First Nations students perspectives of their educational experience
Duff, Jaqueline F.
The purpose of this study was to determine the perspectives of First Nations students regarding their educational experience. Communication with seven First Nations students was conducted over a period of one month using in-depth interviews and dialogue journals. The sample of participants was drawn from three high schools in the Saskatoon Public School Division. The interviews lasted approximately 45 minutes to one hour. Through the in-depth interviews and the dialogue journals participants were asked to reflect on the following questions: What are the profiles of First Nations students in the Saskatoon Public high schools in Saskatoon? What levels of involvement they have within school? What personal and career goals they have? What school programs or processes are enabling them to achieve their goals? What family and community support they receive? What changes they think need to be made to improve First Nations students' educational opportunities and/or benefits Findings Participants in this study believe that education is necessary for them to be successful in their future. The literature review and the interviews indicate that attendance and enrolment patterns for First Nations people are improving. The participants identified that there continues to be a need for Aboriginal teachers at the high school level. First Nations students continue to experience racism from some non-Native teachers and peers. It was found that the parental and community support is inconsistent in the lives of these 7 First Nations students. Some participants were raised in single parent homes and their knowledge of and interest in their cultural background varies. In conclusion the participants believe that they must take responsibility for the choices they make in their lives.