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Aboriginal post-secondary education policy development in British Columbia, 1986-2011 MacIvor, Madeleine Karen 2012

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ABORIGINAL POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION POLICY DEVELOPMENT IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, 1986-2011 by Madeleine Karen MacIvor B.Ed., The University of British Columbia, 1987 M.A., The University of British Columbia, 1993 D.Litt. (honoris causa), University of the Fraser Valley, 2011 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF Doctor of Education in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Educational Leadership and Policy) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) August 2012  © Madeleine Karen MacIvor 2012  Abstract This dissertation is a critical policy study of the development of Aboriginal postsecondary education in British Columbia between 1986 and 2011. It explores the question “How have changing political, economic and social circumstances in British Columbia influenced the development and implementation of Aboriginal post-secondary policy?” through an embedded case study. During this time, British Columbia was governed by three different political parties: the Social Credit (1986-1991), the New Democratic Party (1991-2001), and the Liberals (2001 – 2011). The province was also undergoing significant changes in its relationships with Aboriginal people, in trying to bring certainty to issues of Aboriginal rights and title that were undermining resource development. At the beginning of this period BC did not recognize Aboriginal rights and title; by the end of this period a number of treaties and non-treaty agreements had been signed. Stories shared through policy texts, other documentary sources, as well as interviews with nineteen policy actors reveal a number of significant themes in the Aboriginal post-secondary policy process. These include: sector intersection between the Ministries responsible for postsecondary education and Aboriginal affairs; privileging of First Nations; relationships between policy actors and policy structures, the importance of leadership and ownership; the selective implementation of recommendations and policy; and different understandings of accountability.  ii  Preface An earlier version of Chapter 1, Section 1.2, Historical Context was incorporated into sections 2.1, 4.3, 4.3.1, and 5.5. of Fisher, D., Rubenson, K., Bernatchez, J. ,Clift, R., Jones, G., Lee, J., MacIvor, M., Meredith, J., Shanahan, T., Trottier, C.(2006). Canadian federal policy and post-secondary education. Vancouver: The Centre for Policy Studies in Higher Education and Training, University of British Columbia. Ethical Approval for interviews was received from The University of British Columbia, Office of Research Services and Administration, Behavioural Research Ethics Board, Certificate Number B06-0364.  iii  Table of Contents Abstract .......................................................................................................................................... ii Preface ........................................................................................................................................... iii Table of Contents ......................................................................................................................... iv List of Tables ................................................................................................................................ xi List of Figures .............................................................................................................................. xii Definitions ................................................................................................................................... xiii Acronyms and Abbreviations .....................................................................................................xv Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................... xvii Chapter 1: Introduction ................................................................................................................1 1.1  Research Question .....................................................................................................................2  1.2  Historical Context ......................................................................................................................3  1.2.1  Nationhood and Assimilation ..............................................................................................5  1.2.2  Assimilation under the Guise of Integration .....................................................................11  1.2.3  Towards Control and Recognition ....................................................................................16  1.2.4  Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education in the 21st Century ...............................................23  1.3  Outline of the Dissertation .......................................................................................................30  Chapter 2: The Literature...........................................................................................................32 2.1  Educational Achievement ........................................................................................................33  2.2  Barriers.....................................................................................................................................33  2.3  Aboriginal-Controlled Institutions ...........................................................................................36  2.4  Public Post-Secondary Institutions ..........................................................................................40 iv  2.5  Student Experiences .................................................................................................................46  2.6  Policy. ......................................................................................................................................48  2.7  Summary ..................................................................................................................................58  Chapter 3: Conceptual Methodological Framework ................................................................60 3.1  Policy and Critical Policy Analysis .........................................................................................60  3.2  Research Strategy ....................................................................................................................65  3.2.1  Research Design ................................................................................................................65  3.2.2  Data Collection ..................................................................................................................66  3.2.3  Analysis .............................................................................................................................70  Chapter 4: The Report of the Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners ...................................................................................................73 4.1  The Context..............................................................................................................................73  4.1.1  The Province’s Relationship with Aboriginal People .......................................................73  4.1.2  The Economy ....................................................................................................................76  4.1.3  Post-Secondary Education.................................................................................................79  4.2  The Policy Process ...................................................................................................................84  4.2.1  Consultation ......................................................................................................................86  4.2.2  The Text ............................................................................................................................88 4.2.2.1 Governance Challenges ......................................................................................90 4.2.2.2 Jurisdiction .........................................................................................................92 4.2.2.3 Culture ................................................................................................................92 4.2.2.4 Program Challenges ...........................................................................................93 4.2.2.5 Financial .............................................................................................................93 4.2.2.6 Geographical Challenges ....................................................................................93 4.2.2.7 Prioritized Recommendations and Implementation Plan ...................................94 v  4.2.3 4.3  Implementation..................................................................................................................94 Discussion and Findings ........................................................................................................100  4.3.1  The Influence of the Ministry of Native Affairs .............................................................101  4.3.2  Privileging First Nations .................................................................................................102  4.3.3  Relationships ...................................................................................................................103  4.3.4  Leadership and Ownership ..............................................................................................104  4.3.5  Selective Implementation of Recommendations .............................................................104  4.3.6  Accountability .................................................................................................................105  4.4  Summary ................................................................................................................................106  Chapter 5: The Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework .107 5.1  The Context............................................................................................................................107  5.1.1  The Province’s Relationship with Aboriginal People .....................................................107  5.1.2  Economic Climate ...........................................................................................................110  5.1.3  Post-Secondary Education...............................................................................................112  5.2 5.2.1  The Policy Process .................................................................................................................115 Consultation ....................................................................................................................121 5.2.1.1 Consultation with the BCFNC .........................................................................122 5.2.1.2 Consultation with AAPSI .................................................................................124 5.2.1.3 Consultations with Others ................................................................................126  5.2.2  The Text ..........................................................................................................................128 5.2.2.1 Objectives .........................................................................................................128 5.2.2.2 General Background and Principles .................................................................128 5.2.2.3 Post-Secondary Education ................................................................................129 5.2.2.4 Policy Framework ............................................................................................130 5.2.2.4.1 Strengthen Public Post-Secondary Institutions .........................................131 vi  5.2.2.4.2 Partnerships through Affiliation Agreements ...........................................132 5.2.2.4.3 Establishing Provincial Aboriginally Controlled Institutions ...................133 5.2.2.4.4 Linking to Government Priorities .............................................................134 5.2.3  Implementation................................................................................................................135 5.2.3.1 Public Post-Secondary Institutions ...................................................................135 5.2.3.2 Partnerships through Affiliation Agreements ...................................................141 5.2.3.3 Provincial Aboriginally Controlled Institutions ...............................................144 5.2.3.3.1 Institute of Indigenous Government..........................................................144 5.2.3.3.2 Nicola Valley Institute of Technology ......................................................147 5.2.3.4 Aboriginal Private Institutions .........................................................................148  5.2.4  Impact ..............................................................................................................................151 5.2.4.1 Access...............................................................................................................151 5.2.4.2 Relevance and Quality......................................................................................156 5.2.4.3 Affordability .....................................................................................................161 5.2.4.4 Accountability ..................................................................................................163  5.3  Discussion and Findings ........................................................................................................166  5.3.1  The Influence of the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs .......................................................167  5.3.2  Privileging First Nations .................................................................................................168  5.3.3  Relationships ...................................................................................................................169  5.3.4  Leadership and Ownership ..............................................................................................170  5.3.5  Selective Implementation of Recommendations and Policy ...........................................172  5.3.6  Accountability .................................................................................................................173  5.4  Summary ................................................................................................................................173  Chapter 6: The Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Strategy and Action Plan ..............175 6.1  The Context............................................................................................................................175 vii  6.1.1  The Province’s Relationship with Aboriginal People .....................................................175  6.1.2  The Economy ..................................................................................................................184  6.1.3  Post-Secondary Education...............................................................................................188  6.2 6.2.1  The Policy Process .................................................................................................................190 Consultations Processes ..................................................................................................195 6.2.1.1 The Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework ..195 6.2.1.2 The Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Strategy ........................................202  6.2.2  The Text ..........................................................................................................................214 6.2.2.1 Strategic Context ..............................................................................................214 6.2.2.2 Vision and Goals ..............................................................................................215 6.2.2.3 Background ......................................................................................................215 6.2.2.4 Strategies and Actions ......................................................................................216  6.2.3  Implementation................................................................................................................217 6.2.3.1 Increasing Access, Retention, Completion and Transition Opportunities ........217 6.2.3.1.1 Aboriginal Service Plans ...........................................................................217 6.2.3.1.2 Reduce Financial Barriers .........................................................................220 6.2.3.1.3 Increase Participation in Strategic Programs Areas ..................................221 6.2.3.1.4 Support Aboriginal Learner Transition .....................................................222 6.2.3.2 Increase the Receptivity and Relevance of Institutions and Programs .............224 6.2.3.2.1 Gathering Places .......................................................................................224 6.2.3.2.2 Aboriginal Special Projects Fund..............................................................225 6.2.3.2.3 One-Time Grants.......................................................................................226 6.2.3.2.4 Aboriginal Representation on Institutional Governing Bodies .................227 6.2.3.3 Strengthen Partnerships and Collaboration ......................................................228 6.2.3.3.1 Aboriginal Service Plans ...........................................................................228 viii  6.2.3.3.2 Gathering Places .......................................................................................230 6.2.3.3.3 Revised Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Policy .............................230 6.2.3.3.4 Work with the MOU Partner’s Group.......................................................234 6.2.3.4 Ensure Effective Measurement and Progress Monitoring ................................238 6.2.3.4.1 System-Wide Data Tracking .....................................................................238 6.2.3.4.2 New Performance Measures .....................................................................240 6.2.4  Impact ..............................................................................................................................241 6.2.4.1 Closing the Education Gap ...............................................................................241 6.2.4.2 Effective & Accountable Programs and Services ............................................246  6.3  Discussion and Findings ........................................................................................................248  6.3.1  The Influence of the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation ....................248  6.3.2  Privileging First Nations .................................................................................................249  6.3.3  Relationships ...................................................................................................................251  6.3.4  Leadership and Ownership ..............................................................................................252  6.3.5  Selective Implementation of Policy ................................................................................254  6.3.6  Accountability .................................................................................................................255  6.4  Summary ................................................................................................................................255  Chapter 7: Revisiting the Policy Process .................................................................................257 7.1  The Context............................................................................................................................257  7.2  Themes ...................................................................................................................................260  7.2.1  Sector Intersection between the Ministries Responsible for Post-Secondary Education and  Aboriginal Affairs.............................................................................................................................261 7.2.2  Privileging First Nations .................................................................................................264  7.2.3  Relationships between Policy Actors and Policy Structures ...........................................266  7.2.4  Leadership and Ownership ..............................................................................................269 ix  7.2.5  Selective Implementation of Recommendations and Policy ...........................................272  7.2.6  Different Understandings of Accountability ...................................................................274  7.3  Summary ................................................................................................................................275  7.4  Implications for Policy...........................................................................................................276  7.5  Implications for Research ......................................................................................................280  7.6  Limitations of Study ..............................................................................................................282  7.7  Contributions of this Study ....................................................................................................282  7.8  Linking Theory and Action....................................................................................................283  References ...................................................................................................................................285 Appendix A: Interview Protocol ..............................................................................................317 Appendix B: Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners ......................................................................................................................................318 Appendix C: Governing Parties, Premiers, Ministers Responsible for Post-Secondary Education, and Ministers, and Key Policy Initiatives ............................................................319 Appendix D: PSE Partners Membership 2005 -2011 ............................................................322  x  List of Tables Table 1 Number of Indian Students in Post-Secondary Education and Training, Canada, Provinces & Territories, School Year 1965-66 ............................................................................ 15 Table 2 Educational Attainment of Canadians, Age 15 and over, Aboriginal vs. non-Aboriginal People (2006) ................................................................................................................................ 26 Table 3 Educational Attainment of British Columbians, Age 15 and over, Aboriginal vs. nonAboriginal People (2006) ............................................................................................................. 27 Table 4 Embedded Units of Analysis ........................................................................................... 66 Table 5 Aboriginal Student Headcount for B.C. Public Post-Secondary Institutions, Academic Year 2007-08 to 2009-10 ............................................................................................................ 243 Table 6 Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners, Affiliation of Committee Members .............................................................................................. 318 Table 7 Governing Parties, Premiers, Ministers Responsible for Post-Secondary Education, Premiers, Ministries, and Key Policy Initiatives, 1986-2011 ..................................................... 319  xi  List of Figures Figure 1 Population reporting Aboriginal ancestrya (origin), Canada, 1901-2006..................... 29  xii  Definitions Aboriginal: Since early colonial times, British and Canadian governments have imposed names on Indigenous peoples of what is now Canada. The 1982 Constitution recognizes Indians, Inuit and Metis people as Aboriginal. However, these three broad categories obfuscate the diversity of people within the categories (e.g. ties to specific nations, those who have and have not signed treaties, those living on or off-reserve, or in remote, rural and urban contexts, those who gained status through Bill C-31), and their varying access to rights, resources and services. It also ignores the existence of Indigenous people who are non-status Indians or who belong to unrecognized tribes. In this dissertation, the word Aboriginal is used to refer collectively to all people of Aboriginal descent. When appropriate or possible, more specific references are used (e.g. Indians, Metis, and Inuit, names of specific nations or bands, or designations such as urban or rural Aboriginal people). As has been common since the 1980s, the term “First Nations” is used to refer to individual status Indians and their political organizations (B. Miller, 2003).  Aboriginal Post-Secondary Institutions: For the purpose of this dissertation, Aboriginal postsecondary institutions are those not-for-profit institutions governed by Aboriginal people and that serve Aboriginal people (and sometimes non-Aboriginal people) through the delivery of a wide range programs and courses. In British Columbia, there are two types of Aboriginal postsecondary institutions: public and private. Public Aboriginal post-secondary institutions have been designated as public under the College and Institute Act. At this writing, only one public Aboriginal post-secondary intuition exists, the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. All other Aboriginal post-secondary institutions are private institutions (First Nations Education Steering Committee, 2008).  xiii  Aboriginal rights and title: Aboriginal rights include the historic “practices, customs, traditions and communal organization” (Woolford, 2005, p. 5) of Aboriginal groups, and include Aboriginal title, or a property right to the land itself. These rights are recognized, but not defined in Canada’s constitution. The colonization of British Columbia preceded on the basis that Aboriginal rights and title either did not exist, or had been extinguished. However, Supreme Court cases have found that unextinguished Aboriginal rights and title continue to exist in BC. In BC Aboriginal rights and title are largely undefined. Legal decisions and treaty negotiations are the primary tools for giving definition to rights and title (M. Stevenson, 2001; Woolford, 2005).  Certainty: In relation to treaty making, certainty is a “legal technique intended to define with a high degree of specificity all of the rights and obligations that flow from a treaty and ensure that there remains no undefined rights outside of a treaty” (M. Stevenson, 2001, p. 114). As such, certainty is the contemporary equivalent of the ‘extinguishment’ of Aboriginal rights through treaty. The finality of certainty is particularly appealing to the business sector, as uncertainty over lands and resources undermines investment and development. Such finality also appeals to governments, as it clarifies future rights and title issues, and facilitates development. For many First Nations, however, certainty through treaties will lead to uncertainty for future generations of First Nations who will have to live with the untested consequences of treaty (M. Stevenson, 2001; Woolford, 2005).  xiv  Acronyms and Abbreviations AAPSI ABE AFN AIC APF APSES ASP ASPF AVED BC BCAFN BCCAT BCFNC The Committee The Council FNESC FNS FNUC GDI Green Report IAHLA IIG INAC ISSP MAETT MCAWS MEST MNBC MSTL MOU Partners NDP NEC NIB NVIT PSE PSE Partners  Association of Aboriginal Post-Secondary Institutions Adult Basic Education Assembly of First Nations Aboriginal Institutes’ Consortium Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Strategy and Action Plan Aboriginal Service Plan Aboriginal Special Projects Fund Ministry of Advanced Education British Columbia British Columbia Assembly of First Nations British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer BC First Nations Coordinators/Advisors. Sometimes called First Nations Post-Secondary Education Coordinators/Advisors Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners BC First Nations Coordinators Council. Sometimes referred to as First Nations Post-Secondary Education Coordinators Council. First Nations Education Steering Committee First Nations Summit First Nations University of Canada Gabriel Dumont Institute Report of the Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners Indigenous Adult and Higher Learner Association Institute of Indigenous Government Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. In 2011 it was renamed Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada Indian Studies Support Program Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services (MCAWS) Ministry of Education, Skills and Training Metis Nation British Columbia, formerly known as the Metis Provincial Council of B.C. Ministry of Skills Training and Labour Memorandum of Understanding Partners, also referred to as the PSE Partners New Democratic Party Native Education Centre, now Native Education College National Indian Brotherhood Nicola Valley Institute of Technology Post-Secondary education BC Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Partners Group, xv  PSIs PSSSP RCAP SFU SIFC Socreds TRU UBC UBC-O UBC-V UC UCC UFV UBCIC UNBC UNNS WWN  also referred to as the MOU Partners Post-Secondary institutions Post-Secondary Student Support Program Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples Simon Fraser University Saskatchewan Indian Federated College Social Credit Party Thompson Rivers University University of British Columbia University of British Columbia, Okanagan University of British Columbia, Vancouver University College(s) University College of the Cariboo, now Thompson Rivers University University of the Fraser Valley Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs University of Northern British Columbia United Native Nations Society. Also referred to as UNN Wilp Wilxo’oskwhl Nisga’a Institute  xvi  Acknowledgements I offer my deep appreciation to my research supervisor Q'um Q'um Xiiem (Jo-ann Archibald) and committee members Michelle Stack, and Don Fisher for their contributions to this work. I am grateful to Fran Tait who graciously donated print materials on the British Columbia First Nations Coordinators, and research participants who provided me with rich oral accounts. I thank my partner, Tim Michel for his comments on an early draft of this dissertation and ongoing IT support, and my daughter, Gabrielle L’hirondelle Hill for copy editing the final draft. The University of British Columbia’s tuition fee waivers and study leave provisions were important in facilitating my doctoral studies. Finally, I acknowledge Aboriginal educational leaders, practitioners and allies who helped to create space in post-secondary institutions for Aboriginal learners, Aboriginal knowledge, and Aboriginal ways of being.  xvii  Chapter 1: Introduction Oh God! Like the Thunderbird of old I shall rise again out of the sea; I shall grab the instruments of the white man's success -- his education, his skills, and with these new tools I shall build my race into the proudest segment of your society. Before I follow the great Chiefs who have gone before us, Oh Canada, I shall see these things come to pass. (George, 2001, p. 3) In front of a crowd of some 35,000 people who gathered at Vancouver’s Empire Stadium to celebrate Canada’s 100th birthday, the late Chief Dan George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation delivered his famous oratory, A Lament for Confederation. In that speech, Chief George laments the changes that have come with colonization, the loss of land, resources, authority, life ways, and he looks to education as a way to bridge the divide between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. He envisions a time when …our young braves and our chiefs sitting in the houses of law and government, ruling and being ruled by the knowledge and freedom of our great land. So shall we shatter the barriers of our isolation. So shall the next hundred years be the greatest and proudest in the proud history of our tribes and nations. (George, 2001, p. 3) Chief Dan George did not live to see the changes he envisioned, and Canada has little reason for pride in how it has addressed internal disparities between Aboriginal and other Canadians. While the educational situation has changed significantly for Aboriginal people, far too many young people do not complete high school, and post-secondary education (PSE) participation and success continues to be a challenge. This challenge is being addressed, in part, through federal and provincial Aboriginal PSE policies. The small but growing body of scholarly work on Aboriginal PSE policy tends to focus on the scant federal policies relating to funding for First Nations and Inuit post-secondary learners and programs. PSE public policy issues concerning Métis or other Aboriginal peoples are largely ignored, as are provincial Aboriginal post-secondary policies. Yet for the last quarter 1  of a century, policies have emerged at the provincial and territorial levels in acknowledgement of the stark reality of Aboriginal under participation and limited success in post-secondary systems. 1.1  Research Question This thesis engages in a critical analysis of Aboriginal PSE policy in British Columbia  from 1986 to 2011. In 1988, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology released its report Access to Advanced Education and Job Training in British Columbia, recommending that the province develop a strategy to address the education and training needs of “Native Indians” (British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology, Colleges and Social and Aboriginal Programs, 1992). From that point up until 2011, under the governance of three different political parties (the Social Credit, the New Democratic Party, and the Liberals) four documents relating to Aboriginal PSE were developed by or for the province: the Report of the Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners (Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners, 1990), the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework (British Columbia Ministry of Education, Skills and Training, 1996a), the Aboriginal Post-Secondary and Training Policy Framework Policy Draft for Discussion (British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, 2003, November 14),1 and the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Strategy and Action Plan (British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, 2007b). Policies are not created within a vacuum; policies “are ideological texts that have been constructed within a particular historical and political context” (Codd, 1988, p. 244). This contextually dependent understanding frames the question about Aboriginal post-secondary  1  A final draft Aboriginal PSE policy was completed in 2004, but was “shelved.” The Ministry of Advanced Education repeatedly reiterates its intention to complete this document, but as of this writing (April 2012) it has not been released. 