Researchers: Raquel Oberkirsch and Melanie Press
NORA’S SPECIAL DIRECTED CALL
The proposed participatory action research explores Indigenous students’ experiences of belonging at a Saskatchewan high school over one school year. We will examine the effects of implementing culturally relevant initiatives such as a beading club, painting workshops with local Indigenous artists, land-based learning opportunities, and Cree or Nakota language classes. We will plan these initiatives based on the interests and suggestions of Indigenous students and open them to all students who want to learn from Indigenous role models and participate as allies and friends.
We will also investigate the effects of an “opportunity room” where students can take a break, eat a nutritious snack, catch up on classwork, or connect with a positive adult, such as an Elder, community member, the community education liaison, or the school counsellor. Finally, we will study the barriers to a strong sense of belonging for Indigenous students at this high school.
We will use qualitative data collection methods, including observations, field notes, sharing circles, one-on-one open-structured conversational interviews, audio/video recordings of activities, and artifacts. We aim to centre Indigenous student voices and add student perspectives to the literature on Indigenous student school engagement and belonging through this project.