Anishinabe voice, the cost of education in a non-aboriginal world : a narrative inquiry

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Young, Mary Isabelle
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In this thesis, the author, a Native Student Advisor in a university setting examines how her personal schooling experiences in residential school, high school and university have contributed to the kind of "educator" she has become. She shares her schooling experiences as they relate to what she refers to as "feelings of separation"--loneliness, fear of failure, isolation and alienation, all of which are associated with personal experiences with racism and oppression. She submits the difficulties Aboriginal students face in 'white' institutions need to be better understood by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal educators. Using 'narrative inquiry' or 'telling stories' as a method to 'research herself' the author attempts to make meaning and learn from her "experiences" by reflecting and analyzing them. She describes how the writing process and the actual 'retelling and reliving' of those significant moments, allows her to discover how she contributed to her own 'colonization'. She offers insight into the importance of understanding Aboriginal students, in the context of both secondary and post-secondary education and she also discusses the impact of systemic racism and how it continues to affect the lives of Aboriginal students.