2  policy that this study pursues: How have changing political, economic and social circumstances in British Columbia influenced the development and implementation of Aboriginal postsecondary policy? 1.2  Historical Context Before the colonial education system was imposed, Aboriginal societies, like other  societies, developed formal and informal approaches to meet the educational needs of their people. Educational approaches were designed to meet the unique needs of the people within their environmental and cultural contexts, as well as to develop the gifts of the individual while enhancing community well-being (E. Hampton, 1995). Aboriginal people acquired education through informal means, like observations and experiences, and through more formal processes such as apprenticeships, participation in secret societies, or potlatches. The educational process was lifelong, and accommodated the pursuit of specialized knowledge necessary for politics, art, medicine, and so forth (Stonechild, 2004). In addition to passing on knowledge intergenerationally through instruction, speeches, stories, songs, and other cultural practices, new knowledge was created empirically, through reflection, or by way of spiritual revelation. Such knowledge was personally and/or socially validated (Castellano, 2000). During early periods of contact between Europeans and Aboriginal peoples, traditional educational processes continued to flourish. Aboriginal life ways, knowledge, and skills were valued by Europeans who depended on Aboriginal people for both their survival and economic success. In addition, political and military alliances with Aboriginal people facilitated access to and protection of land, resources and settlements. Aboriginal participation in European education, in this early period, was limited to the efforts of missionaries. While missionaries’ efforts were clearly directed towards the assimilation of Aboriginal peoples through conversion 3  and civilization, the schooling they offered also provided access to European knowledge and skills valued by Aboriginal people in their continued interaction with Europeans. Through these early contact times, Aboriginal people continued to exercise their educational self-determination by participating on their own terms in both missionary and traditional education (Canada. Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996a; Satzewich & Wotherspoon, 2000). During the late 1700s and the early 1800s the settler population increased rapidly. At the same time, the Aboriginal population was decreasing dramatically due to disease, warfare and starvation. European interests shifted from resource extraction to settlement and resource development, resulting in massive land usurpation and resource depletion. As traditional lifeways, skills and knowledge became less significant to the settlers, Aboriginal people lost their value as “Indians.” (Canada. Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996a; Satzewich & Wotherspoon, 2000). In 1830, the British Imperial government directed the Department of Indian Affairs2 to promote the civilization and Christianization of Aboriginal people (adults and children) through settlement, resource development, and schooling. With the passing of the 1857 Act to Encourage the Gradual Civilization of Indian Tribes in the Province, colonial powers envisioned the eventual end of Aboriginal communities through voluntary enfranchisement of debt-free, educated Aboriginal individuals of good character who would gain freehold tenure over a portion of tribal lands. While some Aboriginal people did participate in colonial education, they did not embrace the idea of assimilation, causing the Department to reevaluate its education policy. Because adults were seen to be incapable of progress, the Department shifted  2  Since as early as 1755, various departments under British colonial government and later Canada’s federal government have taken responsibility for Aboriginal people in Canada. 4  its focus to the education of children. This focus continued long after the creation of Canada (Milloy, 1999). 1.2.1  Nationhood and Assimilation In 1867, following the passing of the British North America Act, the Dominion of Canada  was established. Under the British North America Act jurisdictional responsibility for different areas was divided between the federal and provincial governments. To ensure a strong central government, jurisdiction for issues of national significance, was retained by the federal government. This included “Indians and lands reserved for Indians.” The provinces retained responsibility for areas of more local interest including education. (Barman, 1991; Fisher et al, 2006; Paquette & Fallon, 2010; Stonechild, 2004, 2006). Despite the protests of Aboriginal people, control over all aspects of “Indians and Lands reserved for the Indians” became a federal responsibility. Concerned with minimizing its fiscal responsibilities for a growing Aboriginal population, the Department excluded Métis from the Indian Act during the settlement of the prairies, and only accepted responsibility for the Inuit under the Indian Act after a 1939 Supreme Court ruling (J. Miller, 2004a). The assimilative goals of British colonial policy continued in new more coercive forms under the Dominion of Canada, and schooling was a primary vehicle for achieving these ends. Experience with day schools, where irregular attendance and enduring traditional lifeways undermined the assimilative potential, led government to believe that a new approach was necessary if its goals were to be met. Although Aboriginal students continued to attend federal day schools, and prior to WWI, also attended some provincial day schools, particularly when non-Aboriginal enrollments were low, following the 1879 Davin Report, federal policy favored residential schools. By separating children from their families and communities and 5  placing them in residential schools, it was believed that the assimilative potential of schooling would be realized more speedily (Barman, 1996; Haig-Brown, 1995b). The concept of residential schools was not new. As early as the 1620s, French missionaries had explored residential education, but these schools were unsuccessful because of limited enrolment. Those children who did attend despaired of loneliness and often ran away. From the 1790s until 1802, and again from 1807 to the 1820s, Protestant missionaries in what is now New Brunswick operated the Indian College, a boarding school that combined basic education with local apprenticeship. Another residential school, Mount Elgin, opened in Munceytown in Upper Canada in 1850. It combined half-day basic academics and religious instruction with manual labour, but because of its oppressive nature, few people sent their children to it (J. Miller, 2004a). Disregarding these failures, government proceeded to promote residential schools in two forms. Firstly, as a cost saving measure, the government maintained and expanded the role of various religious denominations’ schooling, providing small subsidies to religious groups so that they could continue to run the schools. Secondly, while day schools and small boarding schools located near reserves continued to exist, large industrial schools were established distant from students’ home communities. These institutions were geared towards preparing older students for low status occupations in society. An increase in settlers in the 1900s intensified race-based employment practices. Aboriginal people were finding it increasingly difficult to secure employment and some settlers were expressing resentment over the competitive edge Aboriginal students gained through industrial schools. By 1910, government policy had turned towards schooling 6  Indian children for life on reserves, and the more cost-effective day and boarding schools. Differences between boarding schools and residential schools faded; in 1923, boarding and industrial schools were re-categorized as residential schools (Barman, 1996; J. Miller, 2004a). By 1931, there were 80 residential schools in Canada distributed differently across provinces and territories, 20 of which were in BC (Canada. Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996a). The number and location of the schools reflected the government’s views on assimilation. Because of the long-term contact between Aboriginal and Euro-Canadians, Aboriginal people in Eastern Canada were seen to be well on the way to assimilation and few residential schools were necessary. In addition, where settlement was not immanent, as in the north, assimilation was not a pressing concern so few schools were established. For example, in the early 1890s Indian Affairs turned down a request to support schooling in the Yukon because the government did not feel obligated to do so in the north (Coates, 1986). Educational quality in residential schools was undermined by a number of factors. With the belief that an appropriate education for Aboriginal children would prepare for entry into the lowest level of the labour market, the school day was divided between academic and religious education and manual work that supported institutional maintenance. This half-day program continued until the mid-1950s. Moreover, because churches ran the schools, teachers were usually volunteer missionaries rather than qualified teaching professionals. Furthermore, parsimonious funding from the Department of Indian Affairs ensured that students’ clothing and food were inadequate, and the facilities sub-standard, contributing to health issues. Perhaps most devastatingly, students were frequently victims of physical, spiritual, emotional and sexual abuse 7  (Canada. Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996a; Milloy, 1999). Federal day schools, which enrolled more students than residential schools, suffered from similar problems. In 1947, federal funding for days schools was $47 annually per pupil, while the BC funding for provincial schools was approximately $200 annually per pupil. Given this educational context, the outcomes are not surprising. Between 1890 and 1950, between 60% and 80% of students in federal day and residential schools did not go beyond grade three (Barman, 1996). The quality of education for Métis people was even more dismal. Having been excluded in the Indian Act, Métis did not qualify for assistance from Indian Affairs. Nevertheless, many Métis attended federal residential schools, and others attended provincial schools. Sometimes, church sponsored groups, like the Grey Nuns at St. Paul de Métis, Alberta, established boarding schools for Métis children. Elsewhere, even churches refused to fund schooling for Métis children. In 1934, a Royal Commission was established to investigate Métis conditions in Alberta. They found that Métis people were living in substandard housing, often on road allowances, and had access to neither education nor health care services (Coates, 1986; Dickason, 1992). While government turned its back on Aboriginal adult education, Aboriginal people clearly understood its importance. A Royal Commission on Indian Affairs for the Province of British Columbia (known as the McKenna-McBride Royal Commission) was established in 1913, and toured the province to determine reserve allotments. Many of the Aboriginal people they met with spoke about the importance of education for their people. In the words of Chief James Stacker from Pemberton, BC: Now as soon as the first white man arrived in the country we began to get wise that we 8  needed education - that education was as necessary to the Indian as to the white man that they become wise so that all the Indians here think that that is necessary and they all agree to it. (as cited in Haig-Brown, 1995b, p. 55) Recognizing the relationship between education and employment, other BC Chiefs speaking before the 1916 McKenna-McBride commission requested access to trades and nursing education for their sons and daughters (Haig-Brown, 1995b). Furthermore, in 1923, Reverend Peter Kelly from Haida Gwaii pointed to the need for relevant vocational, technical and professional education, and envisioned an educational institution “where our men and women would be so fitted that they will be able to take their place in the larger public life of their country, and feel that they are equal to any life” (as cited in Haig-Brown, 1995b, p. 63). Education was also seen as necessary for inter-government relations. According to Reverend Kelly, Aboriginal people felt “that one who has educational training is able to bring any grievances before the Indian Department, or the Government, better than one who has not” (as cited in Haig-Brown, 1995b, p. 63). By the early 1900s, only a handful of Aboriginal people in Canada had attended university. In 1902, the Department identified nine Indians with degrees: three from Quebec, five from Ontario, and one from the Northwest Territories (now Alberta), who had successfully completed degrees (Stonechild, 2004; 2006). There were no post-secondary graduates in British Columbia until 1916, when Peter Kelly graduated from Columbia College in New Westminster and was ordained as a minister in the Methodist Church (Morley, 1967). Thirty years later, Nisga’a Chief Frank Calder became the first status Indian graduate from the University of British Columbia. Beginning in 1908, the Department of Indian Affairs began to fund further study for 9  federal schools graduates deemed worthy by both the Church and Department. In 1927, Department records indicated that 190 students were pursuing high school or post-secondary studies (Stonechild, 2004). That same year, the Allied Tribes of British Columbia met with federal officials, and were given assurances that funding would be available to Indians pursuing higher education (Haig-Brown, 1995b). Not many, however were seen to be worthy of this funding. For one thing, eligibility guidelines required the student to have completed the eighth grade by fourteen years of age, a feat that few Indian students achieved in the half-day programs offered at the schools, particularly since many did not start school until they were eight or ten, and sometimes twelve years of age (Cuthand, 1978; 1991). Others were denied funding because Indian agents determined that their parents could pay for their education (Haig-Brown, 1995b). In addition, it is likely that section 86(1) of the 1876 Indian Act3 discouraged many from pursuing further study. Under this section of the act, Any Indian who may be admitted to the degree of Doctor of Medicine, or to any other degree by any University of Learning, or who may be admitted in any Province of the Dominion to practice law either as an Advocate or as a Barrister or Counselor or Solicitor or Attorney or to be a Notary Public, or who may enter Holy Orders or who may be licensed by any denomination of Christians as a Minister of the Gospel, shall ipso facto become and be enfranchised under this Act. (as cited in Stonechild, 2006, p. 21) While there is no record of any Indian being enfranchised under this section of the Indian Act, it was likely a deterrent to many aspiring students. Additionally, professional organizations created barriers for Indian people. For example, a 1922 request that Andrew Paull, from the Squamish Nation be admitted as student-at-law to the British Columbia Law Society was denied because he  3  In 1880 revisions to the Indian Act did away with the involuntary enfranchisement of educated males, but the policy returned in 1920 and applied to any adult male that the Department saw fit to enfranchise. Involuntary enfranchisement was again eliminated in the 1922 Indian Act, but reappeared in 1933 revisions, with an exception for those Indians protected by treaty, and remained in place until 1951 (J. R. Miller, 2004a). 10  was not eligible to vote (Backhouse, 2003). 4 The case-by-case funding for individuals to continue their education was discretionary, and declined during the inter-war years (Stonechild, 2004; 2006). In 1946 a Special Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons was formed to look into the Indian Act. Squamish Chief Andrew Paull, a representative of the North American Indian Brotherhood, reminded the joint committee of the government’s earlier promise to support Indian education: After 1927 several Indians went to technical schools…. They went through their courses with flying colours. Then the Indian Affairs Department shut the door and would not let anybody else go … to technical school, normal school, or to the university. (Haig-Brown, 1995b, p. 70) Indian and Inuit people would have to wait until 1977 before a funding program was in place to support their educational aspirations. Federal post-secondary funding for the Métis remains a dream. 1.2.2  Assimilation under the Guise of Integration Post WWII, the Aboriginal population was growing rapidly and the federal  government was reluctant to carry the increasing financial responsibility for delivering education and other services to the growing Indian population. The government also began to realize that residential schools were effective in neither educating nor assimilating Indian peoples. Furthermore, separate schooling for Indian children began to be seen as symbol of racism and denied citizenship (Haig-Brown, 1995b; Plant, 2009; W. Stevenson, 1991). In the early 1940s, the federal government began exploring desegregated schooling. In 1946, a Joint Parliamentary Commission undertook a review of the Indian  4  Indians could not vote in BC provincial elections until 1949. 11  Act. A number of the Aboriginal representatives consulted by the commission promoted transferring responsibility for Indian education to the provinces and expanding educational opportunities to include vocational, adult and university education. The Commission’s recommendation that Indian children be integrated into provincial schools resulted in revisions in the Indian Act in 1951 to enable this. While assimilation remained the educational goal of the department, it was to be pursued in a more cost effective manner; through integration with provincial curriculum and provincial schools (HaigBrown, 1995b; Plant, 2009; W. Stevenson, 1991). The department’s vision of assimilation through integration influenced developments in both day and residential schools as the Department began bringing federal Indian schooling in line with provincial schooling. In 1949, federal Indian schools moved from half-day to full-day schooling. In 1950, residential schools started implementing provincial curriculum, and by the late 1950s, most day schools were also using provincial curriculum. Through this move to provincial curriculum the Department divested itself of curricular responsibility, and also limited the ability of school programming to respond to the unique communities in which they were operating. Teachers’ salaries, pay scales, and benefits were brought in line with provincial or federal standards, and in 1968, provincial teaching certification was finally required of teachers at federal schools. Inadequate school inspection practices were somewhat addressed after 1953 when the province took over responsibility for the badly needed school inspections. Having no enforcement power, however, inspectors could only report their findings to the Department of Indian Affairs (Plant, 2009). During this period, residential schools across Canada were very slowly being phased out. 12  Between 1944 and 1962, the number of residential schools declined from 80 to 65. In addition, some residential schools took on new roles as living quarters for students attending federal day or provincial schools, or for children receiving child welfare services (Plant, 2009). In 1984, BC’s last residential school, St. Mary’s Mission Indian Residential School, closed. British Columbia was a forerunner in provincial integration of public schools. In 1949, BC’s Public School Act was amended to enable the Minister of Education or local school boards to enter into agreements with the federal government so that Indian children could be enrolled in provincial schools. In 1950 both BC and Manitoba also signed joint agreements with the federal government that allowed Indian children to attend provincial schools. By the fall of 1950, local agreements were in place in Campbell River, Ashcroft, Terrace, Telegraph Creek, and Prince Rupert, which resulted in the federal government subsidizing the costs of 883 Indian children to attend local schools. By the mid-1960s over half of the Indian children in BC were attending provincial schools. Other provinces followed BC’s lead, and by 1966/67, over half of the Indian children in Canada were attending provincially run institutions (Plant, 2009). In embracing integration, the Department did not abandon its commitment to assimilation. Rather, according to a new vision proposed by Indian Affairs, desegregated education would “quicken and give meaning to the acculturative process through which they [Indian children] are passing” (Milloy, 1999, p. 196). Integration into provincial schools, however, was not a panacea for the educational challenges faced by Aboriginal students. Aboriginal children found themselves a minority in public schools, following a Eurocentric provincial curriculum taught by non-Aboriginal teachers with no preparation in cross-cultural education. In this 13  culturally hostile environment, Aboriginal education was characterized by poor attendance, limited learning, high dropout rates and language loss, all of which ensured economic marginalization and a host of other social ills. In the 1960s Aboriginal people increasingly expressed their concerns about the ethnocentric curriculum, the need for special education, and the lack of consultation with Aboriginal people regarding the education of their children (Canada, Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 1986; J. Miller, 2004a; Plant, 2009; Satzewich & Wotherspoon, 2000). During this same period, the federal government began offering limited financial aid to individual Aboriginal PSE students. In 1957, the Department of Indian Affairs instituted a scholarship program ranging from $250 to $1750, and totaling $25,000 annually as an incentive for “gifted” Indian students to pursue applied studies such as teaching, nursing, agriculture and technology. By 1963, only 22 scholarships totaling $40,000 had been awarded; these scholarships were gradually phased out, and incorporated into vocational training. In 1968/69, the Department provided financial assistance to 250 students for vocational training (Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 2000; Stonechild, 2004; 2006). Despite this lack of funding, Aboriginal people across Canada began participating in university education in greater numbers. In British Columbia in the 1963/64 academic year, there were only seven Indian students enrolled in Grade 13, 100 in vocational training, and ten in universities (Duff, 1997). That same year there were only 57 Indians enrolled in universities across Canada. Given that the high school dropout rate for Indians was 94%, this low post-secondary participation rate is understandable (Hawthorn, Lysyk, Cairns, & Canada. Indian Affairs Branch, 1966-7). 14  In 1965/66, only 2,143 of Canada’s 218,000 Indian5 people were attending postsecondary institutions (PSIs) (See Table 1). Of these, 131 were enrolled in university, 18 were in teacher’s training, 14 were in nursing, 1, 244 were in vocational training, and 726 or 34% were enrolled in upgrading. The situation in British Columbia was similarly dismal, with only 465 of BC’s 43,000 Indians in PSE. Of these, 32 were enrolled in university studies, four were enrolled in nursing, 294 were enrolled in vocational training, and 135 or 29% were taking upgrading. Table 1 Number of Indian Students in Post-Secondary Education and Training, Canada, Provinces & Territories, School Year 1965-66 Region Course of Study University Teacher training Nurse training Vocational training Upgrading Totals  PI  NS  NB  QC  ON  MN  SK  AB  BC  YT  NT  Canada  0  14  3  39  18  4  9  11  32  1  0  131  0  0  1  10  7  0  0  0  0  0  0  18  0  1  1  3  10  0  3  2  4  0  0  24  1  25  15  181  389  135  114  49  294  40  1  1,244  2  0  12  2  352  144  52  10  135  17  0  726  3  40  32  235  776  283  178  72  465  58  1  2,143  Note. Adapted from table 25, pg. 205 “Indian Students in Post-Secondary and Vocational Training School Year 1965-66” in Canada Year Book 1967: Official Statistical Annual of the Resources, History, Institutions and Social and Economic Conditions of Canada, by Canada. Dominion Bureau of Statistics, Canada Year Book Division. Copyright 1967 by the Minister of Trade and Commerce. In 1979, the Department of Indian Affairs identified known Indian graduates and found that 1,096 Indian and Inuit students had graduated from universities between 1934 and 1977. Of these, 95 were from British Columbia (Martin & Canada. Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, 1979). The experience of Aboriginal students in PSIs was similar to the experiences of  5  Unfortunately, comparable data on other Aboriginal groups does not exist. 15  children in the public school system. PSIs were poorly prepared for this influx of students, and Aboriginal students were confronted with an overwhelmingly Eurocentric environment and curriculum with little relevance to their lives (J. Miller, 2004b). As Stonechild (2004) notes, students’ experiences were characterized by “culture shock, racism and alienation” (p. 76). 1.2.3  Towards Control and Recognition Canada’s assimilationist agenda was most forcefully articulated in its 1969 White  Paper which proposed terminating distinct status and legislation for Indian people, dismantling Indian Affairs, and transferring service from the federal to the provincial governments. Reaction by Aboriginal organizations was strong and swift, forcing government to renounce its policy. In 1972, the Native Indian Brotherhood articulated a new policy direction for Indian education, “Indian Control of Indian Education,” based on the principles of parental responsibility and local control of education. This policy was adopted by the federal government in 1973 (J. Miller, 2004a; Stonechild, 2004; 2006). At the community level, Aboriginal people began assuming control of and responsibility for education. In 1970, Blue Quills Native Education Centre in Alberta became the first Indiancontrolled school in Canada. This was followed by Rae-Edzo in the Northwest Territories in 1971 and Qu’Appelle Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan in 1973. The school at Ile a la Crosse in Saskatchewan became the first Métis-controlled school (Dickason, 1992; Milloy, 1999; Satzewich & Wotherspoon, 2000). Turning to British Columbia, in 1973 the Lil’wat people took over administrative control of the Mount Currie School (Williams & Wyatt, 1987) and by 1984, almost half of the 187 band16  operated schools in Canada were in BC (Barman, Hebert, & McCaskill, 1987). In 2009, there were 130 First Nations schools in British Columbia, serving some 6000 students (First Nations Schools Association, n.d.). Across Canada there were some 520 bandoperated schools on reserves, serving approximately 60% of the First Nation student population. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (previously known as Indian and Northern Affairs Canada) also operates seven federal schools on reserves (Canada, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 2010). In addition to taking control of individual schools, Aboriginal people have exerted forms of educational self-determination in other educational contexts. For example, the Nisga’a in British Columbia and the Cree in northern Quebec are examples of First Nations that control provincial school boards (Barman et al., 1987). With the establishment of Nunavut in 1999, the Inuit in Eastern Artic achieved education control due to their numerical majority (J. Miller, 2004a). On the other hand, educational selfdetermination for Métis and non-status Indians has been limited, and for the most part they are considered just another part of the public school population. However, in some areas where the boundaries of school districts correspond to Métis settlements, Métis people have control over school districts (Paquette, 1986). In some places, particularly in urban areas, concerns about the public education system’s inability to respond to the needs of Aboriginal students have given rise to increased support services and curricular relevancy, alternative programs and schools (McCaskill, 1987; Paquette, 1986; Vernon, 1987). The control envisioned by Aboriginal people over their educational systems has been seriously compromised by many factors. These include the lack of a legal basis for 17  transferring educational control to Indian bands, varying understandings of the meaning of Aboriginal control, a lack of clear policies and procedures for devolution of control, widespread underfunding and significant diseconomies of scale, jurisdictional conflicts between various levels of government, provincial control over educational standards, and lack of accountability (Canada, Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 1986; Paquette, 1986; Paquette & Fallon, 2010; Satzewich & Wotherspoon, 2000). Nevertheless, significant gains have been made in Aboriginal education: Aboriginal communities have a greater input into the educational system; culturally appropriate curriculum is being developed and implemented; and participation rates at the kindergarten, elementary and secondary rates have increased (Satzewich & Wotherspoon, 2000). Furthermore, Aboriginal participation in PSE within provincial post-secondary and Aboriginal controlled PSIs is on the rise. In the late 1960s mainstream universities began responding to the educational needs of Aboriginal students and countering Eurocentric perspectives on Aboriginal issues at Universities. For example, in 1969 Trent University established the first Native Studies Program in Canada. Aboriginal legal education took off in the summer of 1971 at the University of Saskatchewan with the development of preparatory summer courses for prospective Aboriginal legal students, and in 1973 the Native Law Program was established. During this same time, Native teacher education programs were being established. In British Columbia, early Aboriginal programming includes the UBC’s Native Indian Teacher Education Program (1974), Simon Fraser University and Mount  18  Currie Teacher Training Program (1975-81), and UBC’s Native Law Program,6 which began in the mid-1970s. Today, across Canada and in British Columbia, public postsecondary systems offer a wide range of academic programs of special interest to Aboriginal people (Holmes, 2006). Public PSIs have also been active in delivering student services for Aboriginal people. These initiatives began in the early 1970s in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and expanded rapidly in the 1990s. By 2001, almost half of Canada’s 80 Universities provided some form of Aboriginalspecific student services (Pidgeon, 2001). Today most public colleges and universities provide a wide range of supports for Aboriginal students (Holmes, 2006). The late 1970s and 1980s saw growth in Aboriginal PSE funding and, subsequently, participation. In 1977, Indian Affairs created the Post-Secondary Education Assistance Program (PSEA) to “encourage Registered Canadian Indians and Inuit to acquire university and professional qualifications so that they become economically self-sufficient and may realize their individual potential for contributions to the Indian community and Canadian society” (Canada, Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 1988, section 14.36). The 1983 University and College Entrance Preparation Program provided further funding to assist in upgrading for university and college bound students. Unfortunately, Métis and non-status Indian students are excluded from these programs. With unlimited access to financial support for qualified students, Indian and Inuit post-secondary participation skyrocketed. In 1977, some 3,300 students were funded through the PSEA program; this number rose to 14,447 in 1987-88 (Canada, Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 1988; Stonechild, 2004; 2006).  6  Now known as First Nations Legal Studies. 