In the article “Canadian medical schools struggle to recruit Aboriginal students” some Aboriginal doctors describe the cultural difference between being a student in an Aboriginal community and being a student in a major Canadian medical school as being a major hurdle.
Coming from an Aboriginal nursing background, I was used to an environment that was very nurturing, very non-judgmental, very non-competitive,” she says. “You learn to be very comfortable talking about your struggles, what you need to work on to become a stronger person or a better caregiver. Medical school was very different. It was a very competitive environment… people keep their cards close to their chest… they don’t want to reveal themselves; what they see as weaknesses. I found this very difficult. My colleagues didn’t understand. When asked to self-evaluate, my colleagues thought I was putting myself down. I think my ability to talk about myself is a huge strength, it lets me improve as a doctor and as a person, but my colleagues didn’t see it that way. I found this very difficult.
There are several reasons for this cultural difference posited in the blog post, including the poorer quality of education students can receive on reserve, lack of modelling in their own communities, and also lack of respect for or integration of traditional knowledge in many undergraduate medical programs. The article indicates that more needs to be done than simply recruiting indigenous students, but rather that the programs need to change to better suit/fit with the ways indigenous students already live.
Module 2 post 5- interactions and inter-relationships around text- Peter Martin
This article looks at one science lesson (a micro-ethnographic study)in a Bruneian classroom and observes the reading/learning practices in a classroom made up of purely Indigenous students. The study looks at how indigenous students cross literacy boundaries inherent in learning in two foreign languages (English and Malay) while having no access to their own mother tongue in a learning environment.
Since language is such an important part of culture, I was wondering what sort of programming was available to provide learning to students in their own language.
Senator Nick Sibbeston has a webpage which is an overview of aboriginal language immersion programs. It is the summary of a study that was done, although there is no date on this webpage.
There is also a study performed by the Government of Manitoba about offering aboriginal languages in schools which looks at the state of the province in 2001 and lays out a list of concerns for a wider incorporation of language programs.
The Chiefs of Ontario also published a document in 2004 outlining changes that need to be made for the implementation of language programs.
The Northwest Territories goes even further by holding a symposium on implementing aboriginal languages throughout territorial programs.