UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Through peace, friendship, and respect : University hosted outreach programs for Aboriginal students in the k-12 system Rayner, Allyson


In 2010, UBC had six outreach programs for Aboriginal students at the elementary and high school levels, three of which have been included in this research study. A total of seven staff from these three programs were interviewed. Of these seven, three were full time program staff, three were PhD students in addition to being program staff, and one was a faculty member; four were Aboriginal, and three were not. The interview transcripts were thematically analyzed to understand: why outreach programs are offered at UBC; how their philosophical frameworks are conceptualized; and what the drawbacks and benefits of these program are. This study is rooted in an Indigenous Knowledge framework, and draws upon the Guswentha treaty to help assay concepts which are typically relegated to critical theory frameworks, such as social justice, systemic change, and educational inequities. The Guswentha treaty redirects conversations of justice to relationships of respect, peace, and friendship. The analysis of the interviews shows that the outreach programs are said to exist at UBC in order to introduce more Aboriginal students to post-secondary schooling, to get more Aboriginal students enrolling in post-secondary schooling, to create more space at UBC for Aboriginal students, and to improve the health of Aboriginal people and communities. As well, these programs were said to exist due to the work of a few dedicated people. The philosophical frameworks of these programs are discussed using a wholistic framework, at the level of both the individual students and the larger university institution. The student is: physically supported through such amenities as scholarships and nutritious food; emotionally supported by stimulating an excitement for learning; and intellectually supported by providing access to superior science learning. The institution is: physically affected through the physical presence of more Aboriginal students; emotionally affected by more connections being made between faculty volunteers and the visiting students; and intellectually affected through the professional development of the faculty volunteers. The spiritual realm of both the student and the university was underserved.

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