives will help to get a better picture of what the programs are doing in the long and short term, and if they need to be modified to accomplish different or more radical goals. Some indicators of success from a student’s point of view have been gleaned from the literature and discussed below, as well as some speculations as to how the programs included in this study might address them.  89  1. Notions of success need to consider how and if the program raises the students’ aspirations (Gandara, 2002). The programs included in this study might raise their students’ aspirations by motivating the students to consider persisting through and/or excelling in subsequent grades, as well as eventually enrolling in postsecondary schooling. 2. Notions of success need to consider how and if the program helps students to expand their educational goals (Gandara, 2002). The programs included in this study might do this by introducing their students to multiple sects of sciences that may not be typically included in the k-12 system, such as nursing, engineering, or midwifery. The programs might also expand the students’ goals by cultivating the idea and motivation for the visiting students to one day enroll in post-secondary education. 3. Notions of success need to consider how and if the program leads to “the production of socialized citizens who meet the needs of [their] community” (LaFrance, 2000, p.96). The programs included in this study might do this by promoting the pursuance of science and math careers, which are in high demand for Aboriginal communities; Aboriginal resources need Aboriginal scientists to manage them (MacIvor, 1995). Considering anything beyond this broad need however, would require a formal study that identified the specific needs of the relevant communities. 4. Notions of success need to consider how and if the program supports the students’ cultural integrity. That is, how and if the programs help the students “remain strong and confident in their cultural knowledge” (Faculty-13, Northern-U as cited in Pidgeon, 2008, p. 146). The programs included in this study might cultivate the students’ cultural integrity by 1) connecting the learning activities to the students’ cultures, by 2) frequently visiting the FNHL where Indigenous Knowledges and cultures dominate, through 3) culturally responsive curriculum, through 4) the incorporation of cultural ceremonies such as smudging or salmon feasts, and by 5) the employment of an Elder. 5. Notions of success need to consider how and if the program supports their students to find their individual gift and contribute back to their community or the Aboriginal population as a whole (Staff-3, Southern-U as cited in Pidgeon, 2008). The programs included in this study, respect and honour the individual students for what they accomplish, and do not proselytize science and math, but instead desire for the students to find a field that they are interested in, thus it is possible that finding the students’ individual gifts is forefronted. To really determine, however, if the programs help the students find their gift, one would need to talk with the student-graduates, which unfortunately fell outside of the scope of this study. 6. Notions of success need to consider how and if the program helps its students “to maintain a wholistic balance between the intellectual, physical, spiritual, and  90  emotional realms” (Pidgeon, 2008, p. 154). The programs included in this study attend to the students wholistic needs and hopefully foster some healthy habits in each realm, but how or if the programs help the students maintain wholistic balance when they are out of the program is indeterminable from the interviews in this study. Again, one would need to actually talk with the student-graduates of the programs. 7. Notions of success need to consider how and if the program helps to raise students’ school retention, graduation, and job prospects (Pidgeon, 2008). The programs included in this study might accomplish these outcomes by: fostering the formation of supportive friendships amongst students with similar educative goals, by inspiring and motivating the students to pursue more education, by providing learning opportunities during the sometimes vacant summer holidays, and by preparing the students for their transition into subsequent grades. 8. Notions of success need to consider how and if the program includes the “seen Aboriginal face,” meaning the inclusion of Aboriginal faces, Aboriginal architecture, respect for cultural protocols, and the inclusion of Indigenous knowledges and epistemologies in curricula and pedagogy (Pidgeon, 2008). The programs included in this study have “seen face” in the following ways: employing Aboriginal staff, employing Aboriginal Elders, recruiting as many Aboriginal faculty volunteers as possible, using the Aboriginal farm space and its smoke house, using the FNHL, using culturally responsive curricula, and hosting ceremonies such as sweats or smudging. The above list outlines some considerations for gauging success and provides some speculations as to how the included outreach programs might accomplish these various dimensions of success; whether or not the programs actually do accomplish them is indeterminable from the interviews in this study. Some anecdotal evidence exists which supports the notion that these programs do meet some of these dimensions of success, but no formal evaluation exists. The above conjectures, however, regarding how the outreach programs may meet various dimensions of success could provide a preliminary starting place for