Reflection On Indigenous Student Experience

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Three readings from this week, combined with the readings from last week of overarching themes, got me thinking about how I have been considering Indigenous student experiences. In fact, I have not given too much thought on the issue until I encountered it as one of the topics in a course last term. I found myself relating to Indigenous student experiences, in terms of learning needs, to a certain extent as a recent immigrant student from South Korea. That led me to enrol in this course, and I find this opportunity to be a good learning experience as each reading material presents me new insights about Indigenous student experiences.
From the information presented in Pidgeon’s (2008) dissertation, I was quite frustrated how difficult it would …show more content…

The authors established incorporating the issues in postsecondary education for considering Indigenous students’ needs and presented the urgent need for change in the system. What stood out to me were their arguments about cultural integrity and survivance. Without the components of 4R’s, especially the respect for Indigenous knowledge in institutions, there is a tendency that students are forced to assimilate into the dominant culture, and in such an environment, it becomes very difficult for Indigenous students to maintain their Indigenous identity. I can easily see that aspect to frustrate these students in continuing their capacity building in postsecondary education with their responsibilities of contributing to their community development. With this idea, the word, survivance, describes the situation very clearly, to be surviving in a different learning education as they strive for resistance towards the acculturation in the dominant system. I particularly agreed with the authors’ argument about blending cultural and academic knowledge (McKinley & Brayboy, 2005, p. 435). I think it is institution’s responsibility to respect their cultural knowledge but also provide appropriate academic knowledge, relative to Indigenous students to be able to actively engage in reciprocal learning with their cultural knowledge, which, then, adds value to their survivance practice. I find that this piece opened up a new way of looking at the challenges which Indigenous students encounter and the ways to move forward with the situation through changing the perception of education not only from Indigenous students, but also from the perspectives of non-Aboriginal members in institutions by providing a way to

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