19  Many First Nations argue that post-secondary education for Indian and Inuit students is an Aboriginal or treaty right, and is a federal responsibility. However, the federal government denies this. While the Indian Act includes some provisions for elementary and secondary schooling, no such provisions exist for post-secondary education. The federal government maintains that its support for Indian and Inuit post-secondary education and programs is a matter of social policy rather than fiduciary responsibility. Furthermore, funding for these federal postsecondary initiatives is precarious, necessitating annual, discretionary authorization by the Treasury Board (Paquette & Fallon, 2010; Stonechild, 2004, 2006). In 1987, concerned with rising costs as more and more Indian and Inuit students accessed this funding, and justifying its move with concerns over completion rates, the federal government tightened eligibility requirements for post-secondary funding, implemented performance standards, and capped funding. This change was met by strong protests by Aboriginal organizations and student groups. Nevertheless, the revised program called Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSP) was announced in February of 1989. In response, Aboriginal students across Canada organized demonstrations, including a hunger strike. The federal government responded by loosening some restrictions regarding the amount and length of funding. However, an expenditure limit of $130 million remained in place until 1991, when $320 million was added over five years (Canada, Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 1988; Lanceley, 1991; Satzewich & Wotherspoon, 2000; Stonechild, 2004; 2006). The funding was inadequate for the growing number of Indian and Inuit students who wanted to pursue studies. In 1991, Indian Affairs estimated that between 1000 and 1500 eligible students would not receive funding. The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) estimated the number 20  to be as high as 4000 students (Satzewich & Wotherspoon, 2000). Developments in Aboriginal control of education at the elementary and secondary level expanded to the post-secondary level as well. One well-known Aboriginal postsecondary institution is the First Nations University of Canada (FNUC). It was created in 1976 by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations as the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC) and was academically affiliated with the University of Regina. It became the FNUC in 2003 and by 2005 had over 1,000 students and 3,000 graduates. That same year, the university gained national attention when control of FNUC was taken over by its governing body (Paquette & Fallon, 2010; Stonechild, 2004, 2006). Of particular note is the development of the Gabrielle Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research (GDI) in Saskatchewan. It was established as a non-profit corporation in 1980. Initially the school focused on research, but it soon expanded to include curriculum development, a wide range of vocational educational programming, and the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP), a four year bachelor of education program. It is the only Métis-controlled post-secondary institution in Canada. As a Métis institution, it is funded by the Saskatchewan government, with only some supplementary program funding from the federal government (Dorion & Yang, 2000; Paquette, 1986). In British Columbia, Aboriginal-controlled PSIs developed early. The Native Education Centre (NEC) traces its history back to 1969 when it began offering programming to Aboriginal adults in urban Vancouver. For accreditation and funding purposes, it is affiliated with Vancouver Community College and Langara College. It continues, under the name Native Education College, to offer developmental, vocational 21  and academic programs. The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) in Merritt, BC, was established in 1983 by the Coldwater, Nooaitch, Shackan, Upper Nicola and Lower Nicola First Nations, and in 1995, became an Aboriginal public institution. The En’owkin Centre, located near Penticton, BC, was established in 1981, and offers developmental, university transfer, and Okanagan language courses, and is renowned for its International School of Writing, offered in partnership with the University of Victoria. The Wilp Wilxo'oskwhl Nisga'a Institute, located in Gitwinksihlkw in the Nass Valley, was established in 1993 by the Nisga'a Tribal Council.7 The school serves the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal learners in the region and attracts students nationally and internationally (British Columbia Ministry of Education, Skills and Training, 1996a; Izen Consulting & Carden Consulting, 2011, March; Weir, 2008; Wilp Wilxo'oskwhl Nisga'a Institute, n.d.). In the early 1990s, a number of BC Aboriginal-controlled institutions organized under the name of Association of Aboriginal Post-Secondary Institutions (AAPSI), and by 1995 there were 15 member institutions (British Columbia Ministry of Education, Skills and Training, 1996a). Following the demise of AAPSI, the Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association (IAHLA) formed in 2003. By 2007, the organization represented 31 Aboriginal PSIs in British Columbia (Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association, 2007). Many Aboriginal PSIs receive federal funding from the Indian Studies Support Program (ISSP) which was established in 1988. Approximately one-third of ISSP funding provides ongoing operational support to the FNUC. The rest of the money funds  7  Now known as the Nisga’a Lisims Government. 22  First Nations and mainstream institutions and educational organizations across Canada for the development and delivery of post-secondary programming for status Indian students (Stonechild, 2004, 2006). In the late 1980s, provincial governments also began to develop policies to address the reality of Aboriginal under-participation in public PSIs. In 1987, Alberta’s Ministry of Education released its Policy Statement on Native Education in Alberta: Alberta Education supports education programs and services which provide enhanced opportunities for all Alberta students to develop an understanding and appreciation of Native histories, cultures and lifestyles. These programs and services also provide opportunities for Native people to help guide and shape the education their children receive. (as cited in Alberta Learning, 2002, p. 2) This simple policy statement resulted in increased support for Aboriginal programming and services. In British Columbia, following the release of the 1990 Report of the Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners, the province began implementing many of the recommendations, and in 1995 cabinet approved the Aboriginal PostSecondary Education and Training Policy Framework. In 1992, Ontario established the Aboriginal Education and Training Strategy, providing resources to Aboriginal and nonAboriginal PSIs for Aboriginal support services and programming. 1.2.4  Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education in the 21st Century Since 1967, the year Chief Dan George delivered his famous oration there have  been many positive changes in Aboriginal education. Within public schools, there has been an increase in support and programming for Aboriginal students. Additionally, more and more First Nations communities are operating band schools. Aboriginal students are increasingly choosing to stay in school longer, and high school graduation rates have clearly improved. At the post-secondary level, a significant number of 23  Aboriginal organizations and institutions are taking responsibility for, or control of, delivering education to Aboriginal learners. Many public universities and colleges are responding to Aboriginal educational needs through increased access and Aboriginalspecific student services and programs. PSIs are also building relationships with Aboriginal organizations and communities, as well as partnerships with Aboriginal PSIs. The federal government continues to provide limited funding to some Indian and Inuit students to access PSE, and to some Indian and Inuit institutes and organizations involved with PSE. However, the post-secondary funding mechanisms administered by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada’s (INAC) have been the subject of critique by Canada’s Auditor General because “the Department does not know whether program funds are sufficient to support eligible students, and it has no assurance that only eligible students taking eligible course are receiving funding” (Canada, Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 2004, section 5.98). In addition, INAC has been criticized for not explaining why the number of funded students is declining and for not comparing First Nations PSE with the educational performance of other Canadians. In 2011 the Auditor General found that As in 2004, INAC still allocates funds by First Nations community without regard to the number of eligible students; moreover, band governments have the flexibility to allocate the funds outside the program. Again, as in 2004, we found that the current funding mechanism and delivery model used to fund post-secondary education does not ensure that eligible students have equitable access to post-secondary education funding. (Canada, Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 2011, section 4.21)  Meanwhile, provincial governments continue to implement Aboriginal specific policy. In 2002, Alberta Learning released its First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework (Alberta Learning, 2002). In Manitoba, Aboriginal PSE policy includes the Aboriginal 24  Education Action Plan 2004 – 2007, followed by the Bridging Two Worlds: Aboriginal Education and Employment Action Plan 2008-2011 (“Bridging two worlds”, n.d.). In 2007, British Columbia embarked on the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Strategy and Action Plan. Also in 2011, Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities released its Aboriginal Postsecondary Education and Training Policy Framework (Ontario, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, 2011). In the territories, higher education policy tends to be inclusive of Aboriginal issues. This is apparent in the Northwest Territories’ Building on our Successes: Strategic Plan 2005 - 2015 and the 2006 Nunavut Adult Learning Strategy (Government of Nunavut & Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, 2006; Northwest Territories, Department of Education, Culture and Employment, 2005). Nevertheless, as illustrated in Table 2 below, there remain significant gaps between the education of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians. In 2006 almost 44% of Canada’s Aboriginal population had no academic credentials, compared to 23% of non-Aboriginal Canadians. Congruently, high school graduation was the highest level of education for 21.8% of the Aboriginal population, compared to 25.7% of the non-Aboriginal population. Furthermore, while at 11.4%, the Aboriginal surpasses the 10.8% of the non-Aboriginal population with apprenticeships or trades certificates or diplomas, Aboriginal people lag behind the total population in terms of both college and university certificates and diplomas (14.5% and 2.8% compared to Canada’s non-Aboriginal population’s 17.4% and 4.5%). Unfortunately, only 5.8% of the Aboriginal identity population holds university degrees, compared to over 18% of nonAboriginal Canadians. In other words, the non-Aboriginal rate is over 3 times higher than that of Aboriginal people in Canada.  25  Table 2 Educational Attainment of Canadians, Age 15 and over, Aboriginal vs. non-Aboriginal People (2006)  Aboriginal Identitya  Non-Aboriginal Identity  Educational Attainment No certificate, diploma or degree High school certificate or equivalent Apprenticeship or trades certificate or diploma College, CEGEP or other non-university certificate or diploma University certificate or diploma below the bachelor level University certificate or degree  # 359,775 179,590 93,885 119,675 22,950 48,015  % 43.7% 21.8% 11.4% 14.5% 2.8% 5.8%  # 5,738,550 6,373,835 2,691,535 4,315,455 1,113,200 4,607,750  % 23.1% 25.7% 10.8% 17.4% 4.5% 18.5%  Total  823,890  100%  24,840,330  100%  Note. Adapted from: Statistics Canada. (2007a). British Columbia (Code59) (table). 2006 Community Profiles. 2006 Census (Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 92-591-XWE). Ottawa. Released March 13, 2007. Copyright 2007 by the Minister of Industry; Statistics Canada. (2007b). British Columbia (Code59) (table). Aboriginal Population Profile. 2006 Census (Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 92-594-XWE). Ottawa. Released January 15, 2008. Copyright 2007 by the Minister of Industry. a The Aboriginal identity population is composed of those persons who reported identifying with at least one Aboriginal group, that is, North American Indian, Métis or Inuit, and/or those who reported being a Treaty Indian or a Registered Indian, as defined by the Indian Act of Canada, and/or those who reported they were members of an Indian band or First Nation. The situation in British Columbia is similar to that of Canada, but in some ways even more troubling, as shown in Table 3 below. At 39%, over twice as many Aboriginal people in British Columbia have no academic credentials, compared to the 19% of non-Non Aboriginal people. High school completion is the highest level of education for over 25% of Aboriginal people, compared to 28% for non-Aboriginal people. A greater number of Aboriginal (12.5%) than non-Aboriginal people (10.8%) have apprenticeships or trades certifications as their highest level of educational attainment. Moreover, a lower percentage of Aboriginal than nonAboriginal British Columbians (14.4% compared to 16.8%) have college or non-university certificates as their highest level of educational attainment, while 3.4% of Aboriginal people in 26  BC list university certificates or diplomas as their highest level of education compared to 5.5% of the non-Aboriginal population. Of particular concern is that almost four times the number of non-Aboriginal British Columbians (19.9%) have university certificates or degrees at the bachelor’s level or above than Aboriginal British Columbians (5.3%). Table 3 Educational Attainment of British Columbians, Age 15 and over, Aboriginal vs. non-Aboriginal People (2006) Aboriginal Identitya Educational Attainment No certificate, diploma or degree High school certificate or equivalent Apprenticeship or trades certificate or diploma College, CEGEP or other non-university certificate or diploma University certificate of diploma below the bachelor level University certificate or degree at or above bachelor’s level Total  Non-Aboriginal Identity  # 54,915 35,675 17,615 20,275 4,825 7,515  % 39.0% 25.3% 12.5% 14.4% 3.4% 5.3%  # 620,435 910,970 350,740 545,620 179,575 646,745  % 19.1% 28.0% 10.8% 16.8% 5.5% 19.9%  140,825  100%  3,254,085  100%  Note. Adapted from: Statistics Canada. (2007a). British Columbia (Code59) (table). 2006 Community Profiles. 2006 Census (Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 92-591-XWE). Ottawa. Released March 13, 2007. Copyright 2007 by the Minister of Industry; Statistics Canada. (2007b). British Columbia (Code59) (table). Aboriginal Population Profile. 2006 Census (Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 92-594-XWE). Ottawa. Released January 15, 2008. Copyright 2007 by the Minister of Industry. a The Aboriginal identity population is composed of those persons who reported identifying with at least one Aboriginal group, that is, North American Indian, Métis or Inuit, and/or those who reported being a Treaty Indian or a Registered Indian, as defined by the Indian Act of Canada, and/or those who reported they were members of an Indian band or First Nation. Of additional concern is the fact that some of the educational gains made over the last three decades may have reached a plateau, and are now declining. In 2000, the Auditor General of Canada estimated that it would take over 20 years to close the educational gap between First Nations living on reserves and other Canadians. Four years later, the estimated time for First Nations to reach academic parity with other Canadians rose to 28 years (Canada, Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 2011, p. 13). In 27  2011, after reviewing 2001 and 2006 census information on Aboriginal education, the Auditor General stated that even more time will be needed to close the educational gap (Canada, Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 2000; 2004; 2011) Between 2001 and 2006, the portion of the Aboriginal identity population between 25 and 64 years of age with university degrees8 increased from 6% to 8%. During this same time period, the portion of the non-Aboriginal population of the same age with university degrees increased from 20% to 23%. This means that the educational gap at the university level between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people actually increased (Statistics Canada, 2008). As indicated in Figure 1, Canada’s Aboriginal population is growing rapidly. In addition, the Aboriginal population is significantly younger than the non-Aboriginal population.  8  Because of changes to Statistics Canada’s questions, comparison of 2001 and 2006 data cannot be made for other levels of education. 28  Figure 1 Population reporting Aboriginal ancestrya (origin), Canada, 1901-2006  Note. Adapted from the first chart “Population reporting Aboriginal ancestry (origin) 19012001” in Statistics Canada. (2003, January 21). Aboriginal peoples of Canada: A demographic profile (Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 96F0030XIE2001007). Copyright 2003 by the Minister of Industry. 2006 data is from Statistics Canada. (2008b). Aboriginal Peoples, 2006 Census. Aboriginal ancestry (10), area of residence (6), age groups (12) and sex (3) for the population of Canada, provinces and territories, 2006 census - 20% sample data [data table] (Statistics Canada catalogue no. 97-558-XWE2006012). Ottawa. Released April 2, 2008. Copyright 2008 by the Minister of Industry. a Aboriginal ancestry (origin) refers to those persons who reported at least one Aboriginal origin (North American Indian, Métis or Inuit) on the ethnic origin question in the Census. The question  In 2006, the median age of Aboriginal people in Canada was 27, compared to 40 in the non-Aboriginal population. In British Columbia, the median age for Aboriginal people is even younger: 25 years as compared to 37 years for other British Columbians (Stock, 2009). As this population ages, PSIs will be increasingly called upon to meet their academic needs and aspirations. It is still unclear if Canada’s provincial and Aboriginal PSIs are willing or able to respond to this challenge in a substantive way. What is clear is that the vision articulated by 29  Chief Dan George in 1967, “to grab the instruments of the white man’s success - his education, his skills,” has only been partially realized. 1.3  Outline of the Dissertation Chapter 2 explores the literature on Aboriginal PSE and finds that while there is a  growing body of literature on Aboriginal education, the literature on Aboriginal PSE is more limited, emerging primarily in the last decades of the 20th century and most frequently in works specifically about Aboriginal education. The few works that do address Aboriginal PSE policy specifically address federal policy initiatives that pertain to status Indian and Inuit students only. Furthermore, the existence of provincial Aboriginal post-secondary policy is only occasionally noted. Chapter 3 outlines the conceptual and methodological framework used in this study. It draws on the literature of critical policy studies, articulates the research question, and includes an overview of the research process used. Chapter 4 focuses on developments in Aboriginal PSE policy under the Social Credit government in the late 1980s, particularly the 1990 Report of the Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners. Chapter 5 examines Aboriginal post-secondary policy under the New Democratic Party, and in particular the 1995 Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework. Chapter 6 looks at Aboriginal PSE policy initiated by the Liberals, in particular the draft revisions to the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework Policy that were never finalized and the 2007 Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Strategy and Action Plan. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 are structured in a similar manner. They begin with a look at the context in which the policies developed, paying particular attention to changing relationships between the BC government and Aboriginal peoples, the economy, and PSE. This is followed 30  by a section on the policy process, including policy formation, policy text, and implementation. Each chapter closes with a discussion of findings. Chapter 7 revisits the findings of previous chapters. Implications for research and policy are also presented in this final chapter. The chapter closes by considering the link between theory and action.  31  Chapter 2: The Literature In 1991, Cree scholar Winona Stevenson wrote that the new existing studies on Indian students in post-secondary education are limited to DIAND annual and commissioned reports - see for example, A.B. Hawthorn, ed. A Survey on the Contemporary Indians of Canada: Economic, Political, Educational Needs and Policies. 2 vols. Ottawa: DIA, (1966-67) - and occasional mention in a few scholarly studies such as Frideres (1988). The Canadian Journal of Native Education also contains articles which discuss Indian post-secondary education. Clearly more studies on this subject, both local and general, are needed in order more fully to understand the historical and contemporary Indian education issues. (p. 232, Note 15) Five years later, Danziger (1996) wrote that “scholars have neglected the changing historical patterns of Indian post-secondary education” (p.232). More recently, Marker (2004) pointed to the need for case studies on Aboriginal PSE. Numerous government and organizational reports continue to be produced about Aboriginal PSE, and the Canadian Journal of Native Education remains an important source of articles on Canadian Aboriginal postsecondary issues. For over 30 years, Frideres has continued to include brief discussions of PSE in eight editions of his books about Aboriginal issues in Canada (Frideres & Gadacz, 2007). However, until late in the 20th century, Aboriginal issues remained marginal to the academic literature on PSE. Since the 1990s, the literature on Aboriginal higher education has slowly grown, though much of it continues to be produced by various organizations outside of the academy. While it is certainly true that all educational research has policy implications (Ozga, 2000), and much of the literature cited includes recommendations to improve policy, there is very little work that directly focuses on Aboriginal post-secondary policy. Nevertheless, this literature is useful in understanding important issues related to Aboriginal PSE, as a precursor to understanding policy development and change. This overview includes literature on educational attainment, barriers to 32  Aboriginal participation, Aboriginal-controlled institutions, public PSIs, and student experiences, and then turns to the literature on Aboriginal post-secondary policy. 2.1  Educational Achievement Canada is noted as being among the top countries in the world in terms of participation in  tertiary education (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2009). However, that post-secondary participation is unevenly distributed among various populations within Canada, and the participation of Aboriginal peoples in PSE is seen to be particularly problematic. A number of studies have examined information from census data in order to understand the educational achievement of Aboriginal people (see for example Armstrong, Kennedy, & Oberle, 1990; Hull & Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Research & Analysis Directorate, 2000; Hull, 2005; Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Information Quality and Research Directorate, 1995; Mendelson, 2006). While these studies are not comparable because of changes in the populations studied, changes in census questions, and changes in the selfidentification of various Aboriginal populations over time, they tell similar stories. Despite progress, significant differences in the educational attainment of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people remain. Of particular concern are the high percentage of Aboriginal people without high school certification and the low percentage of Aboriginal people with university degrees. 2.2  Barriers The federal government’s historic assimilationist policies, such as the enfranchisement of  educated Indian people and residential schooling, have created an enduring legacy, and many Aboriginal people continue to understand western education as assimilative (Baker, 1995; R. A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. & Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, 2004).  33  Few Aboriginal people have the necessary schooling to access PSE (Baker, 1995; R. A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. & Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, 2004). As discussed in section 2.1.1, the percentage of Aboriginal people without high-school education continues to be astoundingly high. Even among those who graduate, many lack the academic courses and skills necessary for successful transition to post-secondary studies (R. A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. & Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, 2004). For those with the education necessary to access post-secondary, financial barriers can be huge. Aboriginal people suffer from high levels of unemployment, and many depend upon social assistance and seasonal employment to meet their material needs. Consequently, few Aboriginal people can afford PSE. Furthermore, relocating to cities where PSIs are located involves additional costs for moving, housing, and child-care. These costs are particularly high for students with families (Baker, 1995; R. A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. & Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, 2004). While Aboriginal students, like other students, can apply for various forms of financial assistance, a number of factors mitigate this possibility. A 2008 study R. A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. & Stonechild found that that while First Nations youth were familiar with federal funding for Indian and Inuit students, there was little awareness of other forms of student financial assistance, especially among youth in remote areas, and little inclination to find out more about these funding opportunities. This problem occurs in part because many expect their applications for awards and loans will be refused, but also because many First Nations view education as an Aboriginal or treaty right, and understand PSE funding to be a federal responsibility. Many Aboriginal youth have strong aversions to debt, and added to this is the concern that repaying loans will be difficult. Few First Nations youth understand the cost of 34  PSE, and youth from more remote areas have little understanding of the costs associated with urban living. Many Aboriginal people live in rural or remote areas. Schools in remote areas often face challenges in offering quality education experiences or the wide range of courses which may be necessary for post-secondary studies. To pursue post-secondary, students must either depend on distance or community-based learning or relocate to more urban areas where PSIs are located. Such relocation distances Aboriginal learners from their support networks, and involves increased costs related to childcare, housing, and moving (Baker, 1995; R. A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. & Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, 2004). Aboriginal learners are also challenged by individual barriers, such as low self-esteem, abuse, family dysfunction, isolation, alienation, and racism. These personal barriers can intensify in the often stressful post-secondary environment (Baker, 1995; R. A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. & Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, 2004). Finnie, Lascelles, and Sweetman (2005) explore the effects of parental background on post-secondary participation and find that family background, including parental education levels, family type, and location, has important direct and indirect effects on post-secondary participation, and that for Aboriginal students these effects play out during the high school years, rather than at the point of entry to post-secondary. The authors point out the need to address these issues early on to facilitate greater equity in PSE access. Institutional culture poses another barrier to Aboriginal post-secondary participation. Colleges and universities are overwhelmingly Eurocentric in the values held, the services offered, the curriculum taught, the methodologies used, and in the faculty and staff hired. Aboriginal values, cultures, and knowledge is seldom acknowledged, respected, or integrated 35  into the post-secondary system, and Aboriginal people rarely have a voice in institutional settings (Baker, 1995; Kirkness & Barnhardt, 1991; R. A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. & Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, 2004). 2.3  Aboriginal-Controlled Institutions In response to growing frustration with the inability of the public PSIs to meet their PSE  needs, Aboriginal people have been increasingly asserting their control by establishing their own PSIs. While a number of these institutions have existed since the early 70s, little has been written about them. Barnhardt (1991) examines the structure of over 100 Indigenous institutions and structures throughout the world and identifies three models with varying degrees of Indigenous control: independent, affiliated, and integrated institutions. Independent institutions are controlled by and serve Indigenous communities. Included in this category are many small Aboriginal adult and community-based centers like BC’s Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) and En’owkin Centre. By 1995, there were between thirty and fifty of these institutions in Canada (Baker, 1995). However, as both Barnhardt (1991) and Baker (1995) point out, these institutions depend on affiliation agreements with public PSIs for accreditation. The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) (1996b) rightly re-categorizes these institutions as affiliated institutions. Barnhardt also includes Yukon College in the Yukon Territories and Arctic College (now Aurora College) in the Northwest Territories, as examples of Indigenous independent institutions because of the influence of the large Aboriginal populations in the regions they serve. However, they are clearly public PSIs, and would better fall under Barnhardt’s category of integrated institutions. In Canada a number of independent institutions  36  do provide important community-based training opportunities, but they are not accredited (Canada. Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996b). According to Barnhardt, affiliated institutions are Aboriginal-controlled and have negotiated relationships with mainstream institutions for accreditation purposes. These are the most common form of Aboriginal-controlled PSIs in Canada. Among the larger institutions are the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC) (now First Nations University of Canada) and the Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI), also in Saskatchewan; Alberta’s Blue Quills, Maskwachees Cultural College, and Old Sun; Manitoba’s Yellowquills College; and BC’s Secwepemc Cultural Education Society and NVIT. Smaller institutions, like Alberta’s Yellowhead Tribal Council or BC’s Wilp Wilxo’oskwhl Nisga’a, partner with public PSIs to provide educational programming for Aboriginal learners at the tribal level or regional level. Small locally-controlled learning centres provide a range of developmental, skills training, and language programming that may or may not be accredited, as well as community-based programming for other institutions (Canada. Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996b). These affiliation agreements are critical in the recognition of student learning by public PSIs and also often necessary in order for Aboriginal institutions to receive funding. However, Aboriginal institutions frequently pay a high price in terms of lost autonomy to achieve this recognition (Canada. Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996b). According to Evans, McDonald, and Nyce (1999), for articulation purposes Aboriginal PSIs must conform to mainstream institutional practices related to registration, prerequisites, faculty certification, curriculum ownership, class scheduling, academic standards and evaluation. Unlike tribal colleges in the States, which have been able to secure funding through the 1978 Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act (Barnhardt, 1991), Aboriginal PSIs 37  in Canada exist primarily on non-statutory, discretionary federal funding provided on a competitive basis through the Indian Studies Support Program (ISSP) to both Aboriginal and public institutions that provide programs for Aboriginal students. While the ISSP provides relatively stable funding for SIFC, other First Nations-controlled institutions have to apply for this funding annually (Canada. Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996b; Paquette, 1986). GDI, as a Métis-affiliated institution, is ineligible for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) funding, and receives most of its funding from the Saskatchewan government (Paquette, 1986). In integrated structures, programs or units that serve Indigenous students are contained within and administered by mainstream institutions. UBC’s First Nations House of Learning (FNHL) is the Canadian example cited by Barnhardt (1991). These types of structures are really units within mainstream PSIs, which are discussed in section 2. 4. Hampton9 (2000) builds on Barnhardt’s models of Indigenous-controlled institutions by developing models of First Nations university education. He points out that the “historic assimilationist model” of Aboriginal education continues today in university contexts, a practice often damaging to Aboriginal students and characterized by high failure rates. Hampton’s “special program or unit” model exists within a western university, and while it often results in greater student success, this model is characterized by limited accountability to the community, unstable funding, perceptions of programs as “second class,” dependence upon extraordinary commitment of those involved, and low enrollment and completion rates. The “federated” model involves partnerships between Aboriginal and public institutions that facilitate Indigenous control, can lead to greater educational parity, and can result in increased recognition in the post-  9  Hampton is a former President of SIFC which is now the First Nations University of Canada. 38  secondary system. However, sustaining partnerships takes time and negotiations, and equality among partners is difficult to maintain. The “autonomous” model, which refers to independent community-based Aboriginal PSIs, supports student success and community capacity building. These institutions usually have a small population base, are underfunded, and rely on purchasing courses from non-Aboriginal institutions. Ultimately, Hampton argues for the development of another model, an Indigenous university lead by Aboriginal people and supported by federal and provincial governments that would build on collaborative partnerships among a network of institutions, nationally and internationally, who share educational resources. Some authors have explored specific Aboriginal institutions. Bashford and Heinzerling (1987) look at the developments at Blue Quills Native Education Centre, a First Nationscontrolled school that began offering a bachelor’s degree in education in 1975 and expanded to offer a wide range of developmental, skills training, and professional programs at the certificate, diploma and bachelors level. Similarly, Dorion and Yang (2000) provide important insight into the development of Saskatchewan’s GDI, which is affiliated with both the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology and the University of Saskatchewan. GDI is the only Métis-controlled post-secondary institution in Canada; it offers a wide range of community-based developmental, professional, and skills training programs throughout Saskatchewan. Results of a study of twenty-five GDI students and faculty indicated that these programs have increased students’ employability and wage levels. They have also contributed to students’ self-esteem and sense of identity as Métis people. The programs are seen to provide solid training, equivalent to programs in mainstream institutions, but could benefit from stronger Métis curriculum content and more Métis staff. Challenges identified by students include the lack of Métis specific post39  secondary funding, and employment related discrimination. To improve Métis PSE, respondents pointed to the need for stronger emphasis on Métis educational self-government and community participation, and the establishment of a Métis Education Act. Respondents also stressed the need for maintaining high academic standards, increasing Métis content and work experience opportunities, and strengthening links to the labour market. The Native Education Centre (NEC) in Vancouver, the oldest Aboriginal-controlled postsecondary institution in BC, is the site of Haig-Brown’s (1995a; 1995b) ethnography. Her work explores the contradictions and tensions inherent in operations of the NEC, an institution that strives to enhance Aboriginal cultures and values while providing opportunities for enhancing education and training and struggling with issues related to accreditation and funding, growth and bureaucratization, cultural diversity, and internalized oppression. Haig-Brown’s work also provides a brief history of Aboriginal PSE in BC. Unfortunately, this history ends before provincial Aboriginal post-secondary policies emerge. 