Indigenizing Educational Policy; Our Shared Responsibility

  • Author / Creator
    Prete, Tiffany D
  • The author of this research study explored Alberta Education’s efforts to teach Albertan students about the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada. Alberta Education (2002b) released the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) policy framework that it mandated for implementation in all Alberta schools. Included in the policy are seven learning objectives (FNMI governance, history, treaty and Aboriginal rights, lands, cultures, and languages) for all students in Alberta. How Alberta Education has fulfilled its mandate was the primary focus of this study. Alberta Education used two approaches to teach its students about Aboriginal Peoples. First, the policy framework mandates the integration of Aboriginal perspectives into the kindergarten to Grade 12 core curriculum. Second, Alberta Education created the Aboriginal Studies program. The author of this study examined the effectiveness of each of the educational approaches: (a) creating positive perceptions of Aboriginal Peoples and (b) students’ understanding of Aboriginal Peoples based on the seven learning objectives in the policy. The author used a Blackfoot theoretical framework grounded in an Indigenous research methodology, with the addition of a mixed-methods research design (surveys and interviews). A total of 217 student-participants formed the sample for this study, and 4 (2 Aboriginal and 2 non-Aboriginal) students participated in the interviews. The author analyzed the survey data in three phases. The first phase included principal component factor analysis and multivariate analysis of variance, the second phase consisted of one-way analysis of variance, and the last phase involved thematic analysis. The author arrived at a number of conclusions: (a) the school administration’s decision on whether to implement the FNMI policy framework affected the school’s atmosphere with regard to attitudes toward Aboriginal Peoples, and (b) Ethnicity and whether or not students take Aboriginal Studies 10 played a role in the perceptions of Aboriginal Peoples. For this reason, the author recommended that Alberta Education change the Social Studies curriculum to include the Aboriginal Studies 10 program of studies.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Indigenous Peoples Education
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Cardinal, Trudy (Department of Elementary Education)
    • da Costa, José (Department of Educational Policy Studies)
    • Sockbeson, Rebecca (Department of Educational Policy Studies)
    • Ottmann, Jaqueline (Vice Provost Indigenous Engagement)
    • Shultz, Lynette (Department of Educational Policy Studies)