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Digging Up the Roots of Educational Policy: Curriculum Infusion and Aboriginal Student Identity Development

  • Author / Creator
    Martineau, Christine Yvonne
  • Since 2002, Alberta teachers have been required to infuse Aboriginal perspectives into the K-12 curriculum across all subject areas in order to positively impact Aboriginal children’s identity development. There are several assumptions inherent in the policy of infusion that this study uncovers and examines using Cree knowledge and research methods as the foundation of inquiry. The questions that guided the study were threefold. The first task was to understand what Aboriginal identity is and how it develops and functions. Second was to examine what happened to Aboriginal identity to impact its development in Aboriginal people. The final query was to explicate the roles and impacts of Canadian teachers and schools on Aboriginal identity development. Based on the knowledge and understanding of three Cree knowledge holders, this study presents a model of Aboriginal identity as a living entity that grows and develops within a cultural ecosystem. The model is then used as an analytical framework to evaluate the policy of infusion for its potential efficacy in contributing to the development of Aboriginal identity in schools. The study concludes that Aboriginal identity development requires a cultural ecosystem that includes Aboriginal peoples, ceremonies, histories, knowledges, languages, and lands as inherent elements of identity and its development.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2018
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R37W67N34
  • License
    Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.