2.4  Public Post-Secondary Institutions Kirkness and Barnhardt (1991) turn their attention to the inadequacies of public PSIs in  meeting the learning needs and aspirations of First Nations students. They maintain that PSIs’ attempts to increase Aboriginal outcomes are largely aimed at student interventions like tutoring and counselling, and that those PSIs need to pay attention to institutional factors that can enhance the educational experiences of First Nations. Critical to institutional change are the “Four Rs”: respecting students’ cultures, ensuring the relevancy of programs and services for Aboriginal learners, acknowledging the reciprocal relationship between teaching and learning by recognizing First Nations students’ knowledge and experiences, and facilitating responsibility through the participation of First Nations in the transformation of higher education structures. 40  Baker (1995) situates Aboriginal education as “one of the most significant challenges facing Canadian colleges in the 1990s” (p. 208). He identifies barriers that confront Aboriginal adult learners, and draws on examples from across Canada to demonstrate a broad range of changes being implemented by government and PSIs, both public and Aboriginal, to enhance the educational experiences of Aboriginal learners. Gardner (2000) explores the development of Aboriginal initiatives at the University of British Columbia, with a particular focus on the FNHL which was established in 1987 to increase Aboriginal participation and program relevancy throughout the university. Using the Four Rs (Kirkness & Barnhardt, 1991) as a framework, Gardner discusses students’ and staff’s reflections. Issues of respect continue to challenge Aboriginal students, demonstrating a need for students to learn strategies to respond to and cope with racism, and a need for anti-racist education for faculty and staff. Over the years, curricular relevance has been greatly improved, however the increasing diversity of Aboriginal students and expectations for a more wholistic educational experience are challenging FNHL and the university to do more. Attempts to create a reciprocal learning and teaching environment in which Aboriginal students’ knowledge and experience are recognized have begun and can be furthered through collaborative processes that necessitate respectful dialogue. Finally, responsibility through participation continues to be a challenge. There are still too few Aboriginal students, staff, and faculty members, and Elders are only marginally involved in teaching. Moreover, while Aboriginal advisory committees have long been established, Aboriginal people are not represented on the board of governors. As stated in an evaluation of FNHL, “the task of transforming the university has been well begun, but it is not yet done. Inviting First Nations people into the house is the first step. Accepting them as partners in knowledge creation is the next step” (Gardner, 2000, p. 27). 41  Marker (2004) revisits Kirkness and Barnhardt’s (1991) classic work and finds that while many PSIs have become much more responsive to First Nations’ perspectives, the promise of the Four Rs has yet to be fully realized, particularly in relation to university practices associated with research, methodology, theory, and community. Native studies programs have also been investigated by a number of authors. An early example is the work of Price (1981), who reflects upon the slow development of Native Studies in Canada, a phenomenon he attributes to disciplinary-based academic ethnocentrism. Price credits Aboriginal teacher-education programs, interdisciplinary Native studies programs, and radical politics with extending Native Studies beyond anthropology. Witham (1982) describes an experimental approach to a Native Studies class, based on Paulo Freire's problem-solving approach, which resulted in students taking greater responsibility over their educational experience but failing to develop their critical understanding. Couture (2000) shares his personal reflections about the principles that underlie Native Studies, and the tensions that exist in university-based Native studies programs. Such tensions are likely minimized in programs like the Secwepemc First Nations Studies Program, a partnership between the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, the Secwepemc Cultural Education Society and Simon Fraser University. Ignace, Ignace, Layton, Sharma, and Yerbury (1996) describe the development, implementation, expansion, and outcomes of this unique community-based program. McCaskill (1983) describes a successful community-based economic development and small business management course, jointly sponsored and managed by Native Alliance Five (representing twenty-four Métis and non-status Indian communities in southern Ontario) and Trent University, that promotes partnerships between Aboriginal organizations and educational institutions in order to meet the training needs of Aboriginal people. 42  O’Brien and Pace (1990) describe the planning and implementation of the Micmac Bachelor of Social Work Program at Dalhousie University. While finding the program to be beneficial for both the Micmac community and the School of Social Work, the authors also identify a number of challenges inherent in sharing control and funding: finding appropriate instructors and curriculum materials, balancing university requirements with community relevance, and student participation. Hesch (1999) explores the tensions inherent in the development of a culturally relevant teacher education program at the Winnipeg Education Centre based on criteria developed by Ladson-Billings: academic success, cultural competency, and critical consciousness. In their literature review on Aboriginal teacher education, Archibald, Pidgeon, Janvier, Commodore, and McCormick (2002) examine challenges to the recruitment, training, and retention of Aboriginal teachers, and suggest strategies to address these challenges. Levin and Alcorn (1999) discuss Manitoba’s access programs, which were established in the early 1970s and provide access to a wide range of technical, applied, and university studies. These programs are characterized by active recruitment, careful selection, and personal, financial, and academic support. Through these programs, access and completion rates for Aboriginal students have increased without compromising academic quality and community capacity-building has grown. M. Hampton and Roy (2002) stress the important role that faculty play in supporting First Nations educational success. They claim that: positive professor/student relationships, relevant curriculum, culturally appropriate teaching methods and styles, and understanding First Nations students’ lives all contribute to positive educational experiences for First Nations students. In their words, "those who strive for bicultural competence may be more effective at facilitating 43  First Nations student success" (p. 24). James (2001) points out that there is little data available on the effectiveness and quality of programs for Aboriginal post-secondary students in Canada. To address this, he undertakes an exploratory study of Aboriginal programs at 27 colleges and universities in British Columbia and Ontario. James identifies three factors associated with successful programs for Aboriginal learners: Aboriginal faculty, Aboriginal advisory committees, and the incorporation of Aboriginal content in mainstream degree programs. James cites lack of data concerning Aboriginal students and their PSE experiences as a major impediment to research on the effectiveness of Aboriginal programs and services. In 1996, RCAP recommended that public PSIs facilitate improved educational outcomes for Aboriginal students by creating more hospitable educational environments, recruiting Aboriginal students, developing Aboriginal admissions policies, developing Aboriginal academic and personal counselling services, increasing Aboriginal content and perspectives in courses, including Aboriginal studies courses and programs, creating gathering spaces for Aboriginal students and Aboriginal student unions, and hiring Aboriginal faculty. They also recommended implementing cross-cultural awareness programs for faculty and staff, establishing Aboriginal advisory councils, and appointing Aboriginal representatives to institutional governing bodies (Canada. Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996b). It is clear that many institutions have risen to this challenge. Miller (2004b) reflects on a quarter century of change at the University of Saskatchewan that resulted in the increased development of Aboriginal courses, programs, and support services. He optimistically contemplates the future of Aboriginal university relationships, believing that universities can and will continue to respond positively to the educational and research needs of Aboriginal people. 44  Miller also promotes the collaborative, consensual, non-coercive policy-making and serviceoriented leadership style modeled by the League of Six Nations as an appropriate governance model for Canadian universities, particularly in an era of financial constraint combined with rising social expectations. Holmes (2006) reports on the results of a survey conducted by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, in which 55 of their 90 university-level member institutions (61%) participated. Homes found that 81% of the institutions actively recruited Aboriginal students, and 46% of the institutions offered either on or off-campus bridging programs. Community-based, or a combination of community-based and on-campus, outreach programs at the certificate, bachelor, or graduate level were offered at 63% of the institutions. Many of the schools offered degrees in Aboriginal studies at the bachelor’s level (35%) and the master’s level (13%), while fewer offered degrees at the doctoral level (3.7%). At 57% of the institutions, programs such teaching, social work, law, medicine, nursing, management, development studies, women’s studies, and linguistics included an Aboriginal specialization or focus. Most institutions provided a wide range of Aboriginal-specific student services including academic and personal support, employment support, career counselling, housing, healthcare, childcare, social and cultural events, and Elder visits. An impressive 70% of institutions had Aboriginal student centres, ranging from small lounges to stand-alone buildings. More than half of the universities and colleges surveyed offered Aboriginal scholarships or bursaries. Over half the institutions offered cross-cultural training for faculty and staff. Aboriginal advisory committees had been established at 63% of the institutions, and 31% of the institutions had Aboriginal representation on their board of governors.  45  2.5  Student Experiences A number of works have examined the experiences of Aboriginal post-secondary  students. For example, Te Hennepe (1993) shares conversations with Aboriginal students who have experienced tensions related to respect and authority that arose in anthropology classes at the University of British Columbia. Archibald et al. (1995) share the successes and challenges experienced by Aboriginal students in two PSE contexts: the University of British Columbia, an “integrated” mainstream university (Barnhardt, 1991) and the NEC, an Aboriginal-controlled post-secondary institution in Vancouver, BC. Respondents from UBC associated success with support from First Nations individuals, organizations, and institutions, UBC First Nations academic units, and First Nations student services. A strong cultural foundation also contributed to success. Conversely, non-Aboriginal student services had little impact on students’ success. UBC students identified a number of challenges as well. These included initial adjustments to the university context, particularly when relocation was necessary; inadequate and sometime irregular funding; and racism which impacted self-esteem, created emotional barriers, and undermined First Nations identity. A wide range of personal issues, institutional short-comings (including the impersonal nature of institutional culture, inflexible policies, inadequate support services, insufficient library resources related to First Nations issues, and racism), and negative perceptions of UBC were also barriers to success. Most students went on to find employment in the areas in which they were trained, but some found discontinuity between their university training and the reality of work. Respondents also reported that attending UBC strengthened their identity as Aboriginal people and supported their personal growth (Archibald et al., 1995). 46  Students who attended the NEC had few problems with initial adjustment to the institution. Their education was supported by friends and family, NEC staff, and other students. Other factors contributing to success included the atmosphere at NEC, relevant programming and regulations, the skills and positive personal attributes of teachers, and cultural activities. These success factors contributed to personal growth and a stronger sense of First Nations identity. Barriers to education included inadequate funding, family responsibilities, financial issues, personal problems, childcare, and transportation. While students’ responses were overwhelmingly positive, a few students pointed to discomfort about racism directed towards non-Aboriginal instructors. A few students identified issues that were specific to them including transferability of a course and confidentiality issues with a specific staff member. Most of the students were able to gain employment in the areas related to their studies, and many were continuing their education. Education at NEC also contributed to a deepening or renewal of cultural identity and personal growth (Archibald et al., 1995). Danziger (1996) explores the educational experiences of post-secondary students from Walpole Island First Nations. Most credited their families and school associates for encouraging them to pursue PSE and studied in institutions close to home. While their academic careers were often interrupted, most (70%) completed at least one academic program, and spoke well of their academic experiences, which were enhanced by the development of Aboriginal student services. Criticisms were directed towards Indian Affairs for failing to monitor student success prior to 1989 and for capping funding in the 1990s. Hesch (1996) examines the contradictory experiences of Métis and Cree students in the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program. He finds that their ability to develop and act upon their fragmented but critical understanding of education’s reproductive forces was 47  undermined by state institutional requirements that contribute to educational inequality but must be satisfied for teacher certification. Using a life history approach, Orr and Friesen (1999) share the experiences of four graduates of the Northern Teacher Education Program whose work advances Aboriginal self-determination in their respective schools and communities. 2.6  Policy According to Corson (2000) there is a gap in Canadian research on educational policy.  While this need is being addressed by researchers in other countries, in “Canada, the beginnings of research on policy design, implementation, and evaluation still lie in the future” (p. 179). This is particularly true of policy research on Aboriginal PSE (Paquette, 1986). National reviews of federal post-secondary policy largely ignore its impact on Aboriginal people. However, this is changing, as demonstrated in a recent publication by Fisher et al. (2006). They discuss the complex and evolving role that Canadian federal policy has played in influencing post-secondary policy. While education in Canada is generally seen to be provincial jurisdiction, Canada has been able to influence PSE through research funding, transfer payments to the provinces, funding for vocational and technical training, and through national student loans. The authors also discuss the historic role of federal policy on Aboriginal education. Under the Indian Act, the federal government is responsible for K-12 schooling for Indian children, and has exercised that responsibility through an overtly assimilationist agenda delivered first by religious organizations, and later by way of “integration” into provincial schools. The poor quality of education historically experienced by Indian children resulted in most students leaving school long before high school completion, making PSE largely out of their reach. In the wake of integration, high school graduation rates increased, along with post-secondary participation.  48  In response, the federal government has provided financial support for Indian and Inuit postsecondary students, and for some programs that serve Indian and Inuit students. A number of studies discuss federal Aboriginal education policies. While most address policies that affect education at the K-12 level, some also discuss post-secondary polices. Paquette (1986) provides a comprehensive national overview of various educational options available in the 1980s to Indian, Inuit, Métis, non-status, and urban Aboriginal peoples attending various levels of schooling in Canada’s provinces and territories, along with an analysis of associated governance models, funding mechanisms, and policies. Given the limited federal involvement in Aboriginal PSE, it is not surprising that the author focusses primarily on the K-12 level. He does discuss INAC’s post-secondary support for First Nations and Inuit students, and INAC funding of a number of Aboriginal institutions. He points out that GDI, a Métis-affiliated institution, is not eligible for this funding, and exists primarily on provincial funding. The author further points out that “the entire adult post-secondary education budget of the Department [of Indian Affairs] lacks any statutory sanction and is therefore discretionary in nature” (p. 19). Paquette’s work predates the capping of funding through the 1989 Post-Secondary Student Support Program, the 1988 establishment of the Indian Studies Support Program, and the development of provincial Aboriginal post-secondary policy. In “Prairie Indians and Higher Education: An Historical Overview, 1876 to 1977” W. Stevenson (1991) reveals that as early as the 1870s, prairie Indians understood the importance of education to the future of their peoples, and negotiated educational rights into treaties. The federal government responded to their treaty responsibilities initially by leaving education in the hands of missionaries and subsequently through “a long history of near-sighted government parsimony towards Indian education” (p. 230). After the 1950s, when Indians were integrated 49  into provincial schools, graduation rates increased, as did post-secondary attendance and Indian advocacy for post-secondary financial support. Eventually, the federal government established policy tools to support Indian higher education. The Vocational Training Program was established in the 1960s and, following the National Indian Brotherhood’s 1972 policy paper Indian Control of Indian Education, the federal government established the 1977 Post-Secondary Education Assistance Program, resulting in significant increases in First Nations PSE. While Stevenson’s work focuses on the Prairies rather than British Columbia, and while her analysis ends in 1977, long before provinces instituted Aboriginal post-secondary policies, her work provides important insight into the limited role the federal government has played in the PSE of Indian people. Lanceley (1991) explores the development of Canada’s funding for Indian postsecondary students, and discusses Aboriginal students involvement in policy process and activism in response to the federal government’s capping of the Post-Secondary Student Support Program. Lanceley does not discuss provincial policy, which was just emerging when his work was published. Graham, Dittburner, and Abele (1996) and Abele, Dittburner, and Graham (2000) trace developments in federal and provincial Aboriginal education policy between 1965 and 1992. The authors find that education discourse changed over time, influenced both by changes in discourse on Aboriginal governance and multiculturalism; that provincial jurisdiction over education resulted in regional differences in Aboriginal policy discourse; that policy documents promoted peaceful relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples; that there was a strong focus on process, particularly on meaningful consultation throughout the period studied. Furthermore, the authors found that different interpretations of key concepts by Aboriginal 50  people and government created confusion and frustration and undermined progress. These two works are important in understanding the development of Aboriginal education policy over time, however the survey nature of the work prevented a detailed analysis of BC Aboriginal postsecondary policy discourse. In addition, their work ends in 1992, when BC provincial Aboriginal post-secondary policy was just emerging. Critical of the theoretical weaknesses in much of the scholarship about Aboriginal people, Satzewich and Wotherspoon (2000) draw on political economy to analyze a broad range of Aboriginal/state relations, including education. Their work demonstrates that though participation and completion rates have increased, First Nations people are still underrepresented in PSE. Furthermore, the range of education and training programs promoted by government have created a hierarchy with a small, relatively well-educated group of First Nations prepared for managerial or professional roles and a large pool of poorly educated people who are destined to be low skilled wage earners. Like others, the authors largely ignore the development of provincial Aboriginal post-secondary policies. In The New Buffalo (2006), Stonechild provides a comprehensive study of the historical development of federal First Nations PSE policy from confederation to 2006. Underlying this history is the question of jurisdictional responsibility for First Nations PSE, an issue that arises as a result of the constitutional division of powers that gave the federal government jurisdiction over Indians and Indian land, and the provinces jurisdiction over education. While many First Nations see PSE as a treaty and Aboriginal right, and a federal responsibility, the federal government frames its support of First Nations PSE as social policy. Pursing resolution of this question through the courts is risky, as the decision could be negative or narrow. As social policy, support for First Nations PSE is always parsimonious and frequently under threat. 51  Stonechild’s work is a significant contribution to Aboriginal PSE, but its focus is on federal policy as it applies to First Nations and as it unfolds in Saskatchewan. Stonechild gives only brief attention to provincial policy and the educational issues of Métis, Inuit, and urban Aboriginal peoples. Paquette and Fallon (2010) have made a significant contribution to the discourse on First Nations education policy through their book First Nations Education Policy in Canada: Progress or Gridlock. While they focus primarily on K-12 education, some attention is given to PSE, particularly in relation to the development of federal funding for First Nations students and programs. Paquette and Fallon discuss the conflicting perspectives of First Nations and the federal government on federal responsibility for First Nations PSE and echo Stonechild’s caution that a court decision could result in a negative decision or narrow interpretation of First Nations’ educational rights. After reviewing RCAP’s post-secondary recommendations, the authors conclude with a number of recommendations to revise the federal government’s post-secondary funding in order to ensure that it is adequate, equitable, and feasible. Of particular note is the recommendation that as Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal educational outcomes approach parity, Aboriginal students begin to bear a greater portion of their educational costs. They also recommend provincial support for Aboriginal post-secondary programs and services, partnerships between Aboriginal and public PSIs, and endowed scholarships/bursaries for Métis and non-status students. That federal post-secondary policy is the focus of Paquette and Fallon’s work is not surprising. What is surprising is that the authors marginalize provincial Aboriginal postsecondary initiatives to the extent that they do. They cite Saskatchewan’s support for the FNUC and GDI as the only examples of direct targeted provincial support for Aboriginal post52  secondary programs. While they acknowledge that provinces do contribute somewhat, they claim that to date, provinces have generally left it to post-secondary institutions to decide what supports and what course and program adaptations are needed – and to find the resources for such accommodations within the established sources for their operating expenditures, notably block and special funding, tuition and fees, or through supplementary revenues generated by entrepreneurial activities. (2010, p. 134, emphasis in original) While it is true that provincial governments tend to be parsimonious in their support of Aboriginal post-secondary initiatives, such a statement ignores the significant role that BC has played in supporting public Aboriginal institutions as well as in promoting and resourcing change in BC’s mainstream public PSIs. In her master’s thesis, Jenkins (2008) finds that different post-secondary policy environments in Canada and the States have led to differences in support for and accreditation of Indigenous PSIs. While there is a growing private post-secondary sector, Canada has a strong history of provincially and territorially controlled public post-secondary systems with credentialgranting authority regulated by government organizations, making it difficult for Aboriginal institutions to gain credit-granting status. The U.S., on the other hand, has a lengthy history of a diverse mix of both public and private PSIs, and of credit-granting authority vested in nongovernmental regional bodies. Many Native American PSIs have been successful in using these regional bodies to gain credential-granting power as public, tribal, or private not-for-profit institutions. In Canada there is no federal legislation that recognizes Aboriginal institutions, and the federal government usually provides discretionary, short-term competitive program funding to Aboriginal institutions. The First Nations University of Canada is an exception in that they receive annual base funding from the federal government. Outside of recognizing and funding a 53  few institutions like NVIT, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, and the now defunct Institute of Indigenous Government (IIG) as part of their public post-secondary system, provincial legislation is silent on Aboriginal-controlled institutions, though some provincial funding does flow through to Aboriginal institutions through affiliation agreements or discretionary funding. In the states, tribal colleges have had access to base-funding from the federal government since 1978 through the Tribally-Controlled College or University Assistance Act. Tribal colleges also have access to a larger range of government and non-government grants than their Canadian counterparts (Jenkins, 2008). Naokwegijig-Corbiere (2007) explores the post-secondary policy context in Ontario in search of a policy tool that will ensure that post-secondary Native programming serves Aboriginal communities. In doing so, she recognizes the 1991 Aboriginal Education and Training Strategy as a significant commitment by the Ontario government to support public PSIs’ ability to serve Aboriginal learners and communities, although it does little to facilitate Aboriginal control. Aboriginal control over university programming is undermined by institutional autonomy and academic freedom, as well as by the criteria set by the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board. To remedy this, Naokwegijig-Corbiere promotes First Nations accreditation of university-level Aboriginal programs. Such an accreditation process, the author believes, would lead to a deeper form of curricular Indigenization, while building stronger relations and deeper understandings between First Nations and PSIs. It is, however, unlikely that universities would give up the institutional autonomy or academic freedom necessary for this to happen. A 2005 study by Ontario’s Aboriginal Institutes’ Consortium (AIC) looks at the development of Aboriginal-controlled PSIs, and identifies the lack of policy support from both 54  the federal and provincial governments as an impediment to such development in Ontario. They point out that federal funding is inadequate for meeting the needs of Aboriginal institutions. The AIC also discusses Ontario’s 1991 Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Strategy, intended to improve Aboriginal PSE outcomes, institutional awareness of and sensitivity to Aboriginal cultures and issues, and to increase Aboriginal participation in institutional decision making. Through this policy, public PSIs enjoy a significant stable source of regularized funding, and can apply for additional funding for new program development, delivery, and student services. Public post-secondary schools who partner with Aboriginal institutions also benefit from utilizing Aboriginal students to increase student numbers for calculating their operating grants and charging Aboriginal institutions for administrative fees, teaching salaries, and other costs. Aboriginal institutions, on the other hand, have access to very limited funding awarded annually on a competitive basis and restricted to program development and delivery. Because of inadequate funding, and their inability to grant academic credentials, Aboriginal institutions are forced to enter into partnerships with public PSIs. The AIC recommends that the federal government enact legislation that recognizes Aboriginal institutions as certificate, diploma, and degree-granting institutions, that these institutions be supported by both federal and provincial governments, and that the provinces develop policies and processes to ensure the transferability of courses between public and Aboriginal institutions (Aboriginal Institutes' Consortium, 2005, August). The AIC holds up BC’s 1995 Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework and Saskatchewan’s 2000 Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies Act as examples of provincial policies that support Aboriginal institutions through funding and certificate-granting authority (Aboriginal Institutes' Consortium, 2005, August). A closer look at 55  BC’s Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework, however, reveals that outside of creating two Aboriginal public institutions and encouraging partnerships between public and Aboriginal institutions, the policy offers nothing to Aboriginal controlled institutions. As in Ontario, BC’s Aboriginal institutions continue to be challenged by funding and accreditation issues. In BC, the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) (2008, May) advocates a different approach to supporting Aboriginal PSIs. In 1995, BC created policy that designated two Aboriginal institutions, the IIG10 and NVIT, as public post-secondary institutes with credential-granting authority. Other Aboriginal PSIs contribute significantly to the education of Aboriginal people, but remain outside of the provincial policy environment and suffer from inadequate funding and a lack of recognition in the post-secondary system. FNESC recommends that provincial policy recognize and fund Aboriginal PSE as an integral part of a more integrated post-secondary system. FNESC points out that their policy recommendations are consistent with and supportive of existing provincial policies, including the 1995 Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework, the 2005 New Relationship, the 2006 Métis Relationship Accord, and the 2007 Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Strategy and Action Plan, and briefly describes these policies. However, an analysis of these policies is outside the scope of FNESC’s paper. Most recently, Cowin (2011) provides a thorough overview of developments in Aboriginal PSE in both public and Aboriginal-controlled institutions in British Columbia. Cowin also describes BC provincial policy developments from the 1990 Green Report to the 2007 Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Strategy. However, this report is intended as an  10  IIG closed in 2007. 56  introduction to Aboriginal PSE for a lay audience, and is intentionally descriptive rather than analytical. While the works discussed above focus specifically on Aboriginal PSE, some scholars writing more generally about BC post-secondary policy are recognizing Aboriginal people as part of the post-secondary population and therefore include the impact of policy on Aboriginal peoples as part of their analysis. For example, in their examination of the Campus 2020 report, Metcalfe et al. (2007) critique the report’s recommendations on Aboriginal PSE that focus on “evidence and accountability to rationalize expenditures” (p. 2) and miss many opportunities to address the educational disadvantages experienced by Aboriginal people. The authors also raise concerns that the creation of regional teaching universities will further consolidate geographic disparities inherent in BC’s post-secondary system, privileging those in the lower mainland with easier access to research universities. This concern is further explored by Metcalfe (2009), who finds that Campus 2020’s recreation of three university-colleges, a college, and an institute as universities does little to address the spatial hierarchy of BC’s post-secondary system given that these new universities are concentrated in the southwest corner of the province. Metcalfe expresses concern that this will continue the geographic disadvantage experience by many Aboriginal peoples who live in northern BC. According to Metcalfe, “72.6% of the Aboriginal population live in the Northern regions, an area that is not well served by postsecondary education” (p. 209). While it is true that the restructuring of BC’s post-secondary system continues to disadvantage those who live in the northern, rural or remote areas, Metcalfe’s concern is over stated given that 60% of BC’s Aboriginal population lives in urban centres, and over 50% live in the southwestern corner of the province (Norton & BC Stats, 2008; Stock, 2009). 