• Archives of Healthcare
Research Article

Walking Together: Supporting Indigenous Student Success in University

Archives of Healthcare [2023; 3(1):29-39]
Received: 14 January 2023, Accepted: 10 February 2023, Published: 16 February 2023

Success in higher education is crucial for capacity building and assisting Indigenous communities to meet self-determination and self-governance goals. This qualitative research study was guided by participatory action research (PAR) and Indigenous principles in a “Two-eyed Seeing” approach to explored Indigenous student success at university. This research captured the diverse stories of Indigenous students being educated in mainstream epistemology and worldviews, analyzed the facilitators and challenges that they confront, and the resources Indigenous students require for success at a primarily undergraduate Maritime university in Eastern Canada. This research complemented the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action (2015) related to closing identified educational achievement gaps and improving educational attainment levels and success. Fifteen individual in-depth interviews were conducted with Indigenous undergraduate students representing 9 First Nation communities in the Maritime provinces. From the Indigenous student’s stories, three major themes with subthemes emerged. The themes are: 1). “A Mixture of Stress & Success”: Indigenous Students University Experiences, 2). Supports for Indigenous Students: “We Need More”, and 3). Walking Together: University Policies and Practices to Support Indigenous Student Success. It is critical that university policies and practices are developed to support Indigenous student success, including the decolonializing of university courses and curricula, mandatory cultural competency education for all professors and instructors, recruitment and hiring of Indigenous educators, residence, and foods policies reflective of Indigenous students and a mandatory Indigenous course requirement for all students regardless of program of study.

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