A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY THE FEDERATION OF SASKATCHEWAN INDIANS
Soonias, Rodney Everett
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As a result of resolutions passed at the Saskatchewan Chiefs' Conference of March 10 - 12, 1970, and at the seventh annual School Committee Conference of May 5 - 6, 1970, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians established an Education Task Force to carry out research on all aspects of Indian Education in the province, and to make recommendations for improvement. After discussions with Indian parents and students as well as representatives of various groups involved in the education of Indians, the Education Task Force implemented research in the following areas: (i) DOR: Drop-Out and Age/Grade Retardation. (ii) ETR: Education and Related Treaty Rights. (iii) VPA: Values and Attitudes Towards Policies. (iv) PRA: Program and Institutional Role Analysis. (v) CBA: Cost Benefit Analysis. The field aspect of the research was completed in August, 1972 and the writing of comprehensive technical reports was finished in April, 1973. A number of problems was encountered in different phases of the Task Force work. The precarious nature of funds harassed the activities of the Force all through its duration, sometimes causing unexpected deletions or extensions of research projects. Numerous difficulties arose because of the lack of Indian workers who had training in research methodology. Non-Indians hired to supply this skill often did not have sufficient acquaintance with the Indian educational system in Saskatchewan. Difficulties also arose from the fact that the research had to be done for all the Indian population of the province who did not form a cohesive cultural or language group, but lived in small, widely scattered reserves. The author who was the Director of the Education Task Force kept a systematic record of all difficulties and problems encountered by his organization in its research work, and he also carried out tape interviews with the workers. In the present thesis he has attempted to present an analytical discussion of the Task Force problems, and has made recommendations so that similar projects may be carried out more effectively in the future.