Teacher, listen to me! Voices of Southern Ontario Urban First Nation, Metis, and Inuit Youth

Research Start-up Summary and Abstract:

This project aims at hearing the voices of urban First Nation, Metis, and Inuit youth, whose voices are not often advocated for, and applying their shared experiences to educational change.The entire research project consists of exploring these questions with urban and rural First Nation, Metis and Inuit youth in six urban and rural centres across Ontario (north central, north east, north west, south central, south east, south west).  However, this specific proposal consists of researching in only three southern, urban centres: Ottawa, Toronto, London.  Further funding will be sought for the remaining three northern urban centres (Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, Thunder Bay) and all six rural sites.

To further address the needs of off-reserve Indigenous students in Ontario attending publically funded schools, it is necessary to acquire the voices of those students. The student perspective is needed to underscore the importance of hearing their stories and giving them the opportunity to inform teachers of best practices. By creating a discourse with these students we will begin to understand how to meet the needs of all Indigenous students in Ontario, and close the pervasive learning gap that continues to exist.

Research Questions:

What is the urban First Nation, Metis, and Inuit youth experience in public schooling and what can the education system learn from it?  Exploring this question will help us determine what is working for these students and what needs still remain for them.  We also want to provide an opportunity for urban First Nation, Metis, and Inuit students to voice what teachers need to know to make the educational experience better for them.  The end goal is for urban First Nation, Metis, and Inuit youth to provide voice for their schooling experience to inform teacher practice to ensure their success for future endeavors as global citizens.

Main contact:
Dr. Nicole Bell, Assistant Professor
School of Education and Professional Learning
Trent University [email protected]