a future evaluation of one or more of the outreach programs. Some additional components of success may also need to be added which investigate the success of goals related to system level change. Anderson (1993) suggests some key indicators of systemic change are: changing vision statements, more public and  91  political support, policy alignment, and continued research. Additionally as another author states, structural change can be indicated by “a change in practice, policies, programs or resources flow” (unknown, n.d., p. 15). Perhaps some of these specifics could be used as measures of success with broader levels of change. Refining indicators of success at the level of systemic change should be the focus of future studies, thereby producing what Pidgeon (2008), Gandara (2002) and LaFrance (2000) were able to do for the student realm.  Possible cautions and their management Although the programs included in this study seem to offer many advantages, there are also some cautionary notes that need to be raised. Two that are discussed below are the assimilative potential of these programs, and the lack of programming which might fall in the spiritual realm of the wholistic framework.  The assimilative potential of outreach programs As discussed in the analysis section, two of the outreach programs’ goals were 1) to introduce more Aboriginal students to post-secondary schooling, and 2) to get more Aboriginal students enrolling in post-secondary institutions, specifically UBC. Since universities typically promulgate western knowledges, these programs essentially encourage the visiting Aboriginal students to succeed in western oriented institutions; as such they could be seen as being potentially assimilative. Cole and O’Riley (2008) might say that by succeeding in institutions steeped in western values, Aboriginal students may be in danger of becoming buried underneath “layers of colonization” and getting “trapped  92  inside Eurocentric assimilationist theories.” They criticize that the bridges being built to university education are too often western bridges: You know raven these bridges that they’re talking about building are western bridges I wish they would just let us walk across the water on the rocks and through the shallows bridges aren’t really Indian friendly or environmentally friendly they’re just a way of moving products to consumer markets and field artillery to where the indians are raising a ruckus (Cole and O’Riley, 2008, p. 54).  One interviewee echoed these considerations when he stated that there is extreme pressure for Aboriginal students in his department to assimilate into the western culture that dominates his department (Dan). This assimilative precaution evokes one of Hampton’s twelve standards of Indigenous education: conflict, the tenth standard. There are indeed conflicts, tensions and struggles between Indigenous education and mainstream university education. The education system, at all levels, suffers from systemic racism and can promulgate assimilation. With this assimilative precaution, however, one must also consider the third goal of the outreach programs: to make more space for Aboriginal students at UBC. This goal speaks to a transformative agenda, which corresponds to Hampton’s (1995) twelfth standard of Indigenous education, transformation. The outreach programs strive to transform the Eurocentric academy into something that is more reflexive and respectful of Aboriginal peoples, epistemologies and educational practices. When programmatic goals of succeeding in a western institution are coupled with a goal of transforming the western institution, there may be fewer assimilative cautions as the programs exist within a broader context which recognizes systemic issues, and therefore may protect against them. One of my past professors once said that, yes there are problems with the university structure, but one can exploit it for the resources it does offer while still remaining strong within your cultural beliefs. These programs seem to 93  balance the short-term goal of accessing or exploiting the benefits of having a university education with the long-term goal of systemic change and equitable education. The programs included in this research, be they bridges or a “walk across the water on the rocks,” seem to be intended to help its students succeed in the education system, stay connected to their cultures, and partake in educational instances that are more reflexive of Indigenous educational practices. Pidgeon (2008) might say that these programs are “pockets” where Indigenous Knowledges are respected and utilized. Pidgeon (2008) determined that Indigenous Knowledges typically have “pockets of presence” at universities through such things as curricula, Aboriginal oriented programs, and the practices of some Aboriginal staff, students and Elders. The programs in this study become “pockets” of Indigenous Knowledge, and therefore stave off assimilative cautions, through their culturally responsive curricula, the employment of Elders and Aboriginal staff, through the attention to the wholistic needs of the students, and through the utilization of other pockets of Indigenous Knowledges, such as the FNHL and the Aboriginal community Kitchen garden. These “pockets” of Indigenous Knowledges hopefully act as a retaining wall against the assimilative potential of university-hosted education.  