Indigenous Identity Formation in Postsecondary Institutions
I Found Myself in the Most Unlikely Place
A new model of Indigenous identity formation in Canadian postsecondary institutions
What role does postsecondary education play in the formation of Indigenous identity? Some argue that this impact must be negative, not only because postsecondary education draws students away from their communities, but also because of the Eurocentric worldviews that dominate most institutions. However, according to a ground-breaking study by Barbara Barnes and Cora Voyageur, the truth is much more nuanced and surprising.
During their research, Professors Barnes and Voyageur followed 60 Indigenous students from a variety of backgrounds at six postsecondary institutions in western Canada, and they present their finding here. They explore how the students’ experiences fit with conventional and Indigenous identity-formation theories, and they consider the impacts of colonization and the Indian Act.
Based on the experiences of the students, Barnes and Voyageur build an entirely new model of Indigenous identity formation in Canadian postsecondary institutions.