By Ben Akoh
The goal of this qualitative study was to identify the determinants that assist remote post-secondary Indigenous Canadian learners (in an isolated fly-in only community) to adapt and orient themselves both to Eurocentric and Indigenous ways of learning. Digital technology such as mobile devices was used to produce documentation that served as the data for the research. The outcomes of the study led to the identification of a finite quantity of determinants. This is only a first step towards such identification, which provides a base for further research. Eight participants were directly involved in the study and six other participants provided contextual information. Participants showed a deep understanding of the problem: they were well meaning, eager and responsive to the study. The complexity of participant responses indicated that rethinking learning and understanding the place of Indigenous methods in education were needed. Rethinking solutions may require the direct participation of various stakeholders including educators and Indigenous communities. The solutions cannot be simply more technology or more pedagogy, although a careful reconsideration of pedagogy is required. Future research is key, but those research efforts must enter the community with a truly open mind and with culturally appropriate approaches without any pre-fixed solutions.
Ben’s complete thesis can be found here