Indigenous education and the post-secondary student support program: Colonial governance, neo-liberal imperatives, and gendered outcomes

Date created: 
Indigenous Peoples – Education – Government Policy – Canada
Women – Education – Canada
Indigenous Peoples – Canada
Self-Determination, National – Canada
Indians of North America – Canada – Government Relations
Indians of North America – Canada – Politics & Government
First Nations
Post-Secondary Education
Education Policy
Indigenous Education

The Post-Secondary Student Support Program funds higher education for status Indian and Inuit individuals. Since the 1970’s, program administration has devolved from the federal government to the Band level. From 1989, federal changes to the PSSSP have restricted length of funded study, imposed performance measures and a funding cap and implemented block funding mechanisms. This allowed the federal government to curtail costs while seemingly increasing First Nations’ autonomy and resources. Faced with funding restrictions, rising numbers of eligible students, increasing tuition and education expenses, First Nations have developed Local Operating Policies to guide student sponsorship decisions since, increasingly, not all students can be funded. Based on an analysis of federal policies, First Nations’ LOPs, and key informant interviews, this research uses critical discourse analysis to examine how colonialism, neo-liberalism, and patriarchy structure these processes of resource distribution and employ techniques of governmentality in the constitution of Aboriginal individuals and nations.

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Copyright remains with the author
Senior supervisor: 
Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)