57  2.7  Summary The literature surveyed reveals that there is a small but growing body of work on  Aboriginal post-secondary education in Canada that addresses the educational achievement of Aboriginal people, barriers to Aboriginal post-secondary participation, the development of Aboriginal controlled institutions, Aboriginal programs and services in public PSIs, and the experiences of Aboriginal post-secondary. While these works provide important contextual background for understanding Aboriginal post-secondary issues and have implications for policy, they do not specifically examine Aboriginal post-secondary policy. In the much smaller body of literature that specifically addresses Aboriginal postsecondary education policy, it is apparent that the limited federal role in funding post-secondary education costs for Indians and Inuit students, and providing some limited funding to support programs and services for Indian and Inuit students has captured the interest of most writers. Only recently has attention been paid to provincial policies that address Aboriginal postsecondary education. A few scholars have explored the impact of BC provincial post-secondary policy on Aboriginal learners. Graham, Dittburner and Abele (1996) and Abele, Dittburner and Graham (2000) do address the development of Aboriginal post-secondary education in British Columbia, but they discuss policy developments between 1967 and 1991, when Aboriginal post-secondary policy in BC was just emerging. Both FNESC (2008) and Cowin (2011) discuss Aboriginal post-secondary education policy in BC. However, an analysis of these policies is beyond the scope of their work. FNESC draws upon provincial post-secondary policy in order to build support for Aboriginal controlled institutions, while Cowin’s piece is purposefully descriptive. This dissertation addresses the limited scholarship on Aboriginal post-secondary 58  education policy in British Columbia by undertaking a close examination of the context, development and implementation of Aboriginal specific post-secondary policy in British Columbia between 1986 and 2011.  59  Chapter 3: Conceptual Methodological Framework To set the conceptual and methodological framework for the dissertation, this chapter begins with a discussion of policy and critical policy analysis. This is followed by a description of the research strategy, including approaches to research design, data collection, and analysis. 3.1  Policy and Critical Policy Analysis As Ozga (2000) notes, definitions of policy offered by different scholars reflect the  writers’ perspectives. Rice, for example, sees social policy as “endeavours to affect the nature of the quality of life of Canadians. It creates conditions that are intended to increase the welfare of Canadians, insure just treatment of individuals, provide resources to those who, due to an inability to earn income, are unable to meet their own needs, and reduce or, if possible, eliminate social inequalities through redistribution”(cited in Prince, 1996, p. 240). As Prince points out, such a description ignores that public policy is also used to exert control, to punish, and to maintain inequities. Dye’s definition of policy as “whatever governments choose to do, or not to do” (cited in Taylor, Rizvi, Lingard, & Henry, 1997, p. 22) is less biased, and points out the importance of both action and non-action. However, Dye’s focus on government’s role in policy making, obfuscates the complexity of the policy process that involves various levels of government, interest groups, and individuals with competing interests and values. Critical to a study of policy is the context in which it develops (Graham et al., 1996; Taylor, 1997; Taylor et al., 1997). Easton’s definition of policy as the “authoritative allocation of values” (cited in Taylor et al., 1997, p. 27; Gale, 2003, p. 51) captures the political and value-laden nature of policy. Policy documents are recognized as one facet of the complex and dynamic policy process. However, 60  policy is more than simply the policy text; it also involves processes prior to the articulation of the text and the processes which continue after the text has been produced, both in modifications to it as a statement of values and desired action, and in actual practice. Furthermore, contestation is involved right from the moment of the appearance of an issue on the policy agenda, through the initiation of action to the inevitable tradeoffs involved in formulation and implementation. (S. Taylor et al., 1997, pp. 28-29) Policy then, is about the text, the process and its consequences, all of which are influenced by context and contestation. Over time, researchers have approached the study of policy from different perspectives. Drawing upon work by Roger Dale, Ozga (2000) identified three different approaches, or policy “projects,” based on the intention of the policy research. The “social administration project” refers to early work, emerging in the post-war era with the development of both the welfare state and the field of sociology, which sought to provide empirical data to guide government decision makers with information with which to reform policy in the interests of the client, not government. Since the 1960s, the “policy analysis project” has overtaken the field of policy studies. Here researchers are concerned with making policy more effective and efficient. It is focused more on solving policy problems than understanding policy. Within the policy analysis project, there is a continuum of research ranging from “the academic analysis of policy,” which is less engaged in practice, to the “analysis for policy,” which can be advocacy-oriented. The policy analysis project has been criticized for both its concern for clients and its lack of theoretical grounding. A third approach, the “social science project,” is primarily aimed at understanding policy, is more theoretically oriented, and is less driven by a concern for clients. It is the approached preferred by Ozga (2000). This thesis, however, aligns itself within critical policy analysis as articulated by Taylor, Rizvi, Lingard, and Henry (1997). By combining critical theory with policy analysis, critical 61  policy analysis, like the “social science project,” concerns itself with understanding how things work. It no longer needs to draw on the same frame of reference used by the policy maker, and draws on critical theory for insight into a problem. By remaining within the policy analysis framework, however, that understanding can be used politically and strategically. Critical policy analysis: cannot afford to ignore the technical issues of planning, but it must also be political and strategic. It can help expose the ways in which agendas are set and framed in favour of dominant interests, and it can identify and overcome obstacles to a democratic planning process. It can reveal the ways in which information provided for consultation might be distorted or false or misleading…. It can contribute to an understanding of a policy already in place or help create pressures towards a new policy agenda. In this way, critical policy analysis can be both reactive and proactive. (Taylor et al., 1997, p. 20) Furthermore, critical policy analysis is “a value laden activity which explicitly or implicitly makes judgements as to whether and in what ways policies help to make things better” (cited in Taylor et al., 1997, p. 37). It draws upon critical theory, a concept that is difficult to define because there are multiple critical traditions in diverse fields that continue to evolve in the light of new theoretical insights, problems, and contexts. Furthermore, critical scholars resist reducing critical theory to a universal homogenizing strategy (Brookfield, 2005; Darder, Baltodano, & Torres, 2003; Kincheloe & McLaren, 2005). Critical theory is linked to the intellectual legacy of some of the neo-Marxist German male scholars (e.g. Max Horkheimer, Eric Fromm, Herbert Marcuse, Theodor Adorno, and later Jurgen Habermas) associated with the Institute of Social Research (the Frankfurt School), which was originally established in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1923. With the rise of Nazism, the Institute relocated to Geneva (1933), then New York (1934) and Los Angeles (1941) before returning to Frankfurt in 1953. While never developing a unified universal theory, these scholars developed 62  an approach to theoretical work in order to understand, critique, and transform capitalism and its conditions of oppression and domination in the interest of developing a more just, free, humane, and democratic social world (Bohman, 2005; Brookfield, 2005; Giroux, 2003). Over the years, numerous scholars in a wide range of disciplines have built on this work. These ideas have been the subject of much debate. For example, critical theory has been taken to task for its explicitly political nature; for its focus on class at the expense of gender, sexuality, and racialization; for privileging reason over other forms of knowledge and experience; for its use of patriarchal pronouns and inaccessible theoretical language; for patronizing or uncritical understandings of emancipation, and for its narrow view of power (Darder et al., 2003; Kincheloe & McLaren, 2005; Leonardo, 2004). Indigenous critiques have added to this debate, noting that critical research has failed to understand American Indians as both citizens of the state and members of sovereign domestic nations; promoted democracy without recognizing its homogenizing force; promoted anthropocentric visions of emancipation that entrench land and resources as commodities for individual or collective consumption; highlighted the role of class, gender, and race rather than colonization in analysis of oppression; and ignored the “identity paradox” confronting American Indians – that is the tension that exists between creating more inclusive notions of Indian-ness and protecting Indian identity from encroachment, commoditization, and fraud (Brayboy, 2006; Grande, 2004). However, as bell hooks acknowledges in relation to her critique of Freire’s work, “critical interrogation is not the same as dismissal” (cited in Leonardo, 2004). Grande (2004) notes that “though they may arrive by different roads and aspire to different destinations, critical theorists and indigenous scholars are committed to defining schools and societies that are free from 63  oppression and subordination and stand for justice and emancipation”(p. 6). Drawn to its emancipatory potential, some Indigenous scholars have energized critical theory with Indigenous epistemologies and methodologies in order to resonate with Indigenous contexts and aspirations. For example, Maori scholar Graham Hingangaroa Smith, explains that Kaupapa Maori (Maoricentred) research is a ‘local’ theoretical positioning which is the modality through which the emancipatory goal of critical theory, in a specific historical, political and social context, is practiced. The ‘localizing’ of the aims of critical theory is partly an enactment of what critical theory actually ‘offered’ to oppressed, marginalized and silenced groups. The project of critical theory held out the possibility that, through emancipation, groups such as Maori would take greater control over their own lives and humanity. This necessarily implied that groups would take hold of the project of emancipation and attempt to make it a reality in their own terms (cited in L. T. Smith, 1999, p. 186). Kaupapa Maori research, Red Pedagogy, Tribal Critical Race Theory, Hawaiian pedagogy, intellectual sovereignty, and critical Indigenous philosophy are just a few examples of critical perspectives informed by synergistic relationships between Indigenous and critical scholarship in diverse Indigenous contexts (Brayboy, 2005; 2006; Denzin, 2005; Grande, 2000; G. H. Smith, 2000; L. T. Smith, 1999; Turner, 2006; Warrior, 1995). Turner (2006) calls for a “division of intellectual labour” (p. 119) among Indigenous scholars. Some will have the role of philosophers within Aboriginal communities or within the academy; others “need to critically engage European ideas, methodologies, and theories to show how they have marginalized, distorted, and ignored indigenous voices” (pp. 100-101). In rising to this second role, I propose to draw on aspects of critical theory as I undertake a critical policy analysis of the complex political, economic, and social context in which BC’s Aboriginal postsecondary education (PSE) policies evolved. This approach will address Schissel and Wotherspoon’s (2003) criticism about Aboriginal educational policy research being “more 64  descriptive than analytical” (p. 195). This approach also seems appropriate for a Métis researcher who has spent almost two decades working within BC’s PSE system to further the educational interests of Aboriginal students and their communities. 3.2  Research Strategy Because this research addresses a “how” question about a complex, contemporary social  phenomena (Aboriginal PSE policy), bounded by time (1986 – 2011) and geography (British Columbia) in which contextual conditions (political, social, and economic) are critical, a case study approach is used to guide the research design, data collection, and data analysis (Creswell, 2007; Yin, 2003). 3.2.1  Research Design This case study of Aboriginal PSE policy in BC will be explored through an embedded  case design, where the units of analysis are bound by time associated with different political parties governing BC. As stated above, the time period begins in 1986 and ends in 2011. Within this time frame, three different political parties governed British Columbia: the Social Credit (1986 - 1991), the New Democratic Party (1991 - 2001), and the Liberal Party under Premier Campbell (2001 - 2011). Because politics is one of the contexts to be explored in this study, and because different policy documents were developed during these different political eras, these different time periods provide logical embedded units of analysis for this study, as indicated in Table 4 below.  65  Table 4 Embedded Units of Analysis Year 1986 - 1991  Governing Party and Political Context Social Credit  1991 – 2001  New Democratic Party  Document(s) • Report of the Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners (1990)  • Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework (1995)  2001 – 2011  Liberal  • Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework Draft for Discussion (2003)  • Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Strategy and Action Plan (2007)  Embedded units of analysis help to organize the study, allow for deeper exploration of units within the case, and hopefully provide greater insight on the influence of contextual issues particularly the political context - on the development of Aboriginal PSE policy over time. A return to the case as a whole after exploring the subunits will allow for cross-unit conclusions and analysis and will also ensure that the analysis remains focused on the broader case (Yin, 2003). 3.2.2  Data Collection  One of the strengths of case study research is the use of multiple data sources (Creswell, 2007; Yin, 2003). This study will draw upon a wide range of documents and interviews. Moreover, analysis of texts is an important approach to policy studies. Graham, Dittburner, and Abele (1996) compare document-based policy analysis to geological research: The dated documents provide the sedimentary layers in which can be found the fossil record of concepts and terminology, as they have evolved over time. As with the fossil record, it is important to avoid generalizing from single instances and to remember that diversity and surprise, fault lines and conglomerate rock are as frequent as the neat layers of sandstone and shale in which perfect records are found. (p. 37) To explore the fossilized record of BC’s Aboriginal post-secondary policy, the following sources were drawn upon: 66  • Scholarly literature, including literature on critical theory, social policy, education and Aboriginal issues; • Statistical data, used to contextualize the demography of Aboriginal people, particularly in relation to PSE; • Government policy and administrative sources including policy documents (as identified above), annual reports and other reports, meeting minutes, agendas, and so forth; and • Archival sources such as organizational reports, meeting minutes, and so forth. These documents are important sources for that geological research information because they are accessible, and allow for analysis about • The source of the policy: whose interests it serves, its relationship to global, national and local imperatives; • The scope of the policy: what it is assumed it is able to do, how it frames the issue, the policy relationships embedded in it; and • The pattern of the policy: what it builds on or alters in terms of relationships, what organizational and institutional changes or developments it requires. (Ozga, 2000, p. 95)  A focus on policy documents is not an attempt to privilege text over the oral tradition. Oracy plays an important role in the Aboriginal public policy debates (and in court decisions) and shapes policy as text. However, because of its ephemeral nature, oral testimony is not easily accessible to policy researchers (Graham et al., 1996). In order to draw upon oral sources, this study includes research interviews with key participants in the policy process. Drawing from these multiple sources of data, policy texts, other documents, and interviews, allows for triangulation or, as Yin (2003) says, “converging lines of inquiry” (p. 98) in which conclusions can be checked against different sources. This approach also addresses concerns about educational policy research being more “commentary and critique rather than empirical research” (Taylor et al., 1997, p. 40). 67  Morse’s (1994) definition of a “good informant” as one who “has the knowledge and experience the researcher requires, has the ability to reflect, is articulate, has the time to be interviewed, and is willing to participate in the study” (cited in Palys, 1997, p. 137) was helpful in selecting possible research participants, as was the assistance of the research supervisor. Twenty individuals who were actively engaged with different aspects of the Aboriginal postsecondary policy process were identified and invited by letter to participate in interviews. Nineteen people accepted the invitation. Eight of the participants are former or current members of BC’s ministries responsible for post-secondary education, three of whom were senior officials (Ministers or Deputy Ministers); three of the participants were or are senior staff from Aboriginal PSE institutions; two participants were or are from Aboriginal political organizations (one First Nations and one Métis); two participants were or are Aboriginal coordinators at public PSIs; one participant was a senior official from the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs; one participant was or is a representative from an Aboriginal PSE organization; another participant is or was from a non-Aboriginal postsecondary organization; and one participant is or was an academic working in Aboriginal education. Of these 19 participants, 11 are Aboriginal and eight are non-Aboriginal. Eleven participants are or were male,11 and eight are female. It is important to note that the roles of these individuals are complex, overlapping and changing. For example, a participant could have worked as an Aboriginal coordinator, and then worked for government before taking on a role with an Aboriginal post-secondary institution. For the purposes of this work, participants have been associated with their primary roles in relation to the Aboriginal post-secondary policy process.  11  One participant has since passed away. 68  Research participants determined where and when the interviews took place. All interviews were scheduled between October 15, 2006, and January 26, 2007, and held in a wide variety of settings including: participant’s work places (seven), by phone (six), in restaurants (two), at my workplace (two), and in participant’s homes (two). Participants were generous with their time. While the length of interviews varied, the average length was 59 minutes. The shortest interview was 33 minutes, and one participant was interviewed twice for a total of 115 minutes. According to Yin (2003), interviews help to corroborate other evidence, provide new insight, and add to the energy of the work through incorporating multiple voices of those involved in policy-making. Such interviews are important to policy analysis as real stories about what happened in the policy-making process, as discourse about policy, and as indicative of interest representation. “There is a need for gathering of such data from educational workers who have lived through periods of transition, and whose experiences would provide a source for better understanding of the experience of change in education” (Ozga, 2000, p. 128). Mishler (1986) is critical of research approaches that portray interviews as verbal behavior requiring highly standardized questions and techniques to facilitate comparability across interviews. These approaches treat each answer in isolation and ignore the situational, social, and cultural contexts of the interview, which are necessary for interpreting meaning. Rather, Mishler sees interviews as discourse, or speech acts, between the interviewer and research participant through which the meaning of both questions and responses are contextually grounded and co-constructed. This understanding of interviews is now broadly shared (Fontana & Frey, 2005). To facilitate this jointly constructed discourse, a semi-structured interview process that 69  included open-ended questions was used (see Appendix A). While open-ended questions are time-intensive in terms of both the interviews and transcriptions, they allow the interviewee to voice a wide range of responses in her/his own words, can provide interesting and rich information, and give the interview participant greater control over the flow and content of the interview (Carspecken, 1996; Mishler, 1986; Palys, 1997). The interview protocol was sent to research participants prior to the interview. Some research participants embraced the structure of the protocol whole heartedly and quickly, question by question, shared their policy stories. Some shared their policy stories without reference to the questions at all. Still others waited for me to ask the questions in the protocol before responding. Understanding the meaning of questions and answers requires accurate transcriptions. This was facilitated by recorded interviews and repeated careful listening during the transcription process. To facilitate accuracy, validity, and the democratization of the researcher process, research participants were invited to review and edit their transcriptions (Carspecken, 1996; Mishler, 1986). Only seven of the research participants took advantage of this opportunity. Because of my professional experience and the relatively small circle of people involved in Aboriginal post-secondary policy, many of the research participants are colleagues and friends. I was mindful of these relationships and felt a deep obligation to ensure that I was respectful of research participants and the knowledge, experience and insights they shared through their stories. 3.2.3  Analysis In some ways, analysis of the data began long before my doctoral program. I began  working in Aboriginal PSE in 1989, and while I did not personally participate in the 70  consultations process, I remember being involved in discussions about UBC First Nations House of Learning’s (FNHL) submission to the Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners. Additionally, I participated in consultation on the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework (1995), the Aboriginal PostSecondary Education and Training Policy Framework Policy Draft for Discussion (2003), the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Strategy and Action Plan (2007), and Campus 2020 (2007). I was an active participant in Aboriginal forums hosted by the provincial government between 2004 and 2008. Over the years, I frequently attended the British Columbia First Nations Coordinators meetings, and in discussions with the Aboriginal coordinators, my colleagues at UBC, and others frequently discussed the relative merits of the policies with which we worked. I have been thinking about these policies for a long time. Having long experienced and reflected upon these policy changes, my engagement with this research reflects a deep commitment to understanding change and possibility in Aboriginal post-secondary policy. Analysis continued as I transcribed and reflected upon the interviews. NVivo 8, a qualitative data analysis program proved invaluable for storing, organizing, and initial coding of the interview data. NVivo also served as a database that kept interviews separate from the written report in order to increase reliability (Yin, 2003). Maintaining an accurate chain of evidence that references data sources and links conclusions to the evidence also increases reliability and constructs validity. Given the historic nature of the research, chronology is of great significance, and NVivo proved useful in creating codes that separated data into different phases of the policy process (context, formulation, and implementation) within the three different time periods and political eras (See Table 4 above). Initially, I used NVivo for coding emerging themes from the 71  interviews, but was overwhelmed by the number of categories that emerged. Instead, I began to work more directly with the document and interview texts. Documentary evidence was organized chronologically (Yin, 2003). Then, policy stories and documentary evidence were interwoven to produce a detailed description of the policy context, policy formulation, and policy implementation for each of the three time periods and political eras. Policy stories clearly enriched my work. The voices of research participants enlivened and enriched the dissertation, and provided support for or highlighted the significance of evidence articulated in various documents. Policy stories also provided evidence not found in documentary sources, particularly in relation to the context in which these policies developed and the contestation among those with competing interests. Through repeatedly working with the data, the following themes emerged across all three periods: sector intersection between the Ministries responsible for post-secondary education and Aboriginal affairs; privileging of First Nations; relationships between policy actors and policy structures, the importance of leadership and ownership; the selective implementation of recommendations and policy; and different understandings of accountability. These themes are further explored and theorized in the final chapter.  72  Chapter 4: The Report of the Provincial Advisory Committee on PostSecondary Education for Native Learners In 1989, at the height of national demonstrations protesting federal cutbacks in postsecondary funding for status Indian and Inuit students, the British Columbia provincial government announced the establishment of the Provincial Advisory Committee on PostSecondary Education for Native Learners. It was tasked with the responsibility of providing policy advice on Aboriginal post-secondary education (PSE). The following year, the Report of the Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners (also known as the Green Report) was submitted to the BC provincial government. This report provided the first comprehensive look at the PSE and training needs of Aboriginal people in British Columbia, and set the ground work for two decades of provincial policy and institutional change. This chapter takes a close look at the Green Report, beginning with a discussion of the context in which the report developed. This is followed by a discussion of the policy process formulation, and implementation. The chapter closes with a discussion of themes that emerged as a result of the research. 4.1 4.1.1  The Context The Province’s Relationship with Aboriginal People Throughout the latter half of the 1970s and all of the 1980s, British Columbia was  governed by the Social Credit Party (Socreds), a centre-right populist party with strong commitments to free enterprise (Blake, 1996). Under the leadership of Bill Bennett, Premier from 1975 to 1986, the Social Credit government continued BC’s longstanding tradition of 73  denying the existence of Aboriginal rights that began in early colonial times (McKee, 2009; Tennant, 1990; 1996). Prior to contact, the Aboriginal population in what is now British Columbia was large and culturally diverse. With a population of over 100,000 Aboriginal people, it was the most densely populated region in Canada. Aboriginal peoples were organized politically into culturally and linguistically distinct, self-governing and self-sufficient sovereign nations (British Columbia Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, 1992). In early colonial times, the British Empire recognized that Aboriginal people had an interest in the land, and that the extension of British sovereignty alone did not extinguish that interest. The Royal Proclamation of 1763, which led to the establishment of treaties in other parts of Canada, stipulated that Indian lands could only be purchased by the Crown at a public gathering of the Indians involved. Despite the establishment of reserves, only 14 small treaties, known as the Douglas Treaties, were signed between 1850 and 1854 on the colony of Vancouver Island. No further treaties were negotiated after the mainland was established as the Colony of British Columbia in 1858, nor after the colonies united in 1866. The establishment of the Colony of British Columbia signaled a new era of governmentAboriginal relations. Indians were barred from preempting lands, and reserves were reduced to 10 acres per family. The Douglas Treaties on Vancouver Island were reframed as mere “friendship agreements” and Indian people were reframed as nomadic savages, too primitive to have land rights. Thus the doctrine of terra nullius12 was implemented: Aboriginal rights never existed, so there was no need to extinguish rights through treaties (McKee, 2009; Tennant, 1990;  12  The idea here is that because there was no significant human occupation, there were no Aboriginal rights to the land, so the Crown title to the land was unencumbered by Aboriginal title. According to Tennant, Australia and British Columbia are the only significant cases in which Aboriginal title was denied in this way. 74  1996). This was BC’s position when it joined Canada in 1871, and continued to be its position. The Terms of Union that gave BC jurisdiction over provincial land, made no mention of Aboriginal rights or treaties. Furthermore, it ensured that British Columbia’s practice of allocating small tracts of reserve land continued. Under the 1867 Constitution Act, Indians and reserve lands became the responsibility of the federal government. BC did not participate in negotiations during the late19th and early 20th century when the Beaver, Slave and Sekani peoples in the north-eastern corner of the province signed adhesions to Treaty Eight (McKee, 2009; Tennant, 1990; 1996). Beginning in the 1970s, a series of judicial decisions helped to create a climate for change. In the Calder v. British Columbia (1973) case, the Nisga’a argued that they had Aboriginal title to their lands in the Nass Valley before the assertion of British title, and that title had never been extinguished. While the 1973 Supreme Court decision dismissed the case on a technicality, six Supreme Court justices found that the Nisga’a held title prior to colonization. Only three justices, however, held that title continued to exist after British sovereignty was asserted. Following the Calder case, the federal government entered into treaty making with the Nisga’a; the BC government only participated as observers in this process (McKee, 2009; Tennant, 1990; 1996). The 1984 Guerin v. The Queen decision established Aboriginal title as a legal right based on historic occupation. Shortly thereafter, the BC Court of Appeals granted an appeal sought by the Nuu-chah-nulth13 to halt logging on Meares Island. Subsequently, other Aboriginal groups  13  For a map of First Nations traditional territories and names in British Columbia go to http://www.BCed.gov.BC.ca/abed/map.htm 75  were also successful in getting injunctions to halt resource development. In addition, blockades were erected with increasing frequency during the 1980s and early 1990s. These blockades effectively disrupted resource-based industries and transportation networks, and resulted in new alliances between Aboriginal and environmental groups. The Nuu-chah-nulth, Haida, and Nlaka'pamux peoples were successful in permanently halting resource extraction when Meares Island, Lyle Island and the Stein Valley became parks (Shearer, 1993). By the end of the 20th century, British Columbians began to understand that Aboriginal rights and title had economic significance (McKee, 2009; Tennant, 1990; 1996). 