A lack of spiritually based programming Another caution, or rather omission to take note of, is the lack of programming that might fall in the spiritual realm. One program included in this study offered programming in this area by staffing an Elder and offering ceremonies, such as smudging and sweats; within the other programs included in this study, however, the spiritual  94  component seemed to be missing. Including spiritual programming in university outreach programs, might be controversial, for one could argue that spirituality should be kept within a community, close to Elders and other knowledge keepers, and close to a specific land base. Additionally, construing ceremonies or other spiritually “infused” programming to fit a university setting might be considered dangerous as there is typically much protocol surrounding spiritual “events” to which university settings might not be amenable. Additionally, and more pragmatically speaking, the length of these outreach programs are approximately a week long, and not having spiritually related programming for such a short period of time may not have lasting effects for the students. Not having spirituality salient in the programming, however, means that the outreach programming could be seen to be out of balance in wholistic terms. Not having programming which pays homage to spirituality means that students miss out on an opportunity to be mentored in how to combine spirituality and education. Similarly, the students may also begin to understand that spirituality and education should be kept as disparate items. As well, without spirituality being salient in the programming, the faculty volunteers will not get the chance to learn about respect for spiritual considerations of education and Aboriginal education. Not having this learning opportunity for the science and math faculty volunteers might be particularly detrimental, for these disciplines are often characterized by atheism, which can be particularly discriminatory and disrespectful towards students with spiritual beliefs and practices. Indeed, the omission or inclusion of spiritual programming is controversial. I highlight it here to give voice to the issue, not to offer a solution. My undergraduate Indigenous Studies program dealt with this conundrum, not by offering ceremonies, but  95  by making one of the introductory level classes focused on better understanding some of the foundations of Indigenous spirituality. As a result, every student in the program acquired a respectful and informed perspective of it, and those students participating in ceremonies or rituals knew their professors and fellow students would provide a safe space for the people who partook in a spiritual life. This method of making spirituality salient through discussions and creating a respectful environment for it, worked for there were two large First Nation reserves close by which hosted the actual ceremonies and rituals themselves. Additionally, this method of understanding spiritual foundations might have worked since students had a whole semester for learning; the faculty volunteers for these outreach programs, however, do not have this time, they only have a day or afternoon with the students.  96  Chapter 7 REVISITING THE GUSWENTHA The framework Now that we have discussed a few of the programs’ components at both the student and system level, as well as notions of success, we can re-consider the Guswentha which was briefly introduced in the theoretical positioning section.  Figure 3 A replica of the framework of the Guswentha Belt, also called the Two Row Wampum Belt. An exact image of the belt could not be inserted due to copyright issues.  The Guswentha depicts two parallel purple lines that are separated by three rows of the white beads, which symbolizes the expected relationship between the Haudenosuanne nation and the European nations. The two parallel purple lines represent two separate and distinct nations traveling down the same river together: one of the purple lines represent the Huadenosuanne peoples, and the other represents the European peoples. The lines are parallel and, as such, never touch: symbolizing that both nations are sovereign and autonomous, never to interfere with the governing of each other’s  97  nations. The three rows of white beads between the two lines represent peace, friendship, and respect: symbolizing how the relations between the two nations should be enacted and characterized. These three characteristics keep the nations separate, yet also bind them both together (Turner, 2006). The Guswentha represents a treaty which metaphorically states that each nation should stay within their own vessel, never trying to interfere with or steer the other while traveling down the same river. It is a treaty of respect, dignity, integrity, non-interference and emphasizes the autonomy of each nation (Turner, 2006). The Guswentha is used in this study because it helps to frame social justice and power from an Indigenous Knowledge framework. Alfred (1999) states, that the three rows of beads – symbolizing peace, friendship, and respect – separating the two nations “explain what is meant by a just relationship” (p. 48): when two groups build a relationship with each other through peace, friendship, and respect, justice will ensue. So long as the two nations do not interfere with the other’s “autonomy, freedom or power,” their relationship with each other would be “peaceful, harmonious, and just” (Alfred, 1999, p. 52). Power, within the Two Row Wampum, exists in the “context of respect for the autonomy and distinctive nature of each partner” (Alfred, 1999, p. 52). Social justice as constructed by the principles within the Guswentha, is the result of relationships that are founded on respect, peace, friendship, autonomy, and