Black African Immigrant Graduate Students’ Identities and Education: The Influence of African Indigenous Knowledge within Canada’s Multiculturalism

  • Author / Creator
    Fankah-Arthur, Hilda
  • This study explains the influence of African Indigenous Knowledge in the education and identities of Black African Immigrant students within Canada’s Multiculturalism. Black African immigrant student’s identities are formed and shaped by their Indigenous experiences, which influences their socio-cultural development in Canada. Canada recognizes and promotes diversity and inclusion through the Federal Multiculturalism Act (1988), which preserves and enhances the multicultural heritage of all Canadians. This exploratory research explains how the exclusion of African Indigenous knowledge in the education of Black African Students impacts them; whether a shift to acknowledge and validate African Indigenous Knowledge would create a better educational impact for Black African Immigrant students; and how multiculturalism enables the diverse population to understand their Human Rights and support the reclaiming of self and identity. The study also looks at how the strategies adopted by the Indigenous people of Canada to reclaim their identities could inform the actions of Black Africans.
    This qualitative research study uses an Indigenous Research Methodology to apply critical theories that are grounded in Indigenous knowledge systems. The data collection methods included semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with a total of nine participants consisting of first and second-generation Black African Immigrant Graduate Students in Alberta, Canada. The data was collected virtually due to the COVID-19 health restrictions and analyzed thematically using qualitative techniques to understand the unique experiences of the participants from diverse African perspectives.
    The study uses anti-colonial Indigenous discursive theory, multiculturalism framework and Critical Race Theory (CRT) to explain and analyze the participants experiences. The anti-colonial Indigenous discursive theory helps to explain the participants experiences with African Indigenous knowledge and to analyze the continuing impact of colonialism on Africans despite the change in

    their geographical location. Multiculturalism is used as the framework to explain and bring forward the interests and concerns of Black African Immigrants in Canada. CRT helps to theorize the Black African student’s experiences with racism within the Canadian socio-cultural context and analyzes its impact in their education.
    The findings revealed the different ways that African Indigenous knowledge works through various systems to influence the identities and education of Black African immigrant students in Canada. Canadian multiculturalism is critiqued as unresponsive to the needs and interests of Black African immigrant students and not supportive of their identity reclamation. The participants proposed recommendations to support Black Africans in Canada based on observed strategies that are used by the Indigenous people of Canada for their identity reclamation. The findings will serve as an educational resource for all immigrants in Canada who are on diverse pathways to bring about change in their communities; provide recommendations on inclusive education that demonstrates Canada’s efforts to advance multiculturalism; create awareness and awaken consciousness of immigrant students to options for more successful educational integration; and add to the empirical evidence that position African Indigenous Knowledge as a source of factual knowledge. African Indigenous Knowledge is a significant part of the identity of Black African Immigrant students and the acknowledgment and validation of those knowledge systems within a multicultural society creates a better educational experience.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2023
  • 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.