4.1.2  The Economy Despite its increasing growth and complexity, in the 1980s BC’s economy was largely  based on resource extraction. Such resource dependence made BC vulnerable to fluctuations in the international market, creating cycles of “boom and bust.” An economic downturn in the early 1980s was short lived, and between 1984 and 1990, British Columbia’s economy had the strongest growth in Canada. However, over a century of poor management of the fisheries and forestry resulted in serious depletion of salmon stocks and unsustainable forestry practices, creating more economic tension. The growing importance of tourism, which capitalized upon a “Beautiful British Columbia,” as well as growing emphasis on environmental issues, also exacerbated the pressure on BC’s resource sector (Barman, 1991; Shearer, 1993; White, Michalowski, & Cross, 2006). The increasing legal recognition of Aboriginal rights and title, in combination with the road blockades, contributed to greater uncertainty in the business environment. In 1989, BC’s First Nations met with large resource companies twice to discuss land claims. Many of the industry representatives were convinced of the need to negotiate land claims in order to ensure 76  access to resources, and began pressuring government to enter into negotiations. At the same time public understanding and support of land claims grew, and church and labour groups joined resource companies in pressing government to enter into negotiations (McKee, 2009; Tennant, 1990; 1996). In 1986, William Vander Zalm became leader of the Social Credit party and Premier of British Columbia. Under the leadership of Vander Zalm, and with the departure of a number of politicians with strong anti-Aboriginal perspectives, space opened for a different approach to Aboriginal issues. In 1987, a Native Affairs Secretariat was established, subsequently becoming the Ministry of Native Affairs in 1988. The Premier’s Council on Native Affairs, a nine-member group with representation from BC, First Nations, and the private sector, was established in 1989. After engaging in land claims discussions with First Nations groups throughout the province, the Premier’s Council recommended that BC enter into treaty negotiations. In December 1990, the British Columbia Claims Task Force was established with the responsibility to define the scope and organization of treaty negotiations (McKee, 2009; Tennant, 1990; 1996). In discussing this new political context, one participant stated Well you had a very right wing, small “c” conservative provincial government that for the most part among the MLAs in the cabinet were very conservative on First Nations issues, but the Premier himself… had a very open mind about First Nations issues, and he was prepared to do a bunch of things differently than the previous administration had been. But Vander Zalm was quite open minded, and there were a couple of key cabinet ministers, Stephen Rogers, [and] later Jack Weisgerber, folks like that who agreed that it was time for the province to buck up and take some responsibility for some of this stuff. So the political climate had changed dramatically in [19]87 from the previous decade. … Politically, suddenly there was a signal from the Premier. He created this Native Affairs Secretariat…. He put a minister in charge, Stephen Rogers, who was open minded. And they were given some clout in terms of instructions, verbally or written or both, to other Ministries to start working with Native Affairs to try and develop an agenda for government and implement it on this topic. There was quite a changed environment in that sense, in that there was a willing Premier, some new Deputies, and new Ministers and MLAs, a core of them anyway. And although there was still a pretty conservative caucus and cabinet, the Premier was willing to take a chance on some of these issues in a 77  way that probably hadn’t been seen before. (RR 16, para. 35)  In a more moderate political climate, bureaucrats were also more open to change: Some of the bureaucratic people had changed or they were in the process of moving them along. Like … one of the key constitutional deputies was very fundamentally opposed to any service provision or any change in provincial approach to First Nations people. He came from obviously a very small “c” conservative background. … I don’t think that most of the Deputies needed a lot of encouragement once the… [these types of] folks were gone. People like Phil Halk, who I think then was in finance, and other folks like that were quite open minded about looking at some changed policy approaches and funding them. (RR 16, para. 35, 39)  Despite this change, many people in government felt reluctance, and even fear, to get involved with land claims. Addressing Aboriginal social issues was more palatable: When we started dealing with Cabinet and the Deputies’ committees on Aboriginal issues, of course the overarching one was land claims, but politically there was still at that point, particularly from 1987 to about 1991, 1990 anyway, there was still a lot of concern on the provincial government’s political folks’ part about getting into land claims, so they wanted to focus on the idea that they could make a change on the educational status, economic status, and social status of First Nations people. Because they could kind of get their minds around that. The claims thing was fairly abstract and politically, they felt, dangerous for them. Whereas getting people jobs, a better education, better health care and better water, those sorts of things, kind of appealed to them. So I think it was a natural tendency of the bureaucracy then to focus on where can we make some changes and get involved that isn’t strictly speaking on-reserve and has some potential for change. And I think that’s one of the background reasons that people started paying attention to post-secondary issues. (RR 16, para. 31)  Because the provincial government had a longstanding tradition of refusing to deal with Aboriginal issues, there was no shortage of issues to confront: There was no radar screen at all that had any Aboriginal issues on it. Period. So you had this incredible pent-up demand in health and education, post-secondary education, on the employment side, on most of the social service sides, child welfare and adoption, and all those issues, where there was a list of outstanding issues, in some case grievances, in others just a desire for change and reform. But there had never been anywhere to go to with them, because there was no forum internally within government and no advocates to deal with the issues. So typically when people from First Nations communities went to the provincial government, what they were told, no matter what the issue was, was that’s 78  the federal government’s problem. Go talk to the federal government. (RR 16, para. 29)  And while there were a number of Aboriginal issues that needed addressing, there was little capacity in government to address them. The Ministry of Native Affairs had an important role to play in developing capacity within other Ministries (Malloy, 2001). As one participant remembered, That’s why they hired people for the Native Affairs Secretariat. There was virtually no Aboriginal content within the other departments. Education had a tiny bit more than some of the other line departments, but most of them, at the very most, had somebody who dealt with these kinds of issues off the corner of their desk. There weren’t a lot of staff people from the First Nations community in post-secondary education or the Ministry of Education…. Part of the initial exercise was to get them [Ministry staff] to recognize the issues, build capacity to deal with them, and start dealing with the policy issues themselves rather than us trying to be the experts in forestry and education and health and all that from within Aboriginal Affairs. (RR 16, para. 13)  This lack of capacity was not limited to the government in power. While a number of Opposition members were familiar with Aboriginal issues, many others lacked capacity in this area. One New Democratic Party (NDP) MLA spoke about his ignorance about Aboriginal issues. While he was “interested in an abstract way in Native justice issues” his contact with Aboriginal people was limited to his mother’s maid and participating in the “Moccasin Miles fundraising walk in 1969 and ‘70” (RR 07, para. 27). He credited NDP leader Michael Harcourt for increasing his understanding of Aboriginal issues: Harcourt as opposition leader was really, so far as I know, he was the first major politician in Canada to promote treaty resolution. And while we were in opposition, I can really remember this as a sort of an epiphany. (RR07, para. 27) 4.1.3  Post-Secondary Education In 1986, “Aboriginal post-secondary education wasn’t even on the radar screen because it  was a federal government responsibility” (RR 19, para. 31). However, that was soon to change. 79  A number of Aboriginal educational issues were being raised with the Ministry of Native Affairs in their discussions with First Nations: One was the Master Tuition Agreement, more oriented to K to 12. The second one was the lack of resources for curriculum and language instruction and traditional knowledge at all levels, from K through university. A third one was a lack of First Nations teachers. And a fourth was governance, the fact that in the elementary, high school, public schools and post-secondary, both, that there was no real involvement of First Nations in the nonreserve school governance arrangements. These were raised in meetings with First Nations leaders, some of whom were predominately involved in education, some of whom were political leaders who would raise the issue as a side along with other discussions. …The Ministry [of Native Affairs] was pushed to raise these issues with our colleagues in other departments. (RR 16, para. 9)  Aboriginal educational issues were being raised in other venues as well. In 1987 the province initiated a Royal Commission on Education to study the K-12 system. “Few educational matters engaged the Commission’s attention as much as … consideration of what is required to provide a sound education for First Nations children” (British Columbia Royal Commission on Education, 1988, p. 57). The Commission made four recommendations specific to Aboriginal education: that bands and tribal councils be given the authority and resources for educational self-determination or shared responsibility; that public schools and Aboriginal people develop formal processes to improve Aboriginal education; that schools and Aboriginal communities work together to address a wide range of educational issues; and that bands, tribal councils, schools, and government work together to address a number of issues outside of the K12 system. While the Royal Commission concentrated on issues in the K-12 system, a focus on Aboriginal PSE was not far away. Federal cutbacks to Aboriginal private post-secondary institutes were threatening the continued existence of the Native Education Centre (NEC) and the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT). Gordon Antoine, Chief of the Coldwater Indian Band, and founder of 80  NVIT, sought out support from the Ministry. A senior government official remembered the deep impact this meeting had on him: What affected me profoundly was one day, and I’m guessing at the year, but I would say it would be 1987 or 1988. I think it was 1987. I got a request for a meeting from a person named Chief Gordon Antoine. He wanted to meet with me because the feds were cutting off the funding to the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and to another facility, the Native Education Centre…. He just came in and he laid out the problem very succinctly. And I had never heard of the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology or the Native Education Centre. But he made his case pretty plain and he said we are going to have to close if we don’t get some money from the province… I really was captured by Gordon. I was captured by his love of education. Now I didn’t give him an answer that day because I wanted my staff to do some work and I wanted to visit both places, which I did…. I then went to the Premier, it was Premier Vander Zalm. I said I just think we should fund this. I said we either fund it now or we’ll fund a different problem ten, twenty years down the road, and Vander Zalm accepted that. He bought into it. So Gordon of course was thrilled, but more importantly, a few months later, by this time we were establishing a real relationship. (RR 10, para. 6-11) This was the beginning of a relationship that would last until 2004 when Chief Antoine passed away. The combined circumstances of federal cutbacks and this meeting with Gordon Antoine laid the foundation for further developments, including the Green Report. You got to thank the feds for cutting the funding. If they hadn’t cut the funding off, I probably wouldn’t have met him [Chief Gordon Antoine]. This [the Green Report] may not have happened. We would have just kept on drifting. (RR 10, para. 137)  A few months later, Chief Antoine again approached the Ministry. This time he sought help in communicating with a college in his area: He came to me and he said … “I’m really frustrated.... I’m trying to do some joint programming with [a college in the interior of British Columbia]. I can’t even get a phone call back....” I said, “I think I can fix that.... how would you like to be on the  81  board of [that college]?”14 And he looked at me and he said, “You’re kidding.” I said, “No. Would you like to do that? I appreciate your love of education, what you’re bringing to the table, what you’re trying to do for First Nations.” That’s why I said it. One of the recommendations [in the Green Report] is to have a First Nations person on every board. By the time the recommendation came in, we already had that [First Nations representation on institutional governing boards]. (RR 10, para. 13) As a result of Chief Antoine’s relationship with this key government official, the Ministry began implementing small changes that affected specific Aboriginal and public PSIs. After the Green Report, these changes would be implemented system-wide. The economic woes in the early 1980s, combined with the capping of federal transfer payments to the provinces, resulted in cut-backs to the post-secondary system. There was an increasing public concern over all government spending, and public support for PSE had waned. This resulted in cut-backs in programs and services, an increased focus on accountability and efficiency, and a focus on workforce training that would meet the economic needs of the province. When the economy began to recover in the latter half of that decade, the province started to think about expanding access to PSE (Gaber, 2003; Schütze & Day, 2001). To that end, the Ministry established eight regional committees as well as an “umbrella” Provincial Access Committee charged with the responsibility to make recommendations that would enhance accessibility to PSE and job-training. Their report, Access to Advanced Education and Job Training in British Columbia, was tabled in September of 1988. The report was well received, and early in 1989, government released the Access for All initiative that guided the expansion of and access to British Columbia’s post-secondary system for over a decade. One of the Provincial Access Committee’s priorities was addressing the access needs of  14  Following the Colleges and Institute Amendment Act of 1983, government appointed all members of College Boards. 82  underrepresented groups,15 including Native Indian peoples (Gaber, 2003; Schütze & Day, 2001). Recognizing the complexity of issues related to Aboriginal PSE, the Provincial Access Committee refrained from making specific policy recommendations to address Aboriginal underrepresentation in PSE and training. Rather they “strongly” urged that the provincial government take immediate steps, in consultation with Native Indian groups, universities and colleges, to develop and implement a detailed strategy to address the diverse advanced education and job training needs of Native Indians. (British Columbia Provincial Access Committee & British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education and Job Training, 1988, p. 20) Government quickly responded to this recommendation. Government’s willingness to address the Access Committee’s recommendations was motivated in part by a concern about inclusiveness, and also by a growing understanding that a better educated Aboriginal population would benefit the BC economy through Aboriginal labour force participation. As a senior government official explained, at first support for Aboriginal PSE initiatives was mainly about offering opportunities to Aboriginals for education in the postsecondary system to make sure that they were included. It wasn’t until after a while that I made the connection between that and the economic part of it. (RR19, para. 43) Concern about BC’s declining working-age population was creating space for populations underrepresented in the work force. By 1986, British Columbia’s Aboriginal population had increased to 132,500 people (Remillard, S., Canada. Dept. of the Secretary of State, Native Citizens Directorate, Social Trends Analysis Directorate, & Statistics Canada, Demography Division, 1992) and Aboriginal people were beginning to be seen as important in filling labour  15  Other underrepresented groups addressed in the report were people with disabilities, people from remote communities, and prisoners. 83  force needs. This was made clear in the Ministry’s 1989/90 Annual Report: Because of changes in the population’s age structure, fewer young people will enter the BC labour force during the next several years. Opportunities will increase for groups that are now underrepresented in the workplace: native people, persons with disabilities, older workers and new immigrants. This increase will strengthen the demand for programs to help these people enter the labour force. (British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education and Job Training, 1990, p. 9)  4.2  The Policy Process On Monday, March 20, 1989, Advanced Education and Job Training Minister Stan  Hagen and Native Affairs Minister Jack Weisgerber jointly announced the establishment of the Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners (the Committee) co-chaired by Chief Gordon Antoine and Dr. Peter Jones, then President of Fraser Valley College. Another sixteen members were appointed to the Committee. This “stellar group of individuals” (RR 06, para.135) included key First Nations political and educational leaders from throughout BC, an Elder and student, as well as representation from the Ministry of Native Affairs and the Open Learning Agency. Twelve of the Committee members were from BC First Nations and six were non-Aboriginal. Aboriginal and public PSIs had five representatives each on the Committee. Status Indian groups (band and tribal councils) were well represented with five committee members. However, despite the fact that 41.4% of the 60,000 status Indians lived off-reserve and that there were approximately 72,500 non-status Indians, Métis, and Inuit people living in BC (British Columbia Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, 1992), only one person, Rosalee Tizya of the United Native Nations (UNN), represented their interests. A representative from the Ministry of Native Affairs also sat on the Committee. A number of bureaucrats from the Ministries of Advanced Education, Training and Technology and Education and Indian and 84  Northern Affairs served as advisors and resource people to the Committee. (For a list of committee members and their affiliations, see Appendix B.) The announcement of the Committee was met with some skepticism. National concern about inadequate funding for Aboriginal PSE came to head in the 1989-90 academic year. Across the country there were student protests and a hunger strike following the capping of funding for PSE by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs (Graham et al., 1996; Lanceley, 1991). Bev Scow, a Kwakwa'ka'wakw student studying political sciences at UBC, and head of the Intercampus Native Student Network, had been involved with organizing protests over the federal capping of post-secondary funds. She questioned the timing of the announcement, and was concerned that “the provincial government is undermining the jurisdiction between native people and the federal government” (cited in Glavin, 1989). Committee co-chair Chief Antoine acknowledged these concerns, but stated that he would “do just about anything to increase enrolment, to ensure that native people, the native population, is more fairly represented [in PSE]” (cited in Glavin, 1989). Prior to the establishment of the Committee, an informal “coalition of First Nations postsecondary institutes” (RR06, para. 33) including representatives from En’owkin Centre, NVIT, NEC and the Native Indian Teacher Education Program of the University of British Columbia, was emerging, and meeting together to discuss post-secondary issues. A number of these people were appointed to the Committee, “so that by the time we actually formed this Committee, you know a number of us [of the Aboriginal post-secondary educators on the Committee] knew each other in our work situations” (RR 06, para. 33). Unlike government officials who had little policy capacity in Aboriginal PSE, these representatives of Aboriginal institutions and programs, came to the table rich in knowledge and 85  experience. One group member stated that when we came together [as a committee] we …said, we all have a lot of experience in the area, and we, in a sense, know what the issues are, and we had actually been talking about how we might improve things. (RR06, para. 37)  The group quickly set about their work. Sub-committees were established to address programming, support services, and governance. A consultation paper, drawing on the work of the sub-committees, a submission by committee member Edward John, and submissions to the Sullivan and Access Commissions, as well as a number of relevant studies and reports, was drafted. The final consultation paper, “Obstacles to Access,” identifies geographic, financial, cultural/social, program, and governance challenges to Aboriginal education (Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners, 1989). 4.2.1  Consultation This paper, along with an invitation to participate in regional consultation meetings was  sent out broadly to Aboriginal organizations, student groups, and PSIs. Committee members, with the assistance of bands, tribal councils, and friendship centres, organized meetings in their own regions, while consultations in other areas of the province were organized with the assistance of local Aboriginal groups. In all, 14 regional consultations were held, 85 written submissions were received, and 130 oral presentations were heard during November and December of 1989 (Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners, 1990). The policy development process itself heightened awareness of post-secondary issues among Aboriginal educators. One participant stated that “while it was in the process of being developed, it also created a lot of awareness in the community of Aboriginal educators that were consulted. I think it helped to create a developing awareness of the situation” (RR 1, para. 45). 86  This increased awareness was not limited to Aboriginal educators; those within government and PSIs also benefited from an increased awareness. In the words of a senior government official, I know that the result of the work as it was taking place was to engage a lot of public servants and a lot of folks within the post-secondary institutions in looking again or relooking or, in many cases, looking for the first time at what the issues were, and what some of the potential solutions were. So even if it had only acted to increase their awareness and get them thinking and get them off their duffs, I think that would have been enough. (RR16, para. 65) The Committee also maintained close relationships with the Premier’s Council on Native Affairs, which was then travelling around the BC meeting with various bands and tribal groups. The Premier’s Council on Native Affairs liaised with the Committee through its joint members, Eric Denhoff and Chief Robert Louie, as well as by sharing minutes and consultation schedules. In addition, on July 14, 1989, Ed John and Jo-ann Archibald spoke to the Premier’s Council on Native Affairs about the objectives of the Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners (Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners, 1989, August 17). In writing the report, Committee members were able to build their recommendations on common themes that were widely applicable, some of which had been articulated in other reports over the years. In the words of one participant, The recommendations were quite extensive and … [drew] on common issues or common threads…. I mean support services were required no matter which type of post-secondary institute. If you look at any provincial or national report, there are some common recommendations that have been cited over the years, which indicate that they have never been fully addressed…. Take a look at having Native languages getting recognized. We can’t say it’s a new thing. It’s been talked about forever. And the same for having relevancy for the programs, the culture, [and] this area of providing bridging programs. Obviously if Aboriginal people aren’t graduating from high school with the kind of academic courses required to get into post-secondary, there is some skill-building that’s needed there. Those are, as I say, they’re common issues and also common recommendations that can be implemented in any setting, whether it be the Aboriginal post-secondary institute or a mainstream institute. (RR06, para. 47) 87  Despite much agreement, there were some points of tension. One participant jokingly remembered that “we fought and we argued about everything” (RR17, para. 60). Another said, “We certainly had great discussions because you can see the diverse group. We didn’t all agree, but somehow this sort of all came together” (RR 06, para. 51). The Committee also ensured that the report was widely distributed. Because there were no funds available to print the report, Chief Gordon Antoine took on responsibility for printing copies of what would become known as the Green Report: When it came time to do the report, there was no money to print the report. So what Gordon Antoine did was he used his own office and he ran off copies. He had all these old, left over covers that were all green. So he used that, and that’s how it became the Green Report. Gordon Antoine talked about it and he and I laughed forever and a day about that. That’s how it became the Green Report. It was just the colour, right. He had no money, nothing, so this is what he did. That’s how the report came together. (RR 17, para. 61) In March of 1990, a year before its scheduled completion, the Report of the Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners was presented to the Honourable Bruce Strachan, Minister of the newly named Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology, who vowed to implement “this first class work … in conjunction with the Premier's task force on native affairs and the Cabinet Committee on Native Affairs as quickly as possible” (British Columbia Legislative Assembly, 1990, May 7). 4.2.2  The Text In articulating its goal statement, the Committee drew from the 1988 Access for All’s goal  of increasing BC’s dismal post-secondary participation rates to the national average by 1995, and applied it to the Aboriginal context. The Committee’s ambitious goal statement reads,  88  That British Columbia, together with First Nations, recognize and act on the urgent need to increase the participation and completion rates of First Nations post-secondary learners to at least the national average by 1995, and that this process incorporate the unique cultural traditions of First Nations. (Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners, 1990, p. 5) Throughout the report the terms “First Nations” and “Native” are used inclusively to refer to Aboriginal, status, non-status, and treaty Indians, as well as Métis and Inuit people. A brief historical overview of Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal relations positions BC First Nations as self-governing Nations, who, upon colonization were subject to federal and provincial legislation and the assimilative forces of missionary, federal, and provincial schooling. While reference is made to the way that federally imposed definitions of “Indian” resulted in the creation of non-status Indians, no mention is made of the creation of other groups of Aboriginal people, such as Métis or Inuit peoples, or of Aboriginal people from other regions of Canada who have migrated to British Columbia. Furthermore, in describing the political organization of Aboriginal people in British Columbia, the focus is solely on BC bands, tribal councils, and linguistic groups. It is these groups that join the federal and provincial governments to make up the three political systems that the PSE system is “challenged to coalesce [the] efforts of” (Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners, 1990, p. 9). The Committee contextualizes the Green Report through a statement made by the National Indian Brotherhood (NIB) 16 asserting that changes to educational policies, administrative practices and programs that affect First Nations students “be consistent with First Nations self-government and be approved by First Nations” (Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners, 1990, p. 10).  16  The National Indian Brotherhood, a national organization representing status Indian and treaty groups, was established in 1968. In 1982 it became the Assembly of First Nations. 89  Key to the Green Report are four principles that not only guide the writing of the report, but also are offered as the foundation for implementing recommendations. The principles are 1) that First Nations have a right to self-determination in education and must be part of the decision-making process; 2) that because education is an inherent Aboriginal right, it is a federal responsibility that can only be devolved to the province with First Nations approval; 3) that higher education reflect a holistic approach and enhance First Nations languages and values;17 and 4) that Provincial responsibility to ensure First Nations access to holistic education requires cooperative planning between First Nations and post-secondary authorities. The twenty-one recommendations that follow are framed as “Challenges to the PostSecondary System” and include recommendations on governance, jurisdiction, cultural, program, financial, and geographic challenges. 4.2.2.1  Governance Challenges In this section of the Green Report, the exclusion of Aboriginal people from the  governance of PSE is said to be antithetical to democracy and the cause of “oppression, failed assimilation and frequently, racism” (Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners, 1990, p. 12). The report acknowledges that both status and nonstatus Indians attend provincial PSIs, but makes no mention of other Aboriginal groups. In addition, in this section, the report affirms the role of the federal government in funding status Indians’ PSE and urges the province to respect this federal role. In keeping with the principle of education as an inherent right of self-determination, the “Governance” recommendations address ways to strengthen self-determination. To this end, the  17  Here the report cites the Assembly of First Nations’ definition of education. 90  report recommends consultation with and support of First Nations in implementing recommendations; First Nations appointments representing both status and non-status interests (no reference is made to other Aboriginal groups), to institutional governing bodies; the establishment of First Nations Advisory Councils to advise governing bodies; and the creation and staffing of a senior Ministry position responsible Aboriginal education with a “Native” person. The Green Report further states that once these recommendations are implemented, the newly formed First Nations Congress (FNC) Education Secretariat18 should replace the Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners as government’s advisors. The FNC Education Secretariat was to be chaired by Nathan Matthew and include five representatives from bands and tribal councils and one representative from UNN (British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology, Colleges and Social and Aboriginal Programs, 1992, November). To ensure ongoing implementation, the report recommends a legislatively established provincial council with representation from PSIs, faculty, students, First Nations institutions, and the Ministry. The report also calls for financial support for First Nations institutions through direct formula funding.19 A final recommendation in the governance section is aimed specifically at the soon to be established University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), and urges the establishment of an Aboriginal Studies division as well as First Nations representation  18  The FNC was a province-wide First Nations organization established in 1988. The FNC Education Secretariat was established by way of a resolution passed by the FNC in June, 1989. 19 A funding formula for the colleges and institutes was introduced in 1984 by way of an annually negotiated agreement or ‘program profile’ between the Ministry and the institution based that takes into account the delivery of programs, courses, and student number and type. As a result of the funding formula, an operating grant is given to the institution from the Ministry. Institutions report back to the Ministry on their success in meeting the program profile.(Gaber, 2003; Schütze & Day, 2001) 91  on the Board of Governors and Senate.20 4.2.2.2  Jurisdiction Under Jurisdictional Challenges the Green Report discusses the problems that emerge as  a result of overlapping federal and provincial responsibility for First Nations PSE, and stresses the need for intergovernmental coordination and cooperation. Again, the role of the federal government in funding status Indian PSE is affirmed. The report acknowledges that “advocacy groups” like UNN and the BC Association of Friendship Centres urge the province to fund nonstatus Indians at a similar level (no mention is made of other Aboriginal groups). However, no official recommendation is made to this end. Rather, the report advocates for the establishment of a committee with federal, provincial, and First Nations representation to deal with crossjurisdictional issues, and that there be First Nations representation on relevant Ministry committees. 4.2.2.3  Culture To address cultural challenges that face Aboriginal students within the public post-  secondary system, the Green Report recommends cross-cultural awareness courses for administrators, faculty, staff, students, and the general public. The report further recommends funding First Nations coordinators to provide support services to First Nations students. After a discussion of BC First Nations languages (no mention is made of other Aboriginal languages) the report recommends accrediting First Nation’s languages and funding First Nations language teacher training. The final recommendations in this section advocate revising post-secondary  20  The establishment of a university was announced in January 1990, and Bill 40, the UNBC Act was passed in June 1990. 92  policies to increase Aboriginal participation and hiring Aboriginal administrators, faculty, and staff. 4.2.2.4  Program Challenges Under “Program Challenges,” the issue of curriculum relevancy is raised. The report  recommends gearing adult basic education (ABE) programs to local labour market needs; the establishing transition programs; supporting community-based literacy programs; and creating a resource centre to evaluate, develop, and share curriculum materials. The report also recommends that the Ministry and PSIs be accountable to First Nations for both funding expenditures and for Aboriginal student participation and completion rates. 4.2.2.5  Financial In discussing financial challenges the report notes that federal assistance to status Indian  students is inadequate to meet the demands for ABE, vocational, and college preparatory programs, and insufficient to address of the cost of living for urban students. Provincial funding for non-status students for ABE is also seen to be inadequate. To meet these financial needs the report recommends the Ministry establish forgivable student loans for ABE, and designated First Nations scholarships and bursaries for students attending both First Nations and public PSIs. 4.2.2.6  Geographical Challenges In order to address geographical challenges, the final recommendation calls for distance  education programs, for both rural and urban students, which combine technology with the support of instructors and tutors.  93  4.2.2.7  Prioritized Recommendations and Implementation Plan To aid in implementation, the report highlights recommendations that were prioritized  through the consultation process, including funding First Nations institutions; addressing crossjurisdictional issues; establishing First Nations coordinators positions at public PSIs; funding First Nations language teacher training, transition, and community-based literacy programs; accrediting First Nations languages and teacher language training; and establishing accountability systems for both funding and First Nations participation and completion rates. A brief five-year implementation plan, along with cost-estimates, is also included. 