freedom; these are the vehicles through which social justice can be achieved. In addition to the symbolism of the Guswentha treaty, the symbolism of the actual wampum beads themselves may also help us to negotiate the terrain of justice and power from an Indigenous Knowledge standpoint. Wampum “is a symbol of a people’s  98  successful accomplishment of coming to one mind about how they were going to go on from [a place of conflict] in a permanent relationship of peace and tranquility between the two sides” (Mohawk, 1988, p. xiv). When exchanging wampum beads, certain rituals must also be enacted which “clear the peoples minds so that they can conduct business” (Mohawk, 1988, p. xiv). They need to brush off the places they will sit and the clothing that they wear, and they must remove the things they acquired while getting to that place; they must wipe away any blood from their clothing or tears from their eyes; and, they need to clear any lumps from their throats or tightness in their chests (Mohawk, 1988). These rituals attached to the exchange of the wampum beads could implicate additional ways to think about justice and how to arrive at justice. It is the result of coming to one mind, or rather, fully understanding the other’s perspectives and coming to a full agreement from both sides. It is the result of trying to brush away or lay aside any variables that may confound or muddle negotiations, such as privileges, biases, or power imbalances (brushing off the seats and clothing, and removing anything they acquired while coming to that place). It is the result of trying to lay aside past wrongs and grievances (wiping blood from clothes, wiping tears from eyes, clearing lumps from throats, clearing tightness from chests). The rituals attached to the exchange of wampum beads, are done so that everyone involved can “recognize that they will [be] deal[ing] with human beings at a human to human [equitable] level” (Mohawk, 1988, p. xiv). In sum, we can learn from the Guswentha and the wampum that some dimensions of social justice are: premising relationships on respect, peace, friendship, autonomy, and freedom; and trying to clear from the environment and each other, any biases, power imbalances, past wrongs, and ill-will so that everyone involved can fully understand each  99  other and come to full agreement. As John Mohawk (1988) says, “our power to create peace and a peaceful resolution depends on our ability to see the other side, the other people’s humanity” (p. xv).  The Guswentha’s relationship to education and outreach programs As describe above, the Guswentha states that neither Indigenous nations nor the Eurocanadian nations should steer the other’s “vessel,” that is, interfere with the integrity and autonomy of each other’s nation. Both nations should be free and self-determining. Canada, however, with its blatant assimilative policies, resulting in such things as residential schools, the 60’s scoop, and forced enfranchisement, broke this treaty and began to interfere with the governance of Indigenous nations; they began to ‘steer the other ship.’ In actuality, with Canada’s genocidal policies, it might be fair to say that the Eurocanadian ship attempted to sink the Indigenous ships, and then allow any survivors to board the Eurocandain ship as inferior citizens. Education was one specific tool used for perverting the Guswentha agreement. Not only were residential schools implemented, where Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their community and treated with the utmost disrespect; but, in the schools where Eurocanadian children attended, the ideology of terra nullus and Manifest Destiny were propagated, cultivated, and instilled in the minds of Eurocanadian children. This combination of 1) attacking Indigenous nations through their children’s health and wellbeing, and 2) ingraining in Eurocanadian children a racist ideology with regards to the worth and rights of Aboriginal nations was a perfect-storm to create long lasting injustices. Even when residential schools were disbanded in the 1980’s, the racist  100  curricula in Eurocanadian schools persisted and did little else than to continue to indoctrinate both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students with notions about the superiority of western philosophies and the inferiority of Aboriginal peoples and nations. The education system has undermined and violated the autonomy and dignity of Aboriginal nations, and can almost be considered the antithesis of a peaceful, friendly and respectful institution that is required by the Guswentha. Education was instead, implemented in such a way as to destroy the Indigenous nations’ ‘ships.’ When considering all of the work currently happening in the area of Aboriginal education, including the outreach programs included in this study, one might understand these programs as trying to reestablish the just relationships that the Guswentha symbolizes: those which are characterized by peace, friendship, and respect. The outreach programs, for example, might 1) instill in the faculty volunteers a notion of respect for Aboriginal students as intelligent learners, 2) cultivate a friendship with Aboriginal education in which the faculty volunteers might become emotionally connected to the ‘issue,’ and 3) help lay a groundwork where faculty volunteers might be more open to approaching Indigenous Knowledges with peace instead of superiority. These outreach programs, along with other Aboriginal education initiatives, could indeed be seen as trying to reestablish just relationships among and between Aboriginal students/nations and Eurocanadian institutions/nation, in addition to providing better educational opportunities to the visiting students.  