Leadership In First Nations schools : perceptions of Aboriginal educational administrators
The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of Aboriginal school-site administrators regarding effective leadership behaviors in First Nations schools. Thirteen Aboriginal educational administrators were interviewed over a period of one month and a half using a semi-structured interview approach. The sample of participants was drawn from a list of Tribal Councils and Independent First Nations in Saskatchewan. The interviews lasted approximately 45 minutes to 70 minutes. Participants were asked to reflect on: (1) what leadership characteristics an effective administrator of a First Nation school must possess; (2) whether ethnicity and gender of the educational administrator were important considerations in First Nations schools; (3) positive characteristics of role models of Aboriginal educational administrators; (4) personal and social problems on First Nations that affected the role of the educational administrator; and (5) what training activities were helpful in the preparation of potential educational leaders. Findings suggested that the main characteristics of effective administrators in First Nations schools included being person-oriented and flexible. All thirteen administrators interviewed considered the ability to speak a First Nation language important, although not essential, if the major language spoken on the First Nation was English. Ethnicity of the administrator may not be a necessary consideration for administrators in First Nations schools. Being able to adapt to the cultural milieu of the First Nation was more important. Findings further suggested that gender of the administrator in a First Nation school was not an important consideration. Female administrators could be effective if given the opportunity. Role models in the lives of the participants played a major part in the overall success of the participants. Findings of this study further suggested that effective administrators had definite plans and programming in place when dealing with social problems which exist on First Nations. Being knowledgeable about the types of support services available at the Band level was important. The main strategy employed by the interviewees involved the utilization of a team approach to problem solving. When dealing with student behavioral problems, most administrators followed policies set by the school board. Last of all, the participants made recommendations which potential Aboriginal educational leaders could use in order to move into administrative positions at the First Nation level.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
CommitteeWilson, Kevin; Smith, Doug; Sackney, Lawrence (Larry); Hajnal, Vivian
Copyright DateApril 1995
First Nations Schools