4.2.3  Implementation Prior to the release of the Green Report, changes were already occurring in BC’s post-  secondary system. A number of PSIs already had Aboriginal advisory committees and Aboriginal representation on governing bodies. In addition, a number of PSIs offered Aboriginal student services and programming. Through the implementation of the Green Report, these initiatives would be strengthened and broadened throughout the post-secondary system. In September 1990, the Committee met to plan the implementation of the recommendations. Letters were drafted to college and institute presidents inviting them to submit proposals for funding for Aboriginal coordinators; to Aboriginal and public institutions, inviting them to submit proposals to fund transition, literacy, ABE, cross-cultural awareness, and language programs; to universities to fund Native teacher language training; to colleges, institutes, and Aboriginal-controlled institutions to develop a clearing house for the development and dissemination of curriculum materials; to the Centre for Curriculum and Professional Development, asking for their help in the development and coordination of Native postsecondary curriculum materials; to the First Nations Congress Educational Secretariat, 94  requesting that they provide policy advice on PSE; to CEOs at colleges and institutes, encouraging them to consult with First Nations locally and regionally, and asking that they review admissions and program policies to support Aboriginal learners; and to the Council on Admissions and Transfers, requesting that the accreditation of First Nations languages and Aboriginal program and admission polices be discussed at the next Council meeting. A two-year secondment opportunity as Special Advisor on Native Programs with the Ministry’s Universities, Colleges and Institutes Division was also drafted (Provincial Advisory Committee on PostSecondary Education for Native Learners, 1990, September 12). The Green Report had a “certain cachet because it was developed by Aboriginal people” (RR03, para. 9). Following its release, the Aboriginal community took ownership of the report and used it to advocate for change. One participant remembered “political leaders, First Nations political leaders, … Aboriginal educators and leaders in the Aboriginal education community, really holding on to the Green Report and using that to advance their cause (RR 04, para. 49). A sense of ownership was also developing among some working in government and institutions: “I think there was some real enthusiasm that developed both within pockets of the bureaucracy and pockets of the PSIs that later resulted in some of …the programs and things that we see now” (RR 16, para. 67). One of the people who championed the Green Report recommendations was Christie Brown, a manager within the Ministry who had served as an advisor to the Committee. Her leadership, organizational abilities, and tact are specifically acknowledged in the Green Report (Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners, 1990). After the report was released, Brown: sort of became the manager of Aboriginal post-secondary programs right after the Green Report came out and she just took some of those recommendations and said we’re doing 95  this. And she found the money. And one of the key elements was putting Aboriginal coordinator positions for the establishment of those positions. So they just did it with all of the institutes and colleges and universities that were willing to. (RR 04, para. 81) In its 1990-91 Annual Report the Ministry reported on expanding Native post-secondary participation, as well as the development of new Native programming, including criminal justice and tourism programs at NEC and social work at the College of New Caledonia. Approximately 150 apprentices were indentured to band councils throughout BC. The Ministry reported spending $3 million dollars to support Aboriginal PSE. Furthermore, based on recommendations from the Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners, the Ministry began to implement a new provincial strategy to increase Native participation in advanced education. This strategy included: · Providing funds to hire Native education coordinators at 13 public post-secondary institutions; · Providing funds to develop a new curriculum and evaluate existing curricula for Native education programs; · Establishing a Northern Distance Learning Pilot Project through the Open Learning Agency; · Hiring a Special Advisor on Native education to help the Ministry provide programs and services for Native students; and · Making appointments of Native people to governing boards at a number of postsecondary institutions in British Columbia. (British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology, 1991 p. 9)  In the fall of 1991 an election was called and the NDP, under the leadership of Michael Harcourt, replaced the Social Credit government. Despite this governance change, the Green Report continued to guide Aboriginal post-secondary policy and program developments. In November 1992, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology, Colleges and Social and Aboriginal Programs completed The Report of the Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners Status Report on Follow-up Action, and reported that “substantial action had been taken on most of its recommendations” (p. 14). 96  The implementation of these recommendations resulted in significant change. Government began consulting with Aboriginal groups and appointed First Nations representatives to twenty-one PSIs’ governing boards. They also hired a Special Advisor on Aboriginal Programs, funded several First Nations institutions, and held meetings to address cross jurisdictional issues. The University of Northern BC agreed to develop an Aboriginal studies program and brought Aboriginal representatives onto its interim governing council. The Ministry also provided funding for several Aboriginal-controlled institutions; for hiring Aboriginal coordinators at public PSIs; and for First Nations language, ABE, transition, literacy, and curriculum initiatives. In addition, the Open Learning Agency began providing distance education to Aboriginal students throughout the province (British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology. Colleges and Social and Aboriginal Programs, 1992, November). Not all recommendations, however, were implemented or fully implemented. The ephemeral nature of the FNC Education Congress meant that it could not take on the policy leadership role envisioned in the Green Report. Furthermore, while the Ministry considered creating a provincial council to oversee the implementation of recommendations, it was never established, nor was forgivable student loans for ABE students implemented. Neither the Ministry nor PSIs reported to First Nations on Aboriginal post-secondary funding or student participation and completion rates (British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology. Colleges and Social and Aboriginal Programs, 1992, November).  97  Not all PSIs embraced recommendations with open arms. Even with targeted funding, there was resistance to hiring Aboriginal coordinators. According to participants, institutional autonomy and institutional racism played a role. One participant stated that every institution thinks of itself as a self-governing entity, and even more so with the universities, that they are their own. There’s a reason for the ivory tower concept. Maybe even more importantly, they think that hey, we’re smart people. We don’t want or need you telling us what to do. We’re going to figure this out. Don’t worry, we’ll get there. Or the other side of it was the world’s just fine, thank you. Aboriginal people that make it are going to make it on their own. So that was the institutional resistance. (RR03, para. 42) While many PSIs willingly implemented some recommendations, there were “pockets of resistance,” particularly in the north, the Okanagan, and places where relationships between the PSIs and the Aboriginal community had not yet been established. One participant remembered being puzzled that a post-secondary institution in the interior of BC hadn’t asked for funding to hire an Aboriginal coordinator: They sort of felt they didn’t need one, and even if they did get one, they weren’t sure where they would put this person. So I asked the Ministry for a grant of ten-thousand dollars to do a research project to show the college why they needed a coordinator. Or to find out that maybe they didn’t. So we hired a contractor to conduct interviews in First Nations communities, neighboring communities in the catchment area and in the college itself and demonstrated to them that they did indeed need a coordinator. (RR04, para. 123) This same participant also remembered the “incredible resistance” of a college in northeastern BC where, despite the high Aboriginal population in its catchment area, the institution turned down funding for a coordinator. And while this same college received funding to implement Aboriginal programming, “basically nothing was being done” (RR04, para. 127). It took a phone call from the Deputy Minister to the college president before a coordinator was hired (RR04, para. 127).  98  Another participant felt that the implementation of recommendations was limited because a number of PSIs, and many people working within PSIs, failed to take ownership of the recommendations: We rely on …somebody else to take up these recommendations…..even the way I talk, the provincial government ought to do this, and the federal government should do this. But it is back to each individual person and the institution in which that person works to also take up the recommendations, to say how could I use this in [the program that I work with]? And I think that’s one thing we don’t do. And that’s why maybe when we think of these sorts of big reports and how they can inform policy, [we think that] somebody else ought to be doing it. We don’t think that this relates to our own back yard in this way. I think that’s one thing… I don’t think we thought about …at the time. (RR06, para. 107) Establishing relationships between Aboriginal groups and PSIs was seen to be important in implementing recommendations. As one participant explained, “where there had been a relationship established, the relationship prevailed and something did get implemented” (RR04, para. 131). Eventually, “with political pressure,” institutions resistant to this change came around, and “by 1995 we had coordinators in all of the colleges and institutes” (RR 04, para. 81). It would take some time, however, before all PSIs established advisory committees, and in 1992, only institutions with large Aboriginal student populations were delivering crosscultural awareness training. Concerned about compromising academic standards many institutions resisted revising admission policies, and there is no indication that most PSIs were hiring Aboriginal people other than the Aboriginal coordinators. Like the government, the PSIs were not accountable to Aboriginal people for Aboriginal program funding or Aboriginal student participation or completion rates. A number of participants expressed disappointment in the limited implementation of the recommendations. One participant stated that the Green Report contained some very good information and was saying that these are some things that you really need to think about doing. But how it was interpreted and manifested after that was completely counter to the intent of the Green Report, I believe. 99  My perspective. (RR 10 para. 67)  The lack of a group to oversee implementation of the recommendations, and a lack of accountability, was seen to be particularly problematic: I think we were disappointed that … there were some things done, but really they didn’t follow through with continuing [to implement] the plan. I think if they would have continued this, having the initial post-secondary committee [oversee implementation], I think we really could have done a lot more, because the group would have made the Ministry accountable. (RR06, para. 99)  This participant felt that without a group to oversee implementation, none of these recommendations have ever gotten fully implemented, therefore we’re not any further ahead than we were. The gap is still wide and the problems are still there, and people are still creating some success based on the small resources that they have. (RR06, para. 131)  In 1992, after the NDP replaced the Socreds, the Ministry turned its attention to a new strategy for Aboriginal PSE. It announced its intentions to develop an Aboriginal PSE policy that would “a) reflect government and First Nations’ priorities and negotiations which have emerged since 1990; and b) address key unresolved issues regarding PSE for Aboriginal people” (British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology, Colleges and Social and Aboriginal Programs, 1992, November, p. 2). The recommendations in the Green Report would continue to influence this new policy development, as would consultation with Aboriginal organizations and the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs.21  4.3  Discussion and Findings In reflecting on the stories told about this policy process though the documents and  21  Previously the Ministry of Native Affairs. 100  interviews, a number of interesting themes emerge. These themes include the influence of the Ministry of Native Affairs, the privileging of First Nations, the importance of relationships and leadership and ownership, the selective implementation of recommendations, and accountability. 4.3.1  The Influence of the Ministry of Native Affairs As a response to previously mentioned court decisions and direct actions in support of  Aboriginal rights and title that threatened BC’s resource economy, the BC government established a new Ministry in 1988, the Ministry of Native Affairs, and in 1990 finally agreed to enter into treaty negotiations. Because education was being raised by First Nations in their discussions with this new Ministry, Native Affairs “was pushed to raise these issues with [their] colleagues in other departments” (RR 14, para. 9). Despite the establishment of Native Affairs, there was much reluctance and little capacity for engaging seriously with Aboriginal rights and title. PSE provided a more palatable initial venue for government to engage with and develop capacity in Aboriginal issues. The involvement of Native Affairs in the development of the Green Report is illustrated by the joint announcement of the establishment of the Committee by the Ministers of Native Affairs and Advanced Education; the presence of Ministry of Native Affairs and key Aboriginal political leaders on the Committee; and by the close relationship between the Committee and the Premier’s Council on Native Affairs, who shared two members, as well as minutes and consultation schedules, and who also met together. The important role played by Native Affairs in Aboriginal post-secondary policy development is also illustrated by Minister Strachan’s announcement that the Green Report would be implemented in conjunction with both the Premier’s Task Force on Native Affairs and the Cabinet Committee on Native Affairs. Native Affairs’ role in Aboriginal post-secondary policy continued after the NDP came into power, as 101  illustrated by plans to develop an Aboriginal PSE policy in consultation with the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs that would “reflect government and First Nations’ priorities and negotiations which have emerged since 1990” (British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology, Colleges and Social and Aboriginal Programs, 1992, November, p. 2). 4.3.2  Privileging First Nations Given the lack of Metis, Inuit, or non-status and urban Indian representation on the  Committee, it is not surprising that the text of the Green Report privileges BC’s on-reserve First Nations. That privilege is clearly illustrated by the use of the term “First Nations” in reference to all Aboriginal people, and by the history section which briefly acknowledges the existence of non-status Indians, but fails to acknowledge the existence of Métis, Inuit, other Aboriginal people who migrated to BC from other jurisdictions, or the growing number of Aboriginal people in urban settings. While bands and tribal councils are framed as a “third level of government,” the UNN, the only political organization representing non-status and off-reserve Indian people on the Committee, is considered merely an “advocacy group.” In addition, the context of the report is framed by, and education is defined through, references to documents produced by the National Indian Brotherhood (NIB), a national body representing status Indians. Given the supposedly inclusive use of the term “First Nations,” many of the recommendations could be seen as widely applicable. However, some of the recommendations also privilege First Nations specifically. One example is the recommendation that the nascent First Nations Congress Educational Secretariat succeed the Provincial Advisory Committee in providing policy advice to the Ministry. It was to be chaired by Chief Nathan Matthew and include five representatives from bands and tribal councils and only one representative from UNN. No Métis representation is considered. 102  In discussions about jurisdiction, federal responsibility for funding status Indians is reaffirmed while aspirations of other Aboriginal groups for similar funding is not acknowledged. Provincial responsibility is seen to be for funding PSIs and student assistance, but the request for provincial funding for non-status Indians, while acknowledged, is not recommended. In addition, the language recommendation refers to BC First Nations languages only. Moreover, while the proposed Aboriginal directors on public PSIs’ governing boards were to represent status and non-status Indians, no mention is made of other Aboriginal groups. Finally, the postsecondary issues of urban Aboriginal students are only mentioned in relation to the high costs of living in urban areas, and only appear in the final recommendation about access to distance education. At a time when Aboriginal rights and title were first emerging as key provincial policy issues, the privileging of the interests of BC on-reserve status Indians is an understandable and important strategic choice that reinforces the special legal status held by the First Nations people on the Committee. However, it also serves to create a policy document which reflects a hierarchy of Aboriginal peoples, with BC on-reserve status Indians on top, followed by offreserve status Indians, non-status Indians, and urban Aboriginal people. The existence of Métis and Inuit peoples, as well as Aboriginal peoples from other jurisdictions, is not even acknowledged. 4.3.3  Relationships This case also reveals the importance of relationships in facilitating developments in this  policy process. As a result of the late Chief Antoine’s passionate advocacy for Aboriginal education, he was able to build strong relationships with a key senior Ministry official and secure funding for two Aboriginal institutes and Aboriginal appointments to public PSIs’ governing 103  boards even before the Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners was established. At the same time the committee was announced, Chief Antoine’s position as co-chair was also announced. This was likely due, in part, to this relationship. Relationships among Aboriginal post-secondary educators, which preceded the establishment of the Committee, facilitated their capacity to address post-secondary issues for Aboriginal learners, and allowed them to work quickly and efficiently to address common issues. Relationships were also seen to be key to the implementation of recommendations by PSIs. To reiterate one respondent’s explanations of events, “Where there had been a relationship established, the relationship prevailed and something did get implemented” (RR04, para. 131). Conversely, where no relationship existed, or where relationships were poor, recommendations were difficult to implement. 4.3.4  Leadership and Ownership The leadership of individuals, like Chief Gordon Antoine, and members of the Provincial  Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education for Native Learners, was instrumental to the development of the Green Report. The consultation process increased awareness among Aboriginal people about post-secondary leadership, and after its release, Aboriginal political and educational leaders were said to take ownership of the report and use it to advocate for change. Within both the Ministry and some PSIs, a number of individuals were said to have developed an enthusiasm for the report that resulted in change. Within the Ministry, Christie Brown was important in driving that change. However, a lack of ownership by PSIs and individuals working within them was seen to limit implementation of recommendations. 4.3.5  Selective Implementation of Recommendations Prior to the development of the Green Report, the province used its power to appoint 104  Chief Gordon Antoine to the governing body of a local college to facilitate communication between NVIT and the college. After the release of the Green Report, the province appointed Aboriginal representatives to PSE governing bodies throughout the system to ensure First Nations representation in the governance of PSIs. The Ministry channeled funds to support implementation of select recommendations, and the Ministry also applied pressure to specific PSIs to encourage them to implement recommendations. However, the Ministry did not implement all of the recommendation. For example, the Ministry did not: create a Provincial Council that would oversee implementation of the Green Report, establish forgivable student loans for ABE students, or report to First Nations on Aboriginal post-secondary funding or student participation and completion rates. While many PSIs quickly began implementing the Green Report’s recommendation, others resisted implementing a number of recommendations, including the establishment of advisory committees, admission policies, cross-cultural training, and employment equity. Even with the availability of targeted funding, political pressure had to be applied by the Ministry to a number of institutions before they would hire Aboriginal coordinators. 4.3.6  Accountability The Committee envisioned the creation of a legislatively enacted provincial council that  would report to the Ministry and oversee the implementation of the recommendations. The province never complied, and because of this, there was no group to hold government accountable for implementing the Green Report. The Committee also recommended that the Ministry and PSIs account to First Nations for funds and student participation rates. Again, neither the Ministry nor post-secondary institutes were held accountable to First Nations. This lack of accountability was seen to be a factor in the partial implementation of recommendations, 105  as well as the limited improvement in Aboriginal post-secondary participation. 4.4  Summary Despite concerns over the privileging of specific Aboriginal groups, and only partial  implementation of recommendations, the Green Report is a significant development in BC’s Aboriginal PSE policy. Firstly, it was the first comprehensive look at Aboriginal PSE in British Columbia. Secondly, it increased awareness of Aboriginal post-secondary issues among Aboriginal political and educational leaders, as well as those working within government and public PSIs, and created substantial change within both public and Aboriginal private institutions. Furthermore, the Green Report also served as the foundation for developments in Aboriginal PSE in British Columbia for the next two decades.  106  Chapter 5: The Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework In 1991, the New Democratic Party (NDP) replaced the Social Credit as BC’s governing party. Under the NDP, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Training (MAET) continued to selectively implement recommendations from the 1990 Green Report. In 1992, MAET announced its intention to develop policy to address Aboriginal post-secondary education (PSE). Three years later, the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework (APF) received cabinet approval and implementation of the policy began in May of 1997. This chapter focuses on the APF, beginning with a discussion of the context in which the policy developed. This is followed by a discussion of the policy process, including policy formulation, the text, and implementation. The chapter closes with a discussion of the themes that emerged as a result of the research. 5.1 5.1.1  The Context The Province’s Relationship with Aboriginal People Following their election, the NDP quickly began building on the treaty foundation laid by  the Social Credit government. In September of 1992, the First Nations Summit (FNS), the province, and the federal government formally endorsed the recommendations put forward by the BC Claims Task Force by signing the British Columbia Treaty Commission Agreement. The BC Treaty Commission was established in 1993. This independent body is composed of representatives from First Nations, the province, and the federal government, and was designed to facilitate the treaty process by monitoring developments, assisting in dispute resolution, and allocating treaty funding to First Nations to participate in the treaty process. Many First Nations bands and tribal councils were eager to participate in this new treaty 107  process. By June of 1994, forty-one First Nations had entered the treaty process by submitting “Statements of Intent,” the first stage of the treaty process. While the province was initially optimistic that treaties would be ratified by the end of the decade, treaties proceeded slowly. By 2001, forty-nine First Nations participated in various stages of the process; however no treaties were signed under the BC Treaty process, and treaty negotiations became part of the ongoing life of British Columbia (British Columbia Treaty Commission, 1994; British Columbia Treaty Commission, 2001a). The only treaty signed during this period was the Nisga’a Final Agreement, which was negotiated outside of the BC Treaty Process under an earlier process initiated by the federal government. The Nisga’a Agreement in Principal was signed in 1996. Despite much controversy, including Liberal opposition leader Gordon Campbell’s failed legal challenge to the constitutionality of the Nisga’a treaty, the Final Agreement was signed by the Nisga’a and provincial and federal government in 1998, and was ratified by all three levels of government in 1999, before coming into effect in May 2000 (British Columbia Treaty Commission, 2001b; McKee, 2009). For various reasons, many First Nations did not participate in the BC treaty process. Some groups rejected treaty negotiations because the process is aimed at delimiting rights to land and resources that had never been ceded to either federal or provincial governments. Others feel that negotiations should proceed nation to nation between First Nations and the federal government, and not involve the provincial government. Many First Nations are deterred by the high cost of participating in treaty-making. Some feel that it may be more advantageous to settle treaties at a later date, while others believe that it may be more strategic to seek compensation for the infringement of rights and title than negotiate treaties (Gurtson, 2002; McKee, 2009). 108  One of the province’s goals was to use the treaty process to placate First Nations and reduce direct action. Despite the treaty process, protests continued. After an initial period of calm following the initiation of the treaty process, a number of First Nations used blockades to draw attention to their specific issues. For example, in 1995 alone the Douglas Lake blockade was set up after members of the Upper Nicola First Nation were charged with illegal fishing; the Adams Lake blockade, involving Adams Lake, Little Shuswap, and Neskonlith First Nations, protested the development of a recreational vehicle park; at Gustafsen Lake there was a stand-off between the RCMP and “Defenders of the Shuswap Nation,” who laid claim to land they had been using ceremonially; at King Island the Heiltsuk First Nation protested the building of a logging road; the Penticton First Nation protested the expansion of the Apex Ski resort; the Nanoose First Nation demonstrated to prevent the building of a subdivision on a burial ground; and the Gitksan set up a series of anti-logging blockades in their territory (McKee, 2009; Ricard & Wilkes, 2007). Other First Nations have chosen to pursue title through the courts. During the 1990s, the most significant case was Delgamuukw v. British Columbia. This land title case, launched by the Gitksan and Wet’suwet’en, was initially rejected at the BC Supreme Court in 1991 by Chief Justice McEachern who dismissed oral testimony as unreliable and found that Aboriginal title had been extinguished by the colonial government. In 1993, the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled that there had been no blanket extinguishment of Aboriginal rights and recommended that negotiation be used to define the nature and scope of the rights. Finally, in 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Gitksan and Wet’suwet’ens’ case could not be decided without a retrial. However, the court found that Aboriginal title had never been extinguished in British Columbia; that title includes a right to the land itself, not just the right to 109  participate in traditional activities; that unextinguished Aboriginal title is a burden on the Crown; that Aboriginal title is held collectively and can only be sold to the federal government; and that Aboriginal title is constitutionally protected. In addition, the court stated that oral history has the same footing as other types of historical evidence (British Columbia Treaty Commission, 1999; Gurtson, 2002; McKee, 2009). While Delgamuukw failed to resolve the Gitksan and Wet’su’weten title issue, it raised expectations among First Nations at the treaty table. In response to Delgamuukw, provincial and federal governments increased support for First Nations economic development and capacity building and the provincial government increased its consultations on land use and development, although they did not alter their basic position on negotiations (British Columbia Treaty Commission, 1999; Gurtson, 2002; McKee, 2009). The BC treaty process, the Nisga’a Treaty, direct action, and the Delgamuukw decision all had an impact on British Columbia’s troubled economy. 5.1.2  Economic Climate The economic strength that BC enjoyed during the latter half of the 1980s came to an  end, and when the NDP came into power, they inherited a debt of 1.7 billion dollars (Lee, 2006). Most of the 1990s was characterized by an economic slowdown, with a growth rate of only 2.9% in real GDP between 1990 and 2001. Residential construction fell 25% in the 1990’s. Indeed, for much of the 1990s, unemployment rates were as high as 8% and business investment was limited. Although there was some gas development in the northeast corner of the province, forestry and mining were weak (White et al., 2006). The causes for BC’s economic slowdown are complex and multi-faceted. Among them are the collapse of Asian economies, the end of immigration from Hong Kong, falling 110  commodity prices, increased taxes, progressive labour legislation, capital expenditures, mining restrictions, more stringent forestry legislation, historical mismanagement of forestry, expansion of park land, environmental activism, inadequate transportation infrastructure, and the loss of corporate head offices through consolidation and relocation (Bond, 2002). Unresolved Aboriginal land issues also contributed to BC’s economic decline. According to Bond (2002), Another major factor discouraging investment, most particularly in the interior of BC, [where few First Nations were participating in the treaty process] is the matter of unsettled Aboriginal land claims…. Until treaties are concluded, uncertainty reigns…. What is certain, however, is that until the issue is effectively settled, major mineral and tourist development will effectively remain on hold. (p. 208) The cost of “uncertainty” resulting from land claims was high. In 1990 Price Waterhouse estimated the cost of uncertainty to be one billion dollars in lost investment and 1,500 in lost jobs in mining and forestry alone (British Columbia Treaty Commission & Grant Thorton Management Consultants, 2004). In the wake of Delgamuukw there was much concern that the broader definition of Aboriginal rights, combined with the obligation to consult with First Nations and compensate for infringement of Aboriginal rights, would inhibit resource development, increase litigation, and undermine treaty negotiations. Both federal Reform Party leader Preston Manning and BC Liberal leader Gordon Campbell warned that Delgamuukw would be an impediment to investment, economic recovery, and employment (McKee, 2009). While the cost of uncertainty was high, so was the cost of treaty-making. In 1996 KPMG estimated the costs of treaty-making to be between 1.37 to 2.11 billion dollars; in 1999 Grant Thorton estimated them to be between 2.08 to 2.48 billion dollars (British Columbia Treaty Commission & Grant Thorton Management Consultants, 2004). Although treaties would be expensive to negotiate and implement, they would bring significant benefits once certainty over 111  land ownership was established. In 1996, KPMG estimated financial benefits of treaty to First Nations to range from 6.02 to 6.63 billion dollars; in 1999 Grant Thorton estimated these to be between 6.28 and 6.76 billion dollars. Net financial benefits to British Columbians were estimated to be 3.91 to 5.26 billion dollars or 3.80 to 4.68 billion dollars by KPMG and Grant Thorton respectively (British Columbia Treaty Commission & Grant Thorton Management Consultants, 2004). 