Pathways into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) for Indigenous Learners

The Conference Board of Canada, April 16, 2020
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Indigenous people make up 4 per cent of Canadian adults. But less than 2 per cent of people working in science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) occupations are Indigenous. The value of improving Indigenous participation and leadership in major economic sectors, such as science, technology and finance, goes beyond enabling satisfying individual careers to impacting community economic self-determination and contributing to national reconciliation.

Strategies and content that better reflect Indigenous cultures and realities in science and math education may help more Indigenous learners access and succeed in STEM fields. Our environmental scan, conducted for the Future Skills Centre, uncovered more than one hundred initiatives in Canada that encourage and support Indigenous learners in STEM fields. Learn about two Canadian university programs that are working to support Indigenous learners in STEM studies.

Webinar Highlights

Register to learn about:

  • how Indigenous learners may be turned off math and science during school
  • how culturally relevant materials and teaching methods make a difference in STEM
  • how universities programs are challenging the status quo in Indigenous achievement in STEM
  • how Indigenous STEM graduates are making a difference in their communities

About Jane

Photo of Jane CooperJane Cooper is a Senior Research Associate at the Conference Board of Canada. She holds an MSc in Human Resource Management and Development from the University of Manchester, and a Certificate in Intercultural Studies from the University of British Columbia. Jane has expertise as a policy analyst specializing in human resource development issues in Canada and internationally. She has twenty-five years’ experience in research and management on a variety of learning and development initiatives. Jane is currently a lead researcher on two projects looking at learning and development for Indigenous populations: exploring cross-cultural STEM initiatives for Indigenous learners and examining the impact of Indigenous-centred post secondary education in Canada.

About Michelle

Photo of Michelle HogueDr. Michelle M. Hogue is an associate professor and Coordinator of the First Nations’ Transition Program at the University of Lethbridge. Her teaching and research center on the engagement and success of Aboriginal students in the sciences and mathematics by building bridges between Aboriginal and Western ways of knowing and learning using culturally relevant methodological approaches. With expertise in curriculum development, interpretive inquiry, and duoethnography, she is interested in bridging paradigms and Indigenous perspectives in curriculum and in the successful transition of Aboriginal students to and through post-secondary education. Dr. Hogue was the recipient of the 2012 CEA Pat Clifford Award for Early Career Research in Education, for her work in improving attendance, engagement, and success for aboriginal learners.

About Melanie

Photo of Melanie HowardMelanie Howard, BAH, B.Ed Director, Aboriginal Access to Engineering Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science Queen’s University Kingston, Ontario. Aboriginal Access to Engineering provides culturally relevant student support services to Indigenous students enrolled in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. Working in partnership with the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre, AAE strives to support the academic, physical, spiritual and emotional needs of students. Through AAE, students have access to tutoring and exam prep sessions, mentoring opportunities with practicing Indigenous engineers, and liaison with industries particularly interested in the development of Indigenous engineers through summer employment, internships and permanent positions. A key outreach element of Aboriginal Access to Engineering is the support provided for Indigenous youth and their teachers. The K-12 outreach program works continuously with nine partner schools in First Nations, in addition to providing a range of STEM-enriched special events for Indigenous youth in urban centres.

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