Aboriginal Access to Post-Secondary Education at the University Of British Columbia : An Exploratory Study St. Laurent, Drew
This paper is intended to be placed within the Indigenous paradigm of educational research. Shawn Wilson (2007) has grounded the term Indigenist to relate to the specific research paradigm that is founded within Indigenous ways of knowing and understanding through the interaction with the wholistic environment which Aboriginal people have come to understand. The paradigm also places a focus on Indigenous human rights within a larger social context. Wilson argues that the “Indigenist paradigm can be used by anyone who chooses to follow its tenets” (p. 193). In this case, the Indigenist paradigm will be drawn upon to review how The University of British Columbia has enacted the Aboriginal Strategic Plan set by the institution in 2008. The available literature and research is limited as Aboriginal access to post-secondary education continues to be an evolving area of study. This paper intends to prompt a dialogue regarding Aboriginal student enrolment at the University of British Columbia. The paper focuses on the UBC Aboriginal Strategic Plan as well as the Aboriginal Strategic Plan: Fifth Year Implementation Report published in 2014. Canadian Census data from 2011 will be used to further understand aspects of educational realities that currently exist. More specifically, this paper compares and contrasts UBC’s Aboriginal student data with Aboriginal student data produced by Statistics Canada to further understand the current higher educational climate within which Aboriginal students navigate. This paper concludes with recommendations and thoughts for future research.
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