Monday, 7 April 2014

Challenges Aboriginal Youth Face When Entering Post-Secondary Education: Radio Documentary

Our documentary focuses on the challenges Aboriginal youth face upon entering post-secondary education. We interviewed two Aboriginal students at the University of Manitoba who are both very active members in the communities they come from and their surrogate communities here at the U of Manitoba.

Clyford Sinclair discusses what he calls the ‘revolving-door’, where teachers travel to northern communities to teach for a short period, thus causing discontinuity in children’s education as new teachers are constantly moving into the community. Clyford also discusses the potentials problems Aboriginal students have when applying for funding from their band. He mentions that there is funding available but not enough for every band member who wishes to attend post-secondary education.

Sam Lewis is another Aboriginal student and shares his perspective on the importance of Aboriginal students entering the field of sciences in order to bring their knowledge back to their communities to consult on logging, drilling and mining industries. Sam Lewis shares Clyford’s view that there are inadequacies in northern students’ educational programs, due to underfunding and lack of support. Lewis explains having to upgrade his math and sciences in order to enter the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Manitoba.

In conclusion, Clyford identifies the importance of including Aboriginal perspectives into university programs by making an Aboriginal studies credit mandatory like the Math and Written requirement. Indeed this is not a solution to the problems raised in this documentary, but by making these changes at the post-secondary level, we can perhaps encourage more Aboriginal immersion into elementary and secondary schools as well, thus encouraging a change in societies perspective of Aboriginal peoples as a whole.

Interviewees: Clyford Sinclair, Sam Lewis
Music Used: From, The Soundtrack of a People, Rabbit Dance Song – Six Nations Women Singers , Iroquois), Shawnee Stomp Dance – Little Axe Singers, Beautiful Girl From Afar – Davis Mitchell (Dineh), Jig Medley 6 – Lee Cremo Trio (Mi’kmaq)
By: Gage Cherepak, Rosalie Girouard, Kristjana Michaluk, Arielle Slijker

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