Parental School Choice in First Nations Communities: Is There Really a Choice?

Steinhauer, Evelyn Louise.   University of Alberta (Canada) ProQuest Dissertations & Theses,  2007. NR33073.

Abstract (summary)

This work addresses the topic of parental school choice on First Nations reserves and looks at the reasons that guide First Nations parents in their decisions to send their children to off-reserve or on-reserve schools. For those parents who have the option of choice, what is the basis of their decision making?

In this study I worked primarily with two First Nations communities in an attempt to identify the reasons that parents from these communities consider when they are making school choices for their children. The choices available to the parents in this particular study are basically between the off-reserve public, provincially funded school and the on-reserve Indian Affairs federally funded school.

By interviewing two sets of parents—who send their children to off-reserve schools and those who send their children to on-reserve schools—about their school choices, there is now a much clearer picture of parents' expectations and desires for the education of their children and a better understanding of what they believe is the significance of schooling and education in general. The interviews revealed that school-choice decisions should not be taken lightly and that parents are generally aware of the consequences that flow from their decisions.

The First Nations parents who participated in this study made their school-choice decisions based on what they thought would be the best for their children, and they presented their views from this position of caring parents. As will be shown in their comments and stories, they ended up identifying and dealing with significant consequences for every school-choice decision that they made.

The work discloses pertinent and significant information about the educational journeys of two generations of Aboriginal students (parents and children) in both off-reserve and on-reserve schooling situations. A major element of the overall significance of this work is the type of self-analyses in which the participants engaged as they shared openly and willingly with the researcher their own experiences as students and the experiences of their children as consequences of their parents' and their own decision making in relation to school choices.

Indexing (details)

School administration;
Native studies;
Native North Americans;
Native American studies;
Educational administration
0514: Educational administration
0740: Native American studies
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Education; First Nations; On-reserve school; Parents; School choice
Parental School Choice in First Nations Communities: Is There Really a Choice?
Steinhauer, Evelyn Louise
Number of pages
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 68/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
University of Alberta (Canada)
University location
Canada -- Alberta, CA
Source type
Dissertation or Thesis
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL