Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 170

170 Arctic Yearbook 2014 located on the territory of the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (Thompson Economic Diversification Working Group, 2012). At the UCN in 2010-11, 74% of graduates identified as Aboriginal and approximately 80% of students in the Faculty of Arts are female (UCN, 2012). Similarly within the UM-NSWP 87% of students are female and the majority identify as Aboriginal (Bonnycastle, 2013). Typical challenges for northern female students are often the lack of consistent child-care, affordable housing, as well as emotional, academic and financial supports (Bonnycastle & Prentice, 2011). They are also typically first generation post-secondary students with few educational role models. Methodology Our research study responds to questions: how do female students define and measure their own successes? And what factors have contributed to their successes? We interviewed 27 post-secondary female students who were either in their third or fourth year of study or had graduated from a degree program at NSWP or UCN. All participants were volunteers and completed informed consent forms. We used qualitative methods and data was collected through one-on-one semistructured interviews, which used appreciative questions. Appreciative questions attempt to explore the participants’ best experiences (Cooperrider & Whitney, 2000). Approval for this research study was obtained from the University of Manitoba, Psychology/Sociology Research Ethics Board and UCN Ethics Board. Findings How do northern female students describe the meaning of success? Simpkins & Bonnycastle