Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 177

177   Arctic Yearbook 2014 into another” (cited in Kirkness & Barnhardt, 2001: 4). Thus, currently, successess are measured continuously along the path between starting and completing a degree. The students in this study clearly state that their successes are interconnected with their culture and the north as their home. Their successes involve a deepening of their understanding of self and the world around them in order to contribute to family and community. I think that doing everything here and staying here is going to be a positive aspect on the community because this is something new. Not many people have been able to do their entire careers or educational careers up north and then apply that learning to working here until recently. So I think it’s exciting and I’m hoping it will have an impact in the community and on students striving to work to graduate and raise up the graduation percentages and promote more people to go into secondary and postsecondary because it’s home you know. (#14) When students defined what success meant to them, they consistently talked in terms of their own personal successes and this was very much connected to their family, children and community. These insights are consistent with the literature on Aboriginal education. Cappon (2008) asserts, “Learning is what nurtures relationships between the individual, the family and the community and Creation. It is the process of transmitting values and identity. It is the guarantor of cultural continuity. Its value to the individual cannot be separated from its contribution to the collective well-being” (14). He goes on to say that the value and success of the individual cannot be separated from its contribution to the collective well-being, which in turn strengthens a community’s social capital (61). In 2007, the Canadian Council on Learning along with the Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre with contibutions from First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, launched “Redefining How Success is Measured in Aboriginal Learning” (2008). One of the main components of the model they created emphasized the importance of the individual’s personal development. Cappon (2008) asserts, “Personal harmony and balance comes when an individual learns to balance the spiritual, physical, mental and emotional” aspects of self (63-64). Further, Pidgeon (2008) advocates for a model of Aboriginal student persistence that accommodates culture, language and ways of knowing. A wholistic model would incorporate the inter-relationships of the individual, famiy and community (354). In other words, in a northern Aboriginal context you cannot talk about the success of the individual without linking this to family, community and culture. Some students talked about “learning who I am” culturally and historicaly through the process of academic and personal exploration. Jessica Ball (2004) reflects on this with her assertion that, “In many Indigenous communities, genera