5.1.3  Post-Secondary Education Throughout the 1980s and 1990s there was both a growing dependence on international  markets and an increase in competition with these same markets. BC’s economy was also challenged by issues of technological change, economic slowdown, faltering resource industries, high unemployment, and increasing poverty. In this context, PSE took on new importance. The NDP saw economic, labour, and social concerns as intimately connected with education, and thus made significant investments in PSE throughout the 1990s, with an emphasis on skills training and vocationalism (D. Fisher et al., 2012; D. Fisher, Rubenson, Jones, & Shanahan, 2009). In 1993, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology was recreated as the Ministry of Skills, Training and Labour (MSTL). This was the first of several ministry reorganizations implemented by the NDP. Between 1991 and 2001, the ministry responsible for PSE was restructured and renamed four times, and fell under the leadership of nine different Ministers (see Appendix C). The creation of MSTL signaled a new approach to PSE, deemphasizing academic education while merging higher education with workforce development and industrial relations. This restructuring facilitated the collaboration of government, industry, labour, and the PSE 112  system in order to support province-wide economic development by addressing deficits in skills and training through the $200 million initiative, Skills Now! (British Columbia Ministry of Skills, Training and Labour, 1994; Fisher et al., 2012; Fisher et al., 2009). In implementing Skills Now! the NDP continued to expand the post-secondary system as initiated by the Social Credit government under Access for All. They significantly increased student spaces at PSIs by recreating Kwantlen College as a university-college22 and Langara as a college;23 opening three new universities including the University of Northern BC, Royal Roads University, and the short lived Technical University of BC; and giving degree-granting status to the university-colleges as well as to the British Columbia Institute of Technology and Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Apprenticeship programs were expanded, information technology was promoted and supported, new advanced technology programs were developed, and community skills centres were opened throughout the province. Aboriginal higher education was addressed specifically through the designation of two Aboriginal institutions, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) and Institute of Indigenous Government (IIG), as public institutions, and through the development of the APF (Cowin, 2007; Fisher et al., 2012). In 1996, the Ministry was renamed Education, Skills and Training (MEST), linking together K-12 education, PSE, and skills development. The major policy initiative at this time was Charting a New Course: A Strategic Plan for the Future of British Columbia’s College, Institute and Agency System (British Columbia Ministry of Education, Skills and Training, 1996c). This policy brought a more coordinated managerial and accountability focus to the college and institute system, “to ensure that all British Columbians are prepared to participate in  22  Under the Socreds, Okanagan, Cariboo, and Malaspina colleges became university and colleges in 1989, and Fraser Valley College became a university-college in 1990. 23 Formerly a campus of Vancouver Community College. 113  today’s changing society; find productive employment in a competitive labour market; have opportunities for continuous learning; and receive value for the investment made in public PSE and training” (p. 1). Key to the policy were the goals relevance and quality, access, affordability, and accountability. Relevance and quality were associated with improved career preparation; flexible, learner-focused, outcomes-based programming; student support; and cross-cultural training. The goal of access focused on inter-institutional transfer and articulation, new learning technologies, and reducing barriers for equity groups and non-traditional learners. To increase affordability, funding would be restructured to include operating grants as well as partnership-dependent funding for marketing, technology, and capital maintenance and expansion. The text of Charting a New Course said little about Aboriginal people other than recognizing them as part of the diverse student body necessitating diverse approaches to education. Nevertheless, this document would have an important influence on the development and implementation of the new APF. Access to PSE was further enhanced through a freeze on tuition fees, which remained in force until after NDP were replaced by the Liberals; the development of a number of programs directed specifically at unemployed and income-assistance recipients; and the elimination of tuition fees for adult basic education (ABE) in the college system. In 1998, the Ministry was again reorganized when responsibility for K-12 education returned to the Ministry of Education, leaving the Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology (MAETT) responsible for PSE and training. Increased management of the system continued under Charting a New Course (Schütze & Day, 2001).  114  Like all students, Aboriginal students benefited from the NDPs efforts to ensure that BC’s post-secondary system remained relevant, accessible, affordable, and accountable. However, Aboriginal students benefited more directly from Aboriginal-specific initiatives, including the designation of two public Aboriginal institutes and the 1995 Aboriginal PostSecondary Education and Training Policy Framework. 5.2  The Policy Process Following the release of the Green Report in 1990, there was a growing awareness of  Aboriginal education. Individual Aboriginal educators like Verna J. Kirkness and Jo-ann Archibald “raised the profile and awareness of Aboriginal post-secondary education actually in the whole country, not just the province” (RR04, para. 101). The informal coalition of educators that had been meeting to discuss Aboriginal PSE in the late 1980s organized into a group called the Association of Aboriginal Post-Secondary Institutions (APPSI). Initially founded by En’owkin Centre, the Native Education Centre (NEC), and NVIT, by 1995 APPSI had a membership of 15 Aboriginal institutions that were registered under both the Society Act and the Private Post-Secondary Education Act and served some 1500 students (British Columbia Ministry of Education, Skills and Training, 1996a). There was also “growing support at the national and provincial level for Aboriginal control of Aboriginal education [that] created the climate where [the provincial] government was willing to start taking a look at it” (RR15, para. 43). By 1995, there were 21 Aboriginal coordinators in the college and institute system funded directly by the province (British Columbia Ministry of Skills, Training and Labour, 1995). In addition, a number of universities had also hired Aboriginal coordinators. Over time these Aboriginal coordinators “became a force of their own” (RR 04, para. 95). They organized 115  under the name of the British Columbia First Nations Coordinators (BCFNC) and established an executive committee that evolved into the BCFNC Council (the Council) to represent the interests of the BCFNC and Aboriginal students, and to provide policy advice to the Ministry (British Columbia First Nations Coordinators, 2002). In 1996, the Aboriginal population of BC was 139,655 and represented 3.8% of BC’s total population. By 2001, that number had grown to 170,020 and represented 4.3% of BC’s total population (BC Stats, 2005). According to a former Ministry staff member, in addition to highlighting the growing Aboriginal population, reports by Statistics Canada “really brought home to people across the country the stark situation of Aboriginal education in the country” (RR04, para. 47). Additionally, there was an increased awareness and unease about the social conditions with which Aboriginal people live. A former Ministry staff member remembered that “you’ve got this emerging social issue about what are you going to do with this Aboriginal population that’s booming. Booming! …They’re going to be on your streets. They are going to be everywhere” (RR03, para. 66). In particular, a growing, uneducated Aboriginal youth population was seen as a potential social problem. A former Ministry staff member used stories about the rise of Aboriginal youth gangs in Manitoba to bring home the idea that educational change was necessary: So I would tell these horror stories just to get people thinking about it, because that population is booming and the social system’s not ready. You’re going to have people on the streets. It’s just going to be worse and worse. (RR03, para. 74)  Within the Ministry, career-related education and training, and participation in the provincial economy, were seen as the remedy for Aboriginal poverty and other social issues. In the words of a former senior government official, You don’t have to be very smart to recognize that if it’s too late to go back to real 116  Aboriginal lifestyles where the skills are taught from generation to generation. It’s probably too late for anybody to live that way, certainly for people who aren’t born yet. Aboriginal people are going to have to integrate into our society. They don’t have to accept all aspects of the culture, but to get out of poverty they have to be educated and competitive. (RR05, para. 51) Another senior government official of the time framed education and skills training in terms of contributing to community building: I think there’s cohesiveness that comes in communities, whether it’s the male or female breadwinner to bring an income into the home, to understand the value of that. I think that is part of building strong communities. And there are outstanding employment opportunities in the skilled and technical fields and I thought there should have been a greater push, and obviously that was reflected in the Skills Now, a greater push on trying to see, including in Aboriginal communities, giving people those opportunities to get those kinds of skills so they can participate in the economy. (RR09, para. 48) The need to build capacity for treaty implementation was an additional motivation for government to seriously address Aboriginal PSE (RR03, para. 23). A former Ministry employee remembered that “you had pressures from the Treaty Commission. Nothing was happening and millions of dollars going into it. We [the Ministry] had a role to play in terms of training, and building capacity” (RR03, para. 42). Multiple factors determined the direction in which Aboriginal PSE policy evolved. The heightened profile of Aboriginal education generally, the push for increased Aboriginalcontrolled education, and the growing awareness of Aboriginal educational underachievement were all important determinants. Additionally, a rapidly growing young Aboriginal population, many of whom were experiencing severe social conditions, and the critical need for capacity development in a post-treaty environment, played a role in setting the context in which Aboriginal post-secondary policy was developed. In 1992, MAETT signaled its intention to develop an Aboriginal post-secondary policy. It was, however, a number of years before such a policy came into being. In September 1993, 117  MAETT was recreated as MSTL, and responsibility for Aboriginal programming was placed within Colleges and Social and Aboriginal Programs. It was during this time that the Aboriginal Postsecondary Education and Training Policy was developed. The Ministry’s ability to deal with the complexities of Aboriginal education was facilitated by increased capacity within the bureaucracy. For example, Garry Wouters, who was appointed Deputy Minister in 1993, brought with him a breath of experience with Aboriginal issues, having previously served as Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Associate Deputy Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs (INAC) Canada, as well as Regional General Director of INAC in Alberta and Ontario (“Turning point staff,” 2003; Hunter, 1997). Robin Ciceri, who had been a Ministry advisor to the Provincial Advisory Committee on Post-Secondary Education and Training for Native Learners, became Director of Colleges and Social and Aboriginal Programs for MSTL, and then Director of Universities and Aboriginal Programing for MEST. Don Avison, Deputy Minister of Education, Skills and Training in 1997/98, had previously been Deputy Justice Minister in the Northwest Territories and Director General of the Aboriginal Justice Initiative in Ottawa (Hunter, 1997). The Ministry’s Aboriginal education capacity also expanded when they began hiring Aboriginal staff. For example, Ida Mills from the Ditidaht First Nation was appointed Special Advisor to the Aboriginal Program unit in 1992 and 1993 (Mills, 1992, November 16; Ciceri, 1995, October 10). Mills was followed by Darrel McLeod, a Cree from northern Alberta who had previously been Director of the K’noowenchoot Centre for Aboriginal Adult Education Resources. In October 1995, McLeod took on the additional role of Acting Manager of Aboriginal Programs. His staff included Sylvia Scow of the Dene Nation who was seconded from the University of Victoria to fill the position of Coordinator of Aboriginal Programs; 118  Connie Johnson, Research Officer; and Mary Gunn, Secretary (Ciceri, 1995, October 10). Despite this increased capacity among Ministry staff, some felt that government had a limited understanding of the need for Aboriginal-controlled education. One participant recalled that there was always a hesitancy to really understand why we would want Aboriginal education when public education was available. There was that sort of dialogue. It was always ongoing. We had to justify and validate our reasons for doing what we were doing. (RR15, para. 43) In contemplating the policy, the Ministry was challenged by a number of “thorny” issues. They struggled with the question “what does Aboriginal control mean in a public institution?” (RR03, para. 110). They tried to understand the appropriate mix of Aboriginal private and public institutions, and the associated benefits: Did it make sense to have more independent Aboriginal institutions not tied to a public credential but [that] might do some really neat cool things? Or does it make more sense to support more public Aboriginal institutions and maybe not get the quality that we wanted or the Aboriginal-ness, independent Aboriginal-ness, out of that Aboriginal control. That was always a thorny point. (RR03, para. 110) Another concern was the proliferation of Aboriginal-controlled institutions. According to a former Ministry staff member, “you had the Native Ed Centre, you had AAPSI, you had NVIT at the time, and even En’owkin. For a while, it was almost like mushrooms popping up on all of the reserves” (RR03, para. 110). The issue of funding was complex. Not only was there concern about “how much the public purse could stand” (RR15, para. 43), but the use of public money to fund private Aboriginal institutions was questioned (RR03, para. 110). On the other side, there were those who wanted Aboriginal-specific funding to benefit only Aboriginal-controlled institutions.  119  These people felt that the public system shouldn’t get a dime of this new money. That it should all go to the Aboriginal side, and that the policy framework should be focussed completely towards the development and establishment of the Aboriginal post-secondary institutes and not the public [institutions].” (RR04, para. 77) Despite these concerns, senior Ministry bureaucrats were extremely willing and receptive to go with the political will of the day as well. And this is a very important piece. You had Garry Wouters as the Deputy Minister of postsecondary education, the Ministry of Advanced Education at the time. The Director that he worked with was Robin Ciceri…. Both Garry and Robin were very driven to implement the government’s vision and just put their full weight behind it. (RR04, para. 69)  While there was much support within the Ministry for addressing the needs of Aboriginal learners, there was also resistance. A former Ministry staff member recalled bureaucrats who were just doing their jobs in being diligent and worried about precedent, and worried about managing expectations and balance, and all that kind of stuff. And they would come up with a hundred and one reasons why we shouldn’t do X, Y and Z. (RR04, para. 17)  In the face of such resistance, support from champions within the Ministry was critical. Deputy Minister Garry Wouters played an important role in pushing the APF forward: Garry [Wouters] would just sort of say, you know, in some ways, pull rank as a Deputy and say, no we’re doing it….We’re going to set up George Manuel Institute.24 We’re going to set up NVIT. We’re going to finish the policy framework. (RR04, para. 17) Ministry support for Aboriginal education was reflected in the budget, which jumped from $4.5 million in 1993/4 to $6.5 million in 1994/95. According to a respondent, this was discretionary funding, project-based funding that we were to put out to the institutes, both public and private institutes, to give a lift to their momentum. And that was phenomenal. It was a great time to be working in government. (RR04, para. 69)  24  The proposed George Manuel Institute became the Institute of Indigenous Government. 120  Early attempts at drafting a policy, first by Ministry staff, then by two different consulting firms, proved unsuccessful. According to the BCFNC,25 The aforementioned versions were prepared by non-[A]boriginal persons with less than full First Nations’ participation, including that of First Nations’ Education Coordinators. In retrospect, it appears that the development of policy was also frustrated by a lack of consensus and support within the Ministry regarding critical issues in First Nations’ education. (First Nations' Post-Secondary Education Coordinators Council, 1996, January 26) 5.2.1  Consultation A former Ministry staff recalled receiving drafts of the APF before he began working for  the Ministry: I got drafts of policy framework documents that were drafted in isolation by these consultants who supposedly talked to people. The last draft that was done by a contractor, my name was on the list of people who had supposedly been consulted, and they had never spoken to me. So that was really unfortunate. I could see why the framework wasn’t even considered. (RR04, para. 67)  Following three failed attempts at developing the policy, the Ministry took a different approach and set up a consultation strategy with political leaders around the province and educational leaders… We held I think about five sessions where we did an initial cut at the policy framework based on information we had, based on the Green Report, based on stuff that I knew, anecdotal information, based on informal conversations with Aboriginal educational leaders and political leaders, and we came up with a first draft which we then used as a basis for consultation. (RR04, para.75) At the time, many Aboriginal people experienced government consultation as tokenism. As a former member of AAPSI executive remarked, Back then it was the nature of governments not to do a lot of consultation where they actually dialogued back and forth and listened very carefully. Very often the nature of consultation was that the government would make an announcement they wanted to do  25  Previously known as the First Nations PSE Coordinators. 121  something. They would call a meeting and inform Aboriginal people that it was happening, and they would call it consultation. (RR15, para. 47) Given this experience, consultation for the APF was a pleasant departure. Throughout the 1990s, the Ministry placed great emphasis on consulting with stakeholder groups, that is “groups of individuals who play key roles within PSIs and in the broader post-secondary system” (Gaber, 2003, p. 184). In relation to the APF, the two primary stakeholder groups the Ministry consulted were the BCFNC and APPSI (RR14, para. 57). 5.2.1.1  Consultation with the BCFNC As frontline workers in the public post-secondary system, the BCFNC were able to  provide comprehensive policy advice because of the diversity of institutions that they represented, and students they supported. A past coordinator remarked that “you had big institutions to small ones. You had northern versus southern. You had coastal versus interior” (RR11, para. 89). In addition, the BCFNC enjoyed strong leadership from Council members like Shirley Joseph26 from Langara College, Brenda Ireland27 from British Columbia Institute of Technology, Theresa Neel28 from University College of the Fraser Valley, and Lyle Mueller29 from Okanagan University College (1995, March 14). The Council worked closely with Darrel McLeod, the Special Advisor/ Acting Manager of Aboriginal Programs, on Aboriginal policy issues related to the public post-secondary system. Council Chair Shirley Joseph was particularly active in her policy advocacy and she  26  The late Shirley Joseph, Wet’suwet’en Nation, was the first Aboriginal coordinator at Vancouver Community College, and later Langara College. She passed away in 1997. 27 Brenda Ireland is an Anishnaabe-Métis and was instrumental in the establishment of the First Nations Programs and Services Department at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in 1995. 28 Theresa Neel, from the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation, was a member of the Provincial Advisory Committee on PSE for Native Learners. 29 Lyle Muller is Métis. He later became Director of Aboriginal Programs and Services, UBC-Okanagan. 122  had the Deputy’s [Garry Wouters’] ear and she had Robin Ciceri’s ear. And they didn’t mess with Shirley. When Shirley wanted something, she just went after it. But she operated from a solid basis and she cared so much about the policy. She’d call if there was a delay in circulating the latest draft of the policy, she’d call up Robin [Ciceri] or Garry [Wouters] and say where is this thing? I’m waiting for it. You said it would be on my desk for four o’clock today, and it’s not here. So where is it?” (RR04, para, 99)  Through consultation, the BCFNC and the Council made significant changes to the policy. One participant remembered that the initial policy document was written from a government point of view. The white father standing there saying this is what you’re going to do. All of us [BCFNC] were not accepting of that…. We have to let them know that if this is going to be our working document then we need to have our words in there. So it was a slashing of everything. So, yes we did revise it. It wasn’t our initial document it was [a] government document…. So it was changed, still not to our total liking but it was better than what was handed down. (RR11, para. 89)  For the BCFNC, points of contention in APF included a narrow vision of education that addressed economic and social issues while ignoring spiritual ones (First Nations PostSecondary Education Coordinators/Advisors, 1995, November 21, 22). In addition, the BCFNC wanted the wording in the document to be stronger and more directive. A former Ministry staff member recalled that in an early draft of the APF the wording was quite a bit stronger. And of course people [BCFNC] wanted it that strong, but government’s not going to do that because they don’t want the heavy hand of government defining everybody’s life. So you had to find that compromise.” (RR03, para. 90)  There was also concern that rural issues would be underrepresented in the policy. In an era of financial restraint, the Council was particularly concerned about the ability and willingness of public PSIs to fund policy implementation from their base budgets, as articulated in the policy paper (First Nations Post-Secondary Education Coordinators/Advisors, 1995, January 26, 1995, May 1). The Council also played a role in pushing for the speedy completion of the APF. A 123  provincial election was nearing and Council felt that “having the policy framework in place before the next provincial election is imperative” (First Nations' Post-Secondary Education Coordinators Council, 1996, January 26). 5.2.1.2  Consultation with AAPSI Determining the role of Aboriginal PSIs was a particular focus of the policy  consultations. According to one senior government official, “around the province there was a push by First Nations to have their own institutions. And primarily what we [the Ministry] tried to do was develop a policy paper that gave some substance to it” (RR09, para. 20). The Ministry’s Director of Colleges and Social and Aboriginal Programs, Robin Ciceri, played a key role in consulting with the AAPSI on issues related to Aboriginal-controlled institutions (First Nations Education Coordinators Steering Committee, 1994, July 12). AAPSI “was quite a force to be reckoned with in its day” (RR04, para. 55). A former member of its executive described AAPSI as a very political lobbyist type group. They certainly did work around networking and supporting Indigenous institutes in British Columbia, but their sole objective was to promote Aboriginal control of Aboriginal post-secondary education, but also they had a vision for Aboriginal institutions to have a means to be accredited and recognized and funded. So they worked very closely with government. (RR12, para. 15) Like the BCFNC, AAPSI benefited from the strong leadership and policy capacity of its members, including Ron Shortt of NEC, who developed its vision statement; Don Fiddler of En’owkin Centre, who was President of AAPSI during the consultation process; the late Grace Mirehouse,30 also from NEC, who followed Don Fiddler as AAPSI President; Jacqueline DennisOrr of Chemainus Native College; David Kane and later Grant Veal from NVIT; and Pauline  30  Grace Mirehouse, from the Cooks Ferry Band, Nlaka’pumx Nation, passed away in May, 2002. 124  Waterfall from Heltsiuk College (RR10, para. 39; RR12, para. 17; RR 14, para. 57). While policy capacity varied among institutions, by meeting together to discuss policy issues, AAPSI was able to build experience and policy capacity across its membership in a supportive environment (RR14, para. 69; RR15, para. 67). AAPSI worked closely and collaboratively with Deputy Minister Garry Wouters, Director Robin Ciceri, and the Aboriginal unit to develop the criteria that would lead to public designation for Aboriginal institutions (RR12, para. 17). A former APPSI representative recalled how that framework really grew out of a collaborative process between the Association of Aboriginal Post-Secondary Institutes and the government to develop a policy framework. So we were actually involved in looking at it and saying here’s what we would like and going back and forth and drafting and redrafting at various meetings. It took place relatively quickly over a period of a little over year. (RR15, para. 47) In relation to Aboriginal public institutions, the Ministry’s intent was to establish criteria that would facilitate institutional success and also be affordable: Rather than simply creating these institutions that either didn’t perform or failed or whatever, we tried to create a policy framework in terms of the number of students and those kinds of things that would make some sense. After all, budgets at the provincial level are not infinite. You can’t just keep pouring money out there. There has to be a rationale for it. So we tried to set the stage through the policy development work we did for Aboriginal post-secondary institutions. (RR09, para. 20)  AAPSI took a pragmatic approach to the consultation process. A former AAPSI executive stated that while AAPSI wanted “the opportunity for Aboriginal institutions to receive the same sort of funding as public institutions … we had to look realistically at what could or could not be done” (RR 15, para. 21). Like government, AAPSI was concerned about the proliferation of small Aboriginal-controlled institutions, many of which were formed to address short-term training needs. In contemplating the possibility of public funding for Aboriginal-controlled institutions, 125  this former AAPSI representative stated that AAPSI did not want to have a whole bunch of institutions in British Columbia as public institutions, because they would be hard to be able to be supported publicly and we didn’t think that that would fly too well. And as well, at that time a number of institutions were being set up, but they wouldn't really [qualify as] institutions as such. They were simply band education one-time programming because Human Resources Development Canada at that time was offering training dollars and lots of people were setting up their own little private companies to do one-off types of training in a particular area. We wanted people who were serious about education that might be sustainable over a number of years. As part of that framework with government we had looked at that whole aspect. (RR 15, para. 21)  AAPSI worked with the province to establish criteria to facilitate Aboriginal-controlled institutions gaining public status. Criteria included the size of the student population, length of operation, the presence of affiliation agreements with public PSIs, operational and institutional infrastructures similar to public institutions, and geographic distribution (RR15, para. 23, RR12, para. 17). After negotiating the criteria, AAPSI “finally signed the agreement for all of that to take place and allow public funding to flow” (RR 15, para. 23). Not all Aboriginal institutions supported the position taken by AAPSI, however. A representative from a small, remote Aboriginal institution, who had limited participation in the consultation process, disagreed strongly with AAPSI’s position: “They had a quota system that you had to have so many students so that you could be recognized and funded by the ministry, which is just crazy” (RR10, para. 55). This “quota system” penalized small, Aboriginal private institutions in remote areas, making them ineligible for recognition as public institutions. 5.2.1.3  Consultations with Others In relation to the development of the policy, a former Ministry staff member stressed  “how political interfaces between Aboriginal political leaders and mainstream political leaders can really set the stage and help move things along” (RR04, para. 77). In addition to the BCFNC 126  and AAPSI, First Nations political leaders like Nathan Matthew (also an educational leader), Gordon Antoine, Saul Terry,31 and Ed John32 were important in advancing the APF, along with the support of a “group of educators who could work with the Chiefs in articulating very clearly what needed to happen” (RR04, para. 55). According to one participant, Aboriginal political and education leaders were adamant that this policy framework had to have real teeth and had to have authority. So they were very wise in pressuring the Premier to make sure that this was a document that would go to Cabinet and get Cabinet approval so that… whoever would form subsequent governments wouldn’t be able to just overturn it at the drop of a hat. (RR04, para. 59)  Public PSIs also had the opportunity to review and comment on the final draft of the policy. While a number of institutions did not embrace the policy with open arms, it was understood that Aboriginal under enrollment in PSE had to be addressed because of future needs related to treaties and the economy. A former ministry staff recalled that While a lot of them weren’t very happy with it because it made them do things that they didn’t necessarily want to do more of or do on top of what they were already doing, they knew that it was a compelling time. That there were treaties down the road, there was this huge gap in Aboriginal enrolment. Something had to be done. People certainly knew that. And the labour market was terrible. There were just no Aboriginal people anywhere in post-secondary. So there was reluctance but eventually the policy framework was signed off by cabinet. (RR03, para. 9) In drafting the APF, the Ministry also worked closely with the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, and looked at similar policy developed in Ontario and Australia (British Columbia Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, 1997; First Nations Post-Secondary Coordinators/Advisors, 1995, November 21, 22)  31  Saul Terry, Stl’atl’imx Nation, served as Chief of UBCIC from 1983 to 1998. Edward John is a Hereditary Chief of Tl'azt'en Nation . He had previously been part of the committee that produced the Green Report, and was a strong advocate for the development of UNBC. 32  127  5.2.2  The Text While the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework was  approved by Cabinet in April of 1995, it was not published until 1996 (British Columbia Ministry of Education, Skills and Training, 1996a). Following is a detailed description of the text. 5.2.2.1  Objectives The APF begins with an “Objectives” section that identifies its purpose to increase  participation and success rates for Aboriginal students; to support capacity building for selfgovernment; to establish a long-term plan for capacity building for self-government in the “posttreaty environment,” and to maintain federal funding commitments for Aboriginal PSE and training. While the term “Aboriginal” is used throughout the text, it is often used in reference to First Nations specific concerns, as indicated in its use in relation to post-treaty self-government and federal funding for PSE, which was only available to First Nations people. 5.2.2.2  General Background and Principles The section, “General Background and Principles,” relates the APF to the province’s  strategic priorities and the relevant legal context. Government priorities include Aboriginal selfgovernment, treaty-making, and interim measures. Reference is made to the involvement of offreserve and non-status Aboriginal groups at unspecified policy forums, but there is no mention of Métis involvement. Increasing Aboriginal participation, retention, and success in post-secondary is said to support these strategic priorities. Recognition is given to constitutionally enshrined Aboriginal and treaty rights, and to federal jurisdiction for “Indians and Lands reserved for the Indians.” While the text 128  acknowledges federal financial support for status Indian students and some education programs and services, the province asserts its jurisdiction over Aboriginal PSE and training. Furthermore, the policy articulates three overarching principles. These principles replicate the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs’ mission statement (British Columbia Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, 1997),33 and link the APF to the treaty process: i. ii. iii.  Relationships between Aboriginal people and all British Columbians are based on equality and respect; Aboriginal people can fulfill their aspirations for self-determining and self-sustaining communities; and All British Columbians enjoy the social and economic benefits of cooperation and certainty. (British Columbia Ministry of Education, Skills and Training, 1996a, p. 2)  Other principles address federal and provincial jurisdictional and fiscal responsibilities and assert equity for all Canadians and British Columbians. Current federal and provincial funding arrangements are to be maintained. 5.2.2.3  Post-Secondary Education This section of the APF summarizes provincial initiatives to increase Aboriginal  participation and retention in K-12 and post-secondary systems, as well as initiatives to facilitate transitions between the two systems. AAPSI is discussed, and examples of successful initiatives in both public and Aboriginal PSIs in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are highlighted. 33  Aboriginal Affairs mission is “to work with First Nations, the federal government, other provincial ministries and all British Columbians to help build a society in which: · relationships between aboriginal people and all British Columbians are based on equality and respect; · aboriginal people can fulfill their aspirations for self-determining and self-sustaining communities; · all British Columbians enjoy the social and economic benefits of cooperation and certainty.”(British Columbia, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, 1997, p. 2) 129  The text acknowledges the inadequacy of federal funding for status Indians students, and acknowledges that non-status Indians are not eligible for this funding. Funding sources for Aboriginal private and public PSIs are discussed. In addition, the importance of maintaining federal funding for Aboriginal institutions is stressed. Moreover, the APF l