Discerning the Network of Supports employed by Off-Campus Indigenous Adult e-learners through an Indigenous Methodological Lens
“A very wise teacher once told me that if writers could not state the point of a paper in one sentence, they did not yet know what the point was.” (Sandelowski, 1998. p. 376) The point of this dissertation is thus: To respectfully illuminate the e-learning experiences of Indigenous off-campus university alumni, so that higher education leaders, instructors and support staff might better understand the types of individual, institutional and programmatic supports that can facilitate the completion of place-bound Indigenous students’ programs of study at Canadian post-secondary institutions. The purpose of this qualitative inquiry is to respectfully demonstrate relational responsibility to a virtual community of place-bound Indigenous adult e-learners comprising a disparate population of tribal citizens whose contemporary social experience is largely marked by colonisation and assimilation. Many place-bound learners find themselves isolated from the geographic locales of typical post-secondary educational institutions, and are not necessarily looking to not have their own Indigenous knowledge systems and cultural realities discounted while engaging with academia. They do however, aspire to have their educational experiences validated as being academically legitimate, irrespective of the fact that the instructional methods and physical circumstances they experience as e-learners differs significantly from those of other Indigenous and non-Native campus-based learners. Drawing upon an Indigenous methodological framework, this study clearly demonstrates that place-bound Indigenous e-learners do draw upon formal institutional educational supports as necessary, but their primary sources of support are those that already exist for them within close proximity to their places of residence, whether in urban centres, rural municipalities or geographically isolated communities in Western Canada.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeAlex, Wilson; Dianne, Miller; Michael, Cottrell; Sheila, Carr-Stewart
Copyright DateAugust 2012