A new body of research is beginning to demonstrate that Aboriginal students’ self-esteem is a key factor in their school success. An educational environment that honours the culture, language and world view of the Aboriginal student is critical. Schools need to meaningfully represent and include Aboriginal people’s contributions, innovations and inventions. Aboriginal students require a learning environment that honours who they are and where they have come from. These strategies nurture the self-esteem – the positive interconnection between the physical, emotional-mental, intellectual and spiritual realms – of Aboriginal students. This monograph explores the relationship between Aboriginal students’ self-esteem and educational attainment. The key questions that guide this discussion are:
1. What strategies currently work for Aboriginal students, and why are they so important for creating meaningful change?
2. What are the day-to-day implications for educators endeavouring to ensure Aboriginal student needs are met?
The discovery and pursuit of potential answers will occur through examining pre-existing research. The inquiry below proceeds in light of a cultural framework generated by the “living teachings” of the Ojibwe people.