Indigenous undergraduate students at McMaster University in Ontario are attending a summer program which gives them a taste of life as a graduate student researcher there. The goal is to get more aboriginal students to participate in this area of study in which they are underrepresented.
McMaster strives to be ‘a positive space for indigenous students’
McMaster set up its Indigenous Studies Program in 1992 and advocates the use of aboriginal knowledge and teaching methods. It has approved a new degree for undergraduate—an Honours Bachelor of Arts with a minor in Indigenous Studies.
The Indigenous Undergraduate Summer Research Scholars program matches students with supervisors and enables them to work in labs and libraries on campus, in the field and in local communities. They will also have interactive workshops on research methods, community engagement and skills training to help prepare them for graduate school.
Effort to overcome obstacles
The director of the program hopes this will counter the challenges facing indigenous students in the academic world. He cites a lack of funding, too few aboriginal faculty members and graduate supervisors, and not enough programs geared to indigenous student researchers.
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