How are the aspirations of British Columbia Institute of Technology First Nations students defined by their Indigenous perspective?
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SubjectCommunication; Education; First Nations; Indigenous; Post-secondary institutions; Post-secondary students
These stories of successful First Nations students, from a First Nations student technical staff and graduate student, allow for a unique Indigenous perspective to contribute relevant research to the field of Indigenous education. This research will contribute to an emerging body of scholarship that underscores the distinct form of knowledge that an Indigenous paradigm provides. Through qualitative research, this research provides a better understanding of the personal, educational and cultural factors that need to be present in a post-secondary institution for First Nations students to aspire to, enter, and then successfully graduate--in this case--from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). My thesis asks the question: How are the aspirations of First Nations students at BCIT defined by their Indigenous perspective? I uncovered five themes that start to define an Indigenous student perspective: Family History, First Nations Identity, Culture, Work Ethic and Role Models. Findings of the research also provide the shared or individual factors present in First Nations students' histories and experiences that helped them to reach a level of success in post-secondary education; inform post-secondary institutions on ways to improve First Nations students' retention and graduation rates; provide qualitative research which will benefit the population of First Nations students who are considering entering post-secondary education; provide recommendations for further research in the area of Aboriginal education in school districts and post-secondary institutions; and explore the use of narrative and an Indigenous paradigm in Aboriginal research.
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