Du projet d'études au projet de vie : une analyse des parcours universitaires chez les étudiants des Premières Nations du Québec

Authors: Ratel, Jean-Luc
Advisor: Pilote, Annie
Abstract: Quebec’s Indigenous peoples have long been excluded from higher education because of the historical context of social segregation and the assimilative aim of the formal education imposed on them. Today, that population is experiencing increasing graduation rates, but they are maintaining a persistent gap with the non-Indigenous population. The data collected from 23 Quebec First Nations university students and graduates, plus 11 professionals working with them, allowed us to see a common pattern in the different school pathways: study in order to improve the well-being of Aboriginal people within and outside the communities. Research general objectives are, first, to contribute to a better knowledge of the phenomenon of university studies among the First Nations of Quebec and, second, to understand the meaning conferred by Quebec First Nations students on their university studies. Research specific objectives are to: 1) Understand the relationship to Indigenous identity and culture among First Nations students and graduates; 2) Understand the main factors explaining the transition to university of First Nations students and how their pathways go; 3) Understand the projects and achievements of First Nations students in connection with their university studies; 4) Analyze the environment offer by universities and public authorities to help the integration of Indigenous students into the university community. This thesis explains how the educational pathways of First Nations university students in Quebec are clearly influenced by their relationship to Indigenous identity and culture, and how that influence gives birth to study projects in the form of life projects in an Indigenous environment (Blaser, 2004). These projects are of a collective nature and focus on the well-being of Indigenous peoples in general, in addition to the students themselves, whether in communities or outside. I also explain how students manage to combine the contributions of Indigenous education with those of Western education, in connection with the conception of the decolonization of education as defined by Battiste (2013). Their relationship to Indigenous identity and cultures is analyzed in relation to the power relationships between the majority culture in Quebec, which is, itself, a minority in the Canadian context (McAndrew, 2005). It is therefore by identifying the characteristic elements of the external and internal faces of their cultures (Juteau, 1999) that I capture this influence in their schooling and, more generally, in their lives. The students and graduates interviewed testify, each in their own way, the anchoring of their educational backgrounds in the university model as a democratic public sphere (Giroux, 2002) in order to develop the well-being of Indigenous peoples. Most have experienced work and involvement in Indigenous communities at different points in their lives. I also note that some do not seek to anchor their studies in the model of life projects, but they, then, live their cultures in other spheres of activity. Most of the participants are students whose parents have not attended university (so-called first generation) and it is in the transmission of a favourable relation to the school institution that is part of the explanation to their transition to university, in connection with the sociology of Lahire (1995). The discussion continues to reflect on the university institution itself and its metamorphosis, which has allowed an increasing number of Aboriginal people to attend it, in relation to the idea of multiversity (Kerr, 1967). I argue for an intercultural campus model (Tanaka, 2003) designed as a democratic public sphere in order to better respond to the contemporary challenges of ethnocultural diversity in Quebec universities.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2019
Open Access Date: 19 June 2019
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/35198
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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