101  I have constructed Figure 5 below which helps to illuminate how these programs operate in terms of the principles in the Guswentha.  Figure 4 How the Guswentha structure may apply to education, with the outreach programs operating along the black lines.  Figure 5 depicts a structure which would understand outreach programs to prompt learning and education within each nation: the students would learn from each other, from the Elders, and from other Indigenous teachers in a manner that is indicative of the values of Indigenous nations and Indigenous Knowledges. Similarly, the Eurocanadian/non-Aboriginal volunteers would also learn from each other and from their teachers in a manner that is congruent with western practices. Concurrently, each participant, whether they be visiting Aboriginal students or faculty volunteers, would also be learning from each other through the peaceful, friendly and respectful interactions; then bringing that “between-nation” learning back to their respective cycles of learning  102  within their own grouping. In this way, social justice and the re-establishment of just relationships and educational opportunities may be one step closer. By understanding these programs in terms of the Guswentha, one can again conceptualize how these programs work on at least two levels: the first focusing on the students and the second focusing on the larger university institution. The students are able to capitalize on enhanced educational opportunities and extend their learning, and the involved faculties and faculty volunteers get to learn better practices in terms of relating to Aboriginal students which will eventually lead to the establishment of a more just institution that relies on just relationships. These outreach programs balance structural change goals with increased access goals. Neither goal violates the Guswentha’s noninterference principle, but instead is trying to reinstate the system of relationships which is touted in the Guswentha. Disentangling the two purple lines depicted in the Guswentha becomes a priority.  Summary The outreach programs included in this study, indeed, are complex and operate on different levels. Two of the levels that have been given voice in this study are that which focuses on the individual students, and that which focuses on the university as an institution. The students receive increased educational opportunities as well as opportunities to cultivate a positive relationship with education. The faculty volunteers, as agents of the university institution, receive the chance to interact with Aboriginal students and issues in a respectful way and become part of systemic justice. Notions of success need to be considered on both levels, and notions of success need to include more  103  than just the typical indices, such as graduation, but also cultural factors such as students maintaining a connection to their community. Future studies in this area would benefit from incorporating student voices and delving more into this notion of success at both the student level and institutional level. The Guswentha offers a good framework to help understand outreach programs and institutional change. It redirects discussions of social justice and social inequities to the establishment of just relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities and institutions, characterized by interactions made through peace, friendship, and respect. Outreach programs can be seen to help establish these just relationships, by helping faculty volunteers to develop a respect for Aboriginal students as learners, by helping to cultivate a friendship between faculty volunteers and Aboriginal education, and by helping to establish a framework in which faculty volunteers might approach Indigenous Knowledges with peace instead of superiority.  104  References Aboriginal Program and Services. (n.d.). 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Could you tell me the story of how this program came to exist here at UBC? - Who initiated its development (UBC or person at UBC?) - How has the institution supported the program over the years? - What was the original intent behind the program? Has this changed over the years? - What makes these university hosted programs worthwhile? - What makes them difficult to establish and maintain? - Why do you think Universities should host k-12 programs? - Why do you think it continues to exist here? 4. Are elements of IK incorporated and used in your program? 5. How are IKS incorporated into your program? Could you give example? 6. What are some challenges and successes of building a program using IKS? 7. Could you tell me about the students you service? 8. How have students reacted to the incorporation of IKS? 9. How has the program changed overtime to meet the students needs and interests? 10. What impact do you think this program has on your students - both in the short term and long term? 11. How do you develop your program and curricula to meet your students’ needs and interests? - Are there limits to what can be included? 12. What impact do you think this program has had on the university? 13. Are you satisfied with the way things stand right now with the program? 14. If you could change anything, what would you change? 15. Is there anything else that you think is important to note that we haven’t covered yet?  113